Felicity Wilson and Gordon Sweetnam began operating Kelowna Free Graze Lamb in 2014. Kelowna is a happy medium between Edmonton, Alberta, where Gordon grew up, and Felicity’s childhood home on Vancouver Island. As a meat sheep operation with an on-site slaughter plant, Kelowna Free Graze Lamb also combined their talents and interests: Gordon, who has an extensive livestock management background and most recently came from a Certified AWA cattle operation in Alberta, would focus on animal husbandry; while Felicity took responsibility for the farm’s slaughter plant and vegetable production.
Sanford and Debbie Fishel raise Certified AWA pigs at Fishel Organic Farm in Grassy Creek, North Carolina. “I’ve been around farming all my life, and we have farmed on our own for 40 years,” says Sanford. “We currently manage a herd of about 25 Certified AWA pasture-raised hogs, as well as 30 acres of organic vegetables, 35 acres of pumpkins and 300 acres of Christmas trees.”
Eliza Lake and Bart Niswonger, and their two young children, Augustus and Charlotte, raise Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle and Certified AWA laying hens at Kinne Brook Farm in Worthington, MA. The farm has been in the Lake family since 1980, and Eliza and Bart bought the 86-acre farm in 2010. The family live in the early 19th-century farmhouse on the property.
Kevin and Delmas Hobbs raise Certified AWA pigs outdoors on pasture at Hobbs Farm in Faison, North Carolina. “I have been farming all my life,” says Kevin. “My family has operated a family farm for many years, and we grow several kinds of produce, wheat, corn and soybeans. Currently, I have three greenhouses being converted to grow hydroponic lettuce, tomatoes and bell pepper. We are excited to begin this new venture with hog farming!”
Polly and Rey Cisneros raise Certified Grassfed by AGW dairy goats outdoors on pasture at 101 Ranchita in La Grange, Texas.
Once upon a time, there was a young woman who dreamed of having a job where she could work outside in the sunshine and not be cooped up in an office, stuck in front of a computer screen. She longed to own her own business, where she would be her own boss. So, in 2013, Heather Stovall acquired 5 acres of farmland outside Vacaville, California, and established Once Upon a Farm. In addition to a diverse produce business, Heather now raises 90 Certified AWA laying hens, supplying delicious, pasture-raised eggs to her local community.
After a 20-year career as an engineer, working in corporate technology, Cindy Hamrick wanted a change for her family that reflected their long-time interest and concern for sustainable agriculture and food production. In 2011, Cindy and her three sons started farming and eventually built what became Carolina Farmhouse Dairy, a 15-acre family farm located in Bahama, North Carolina. The Hamricks wanted to raise dairy cows, and they also noticed that yogurt was a dairy product missing from local food outlets in their area, so they began looking into the possibility of creating a farmstead yogurt business. They haven’t looked back!
Rainer and Gigi Krumsiek emigrated from Germany to British Columbia in 1993. Two years later, they purchased Big Bear Ranch—2,300 acres of mixed pasture and woodland in the foothills of the Cariboo Mountains and the perfect place to fulfill their dream of living from the land. The family went to work making the property a functioning farm and home.
Vanessa Riva and Laura Smith raise Certified Grassfed by AWA sheep, Certified Grassfed by AWA beef cattle and Certified AWA pigs at Stark Hollow Farm in Caledonia County, Vermont.