Rob Staples and his wife, Verde Shaffer, manage a herd of Certified AWA pigs at Hog Haven Farm, a 22-acre family farm located in Columbia, VA. The pastures, which have supported both cattle and sheep in the past, gently slope down from the edges to a 6-acre wooded section in the center, which surrounds a natural spring. These woods serve as a hub for the pasture-raised pigs, which are rotationally grazed on the surrounding pasture and range. In addition to the pigs, Hog Haven also manages a flock of Certified AWA laying hens, which are raised outdoors on pasture as well.
Lupo Farm is operated by Shasho Pole, and is situated near Fort Ann in beautiful upstate New York, close to the Vermont border. Lupo Farm raises Certified Grassfed by AWA beef cattle and Certified AWA pigs. Shasho explains the farm’s low-input, sustainable methods: “We use no artificial fertilizer in use on the farm – nothing but what is left behind by our animals.”
Like many Americans of her generation, Leslie Carter grew up in a farming family that had given up farming. Her grandparents had sold the family farm by the time she was old enough to be involved, but, as she remembers, “my values were all based on the agrarian lifestyle.” Leslie got her chance to put those values into practice when she and her husband, Jon, moved to their first farm in 1980.
Emanuel Hayden, along with his daughters, Bronte and Hywel, raises Certified AWA meat and dairy goats at Two Shovels Agroforestry Farm in McLeansville, North Carolina. Emanuel grew up farming, working with livestock and growing vegetables ever since he was a child. “At 10 years old, I was already managing a small flock of sheep and growing lettuce!” Emanuel laughs. He began farming part-time when he first moved to North Carolina in 2008 and transitioned to full-time farming in 2011, direct marketing his products through the farm’s CSA.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| November 23, 2015
Paul Tomcho and Krista Duval established Creekside Farm in Athens, Ohio, on property which had been abandoned for over 25 years, resulting in an overgrowth of brush in the pastures. The couple originally planned to use a small herd of goats to clear the brush and prepare the land for dairy cattle, but as time passed, they decided the landscape and terrain were a better fit for a fulltime herd of browsing, hillside-loving goats.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| November 19, 2015
Nathan Root and his family raise Certified Grassfed by AWA beef cattle at Root’s High Meadow Angus in Cattaraugus County, New York.
Sue Moore moved to Arkansas as a child in 1974 and joined the 4H program, which introduced her to farming and cattle. She has fond memories of showing cattle and winning blue ribbons at state and local fairs. Throughout her life, Sue has carried her interest and passion for animal husbandry with her: Today, Sue and her husband, Tom, raise Certified Grassfed by AWA beef cattle at M&M Farms in Rudy, Arkansas.
Jamie Ager raises Certified AWA pigs at Hickory Nut Gap Farm in Fairview, North Carolina. The 90-acre farm has been in the Ager family since 1916, when Jim and Elizabeth McClure, five generations removed from Jamie, went on their honeymoon, fell in love with the land and settled into farming at Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Jamie grew up on the farm, and after meeting his wife, Amy, at Warren Wilson College, the two combined their passion and skills to create a business plan for direct marketing pasture-raised products at Hickory Nut Gap Farm. They put the plan into action in 2000, and have been farming at Hickory Nut Gap Farm ever since.
Denise and Mo Sarfehjoo raise Certified AWA laying hens outdoors on pasture at Casa Verde Organic Farm in Cleveland, New Mexico, a small community in the Mora Valley in the northern part of the state. Denise and Mo moved to Cleveland from Northern Ohio in 2011 and fell in love with the land. In spite of its drastic difference from their home state, the couple has enjoyed learning how to grow vegetables in their new home, benefitting from the knowledge and support of fellow farmers in the Mora Valley. AWA certification verifies that the Sarfehjoos’ chickens are raised according to the highest welfare standards, outdoors on a family farm. Chickens are able to perform their natural behaviors, like flapping their wings, pecking and scratching for bugs and insects, and taking dust baths.
Todd and Suzanne Cole raises a flock of Certified AWA laying hens outdoors on pasture at 35-acre Swamp Fox Farm in Cleveland, New Mexico, a small community in the Mora Valley of northern New Mexico. Todd grew up on a homestead dairy farm in rural Connecticut, so producing his own food as an adult has come naturally–and taking good care of his animals was a logical extension: “It allows us to eat with a clean conscience,” Todd explains.