Animal Welfare Approved

Author Archives for Animal Welfare Approved

Work Horse Organic Agriculture (WHOA Farm) – Santa Rosa, CA

By Animal Welfare Approved | March 16, 2015

Work Horse Organic Agriculture (WHOA) was established on 16 acres in Santa Rosa, California, in 2011 by Eddie Gelsman and his wife, Wendy Mardigian. From the very outset, the non-profit’s focus was to produce “the best food money can’t buy”—providing sustainably grown food at no cost to thousands of families who are living in poverty in the community. Balyn and Elli Rose, who had both studied agroecology at UC Santa Cruz, and had been farming in Sonoma County since 2008, joined WHOA in 2012 to manage the farm.

Auntie Annie’s Fields—Dundas, MN

By Animal Welfare Approved |

Elizabeth O’Sullivan and Ian Rhoades raise Certified AWA laying hens on pasture at Auntie Annie’s Fields in Dundas, Minnesota. Growing up, Elizabeth’s father always kept a small flock of laying hens, and she and Ian went on to work on vegetable farms and a dairy farm before settling down in Minneapolis.

Double Creek Farm – Clayton, IL

By Animal Welfare Approved | March 13, 2015

Greg Kestner of Double Creek Farm has been raising cattle on his family’s land in Clayton, IL, about 25 miles east of Quincy, since 1976. While the farm has undergone many changes since then, his animals have always been pasture-raised outdoors with a focus on making sure to keep them happy and healthy. His Animal Welfare Approved herd now consists of around 100 White Park cows. Greg sought AWA certification in 2010 and was happy to learn that the AWA standards were well in-line with his own goal as a farmer to always act in the best interest of his animals.

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!

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