Animal Welfare Approved

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Beartrack Farm – Turkey, NC

By Animal Welfare Approved | February 13, 2015

Sharon Funderburk was born and raised on a dairy farm in Union County, North Carolina. She grew up helping her grandfather milk cows, plant fields, and harvest produce. “By the time I went to college,” Sharon says, “I wanted to study something completely apart from agriculture.” After studying cultural anthropology, Sharon took some time off to work on a farm before pursuing a Master of Science in horticulture at North Carolina State University. Sharon then worked for 15 years as a consultant, offering agronomic services to farmers before the opportunity arose for her to work in corporate organics management. In 2010, feeling the pull to return to her roots on the farm, Sharon purchased 50 acres of woodlands and pasture in Turkey, NC, which would become Beartrack Farm. Sharon has been farming full time at Beartrack Farm since June 2013, and raises Certified AWA beef cattle, sheep, laying hens, and pigs. She has added a greenhouse, barn, grain bins, and a home for her to live in, all the while paying special attention to developing habitats and systems that promote the health and well-being of the animals—both farmed and wild.

Jacar Produce – Clayton, NC

By Animal Welfare Approved | January 23, 2015

In 2009, after his construction job came to an end, James Taylor decided to make use of his grandfather’s former horse farm to become a first-generation organic produce farmer, and established Jacar Produce, a 150-acre farm located in Clayton, North Carolina.

Los Vallecitos Grass Fed Meats – Mora, NM

By Animal Welfare Approved | January 16, 2015

Los Vallecitos Grass Fed Meats sits at almost 9,000 feet elevation, with beautiful views of the Mora Valley. The farm is comprised of 600 acres, 300 of which have belonged to Richard Fresquez’s family since the time of Spanish land grants that were established in New Mexico during the 17th Century. Today, he and his partner, Carla Gomez, who purchased an adjoining 300-acre property, raise Certified AWA meat sheep, meat goats, beef cattle, and laying hens on the land where his ancestors raised food long before them.

Southpaw Farm – Lincolnton, NC

By Animal Welfare Approved | January 14, 2015

Scott and Madyson Millard raise Certified AWA laying hens on pasture at Southpaw Farm in Lincolnton, North Carolina. Because the laying hens at Southpaw Farm are managed in pasture-based systems, they have constant access to pasture or range, they have plenty of room to perform natural behaviors like running, foraging, pecking, dust bathing, and scratching for grubs and seeds under the North Carolina sunshine. Not only is pasture management far better for animal welfare but it is also less likely to cause environmental degradation. It also results in tasty and nutritious eggs with more beta carotene and higher levels of beneficial conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids than conventional eggs!

The Grange – Siler City, NC

By Animal Welfare Approved | January 7, 2015

Bart Kepley’s great grandfathers were both tobacco farmers in North Carolina. But while there was a family history of farming in past generations, Bart grew up in Florida without farming experience. Soon after he and his wife, Kristyl, had their first child, however, they started to take a closer look at the food their family ate. This was the start of their journey back to farming.

Willow Grove Farm – Hanna, AB

By Animal Welfare Approved | December 17, 2014

Jocelyn Biggs is the third generation of her family to live and work on the land in southeastern Alberta where her grandfather began farming in 1956. As the oldest of four girls who were homeschooled on the family ranch, Jocelyn took on many farm business responsibilities in her teenage years, and still works and lives on TK Ranch, her family’s 10,000-acre ranch, where she is responsible for managing inventory, customer relations, and weekly deliveries.

Princeville Ranch – Hanalei, HI

By Animal Welfare Approved | December 11, 2014

Karin Carswell Guest’s great great uncle, Albert Wilcox, began managing 2,500-acre Princeville Ranch on the north shore of Kauai in 1895. Although the property changed hands several times after that, Karin’s family returned in 1978 when her parents, Donn and Gale Carswell, got permission from the ranch’s owners to lead visitors through the property on horseback riding adventures to destinations on the ranch.

West Mountain Farm — Winslow, AR

By Animal Welfare Approved |

Arianna and Eric Gaesswitz raise Certified AWA pigs and laying hens on pasture at West Mountain Farm in Winslow, Arkansas. West Mountain Farm utilizes pasture-based farming systems to ensure their animals have constant access to pasture or range throughout their lives. The herd of pigs and flock of laying hens have room to roam and demonstrate their instinctual behaviors. Research shows this type of management results in better animal health, environmental health, and human health—as well as tastier eggs and meat!

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