Animal Welfare Approved

Author Archives for Animal Welfare Approved

Madrone Coast Farm – Felton, CA

By Animal Welfare Approved | October 16, 2014

After 22 years working in the high-tech industry in California’s Silicon Valley, Alison Charter-Smith wanted to do something truly worthwhile. She had already bought 97 acres of land near the mountain town of Felton, about six miles north of Santa Cruz, California, with her husband, Tony Jaehnichen. In 2010, she quit her job and began farming full time, establishing a flock of pasture-raised laying hens, which she housed in the big chicken coop that already existed on the property. In 2011, Tony sold his business and joined Alison on the farm. Alison and Tony named the farm Madrone Coast Farm, after the madrone trees that populate much of their land, along with redwoods, oak and maples. Their goal was to contribute to their community by producing great food.

Cherry Grove Farm – Princeton, NJ

By Animal Welfare Approved | October 1, 2014

In 1987, the three Hamill brothers inherited almost 500 acres of undeveloped farm land in the Lawrenceville/Princeton area of New Jersey. Their ancestors had been farming here since before the Revolutionary War, and this particular parcel had been in the family since 1902. Conservation and locally-grown food are passions of the Hamill family, so the brothers planned to regenerate their land by embracing organic farming methods and using traditional pastoral techniques as a guide such as rotational grazing and multi-flock grazing.

Prairie Haven Farm – Colorado Springs, CO

By Animal Welfare Approved | September 30, 2014

In 2004, Dawn and Don Shelstad decided they wanted to begin growing food for their community. In the time it took them to find a suitable piece of land, they began researching sustainable farming methods and learning from more knowledgeable friends. They eventually established Prairie Haven Farm on a windy, arid piece of land in the high desert prairie, east of Colorado Springs. The Shelstads started with a small number of chickens, adapting the most holistic methods for animal husbandry practices they had learned. Today, the farm is home to 50 Certified AWA laying hens and nine Certified AWA dairy cattle, and Dawn and Don hope that their successes at a small scale will encourage others to start small, too.

Coombs Farm – Fremont, NH

By Animal Welfare Approved | September 24, 2014

Phil Coombs raises Certified AWA pigs and sheep at Coombs Farm, LLC, in Fremont, New Hampshire. Phil’s grandparents ran a hatchery until the 80s and, when growing up, he often worked on his uncle’s farm, hoping to one day have a farm of his own. After meeting his wife, Karen, in the army they decided to pursue their dream of owning a farm when they returned.

Ruggles Hill Creamery – Hardwick, MA

By Animal Welfare Approved | September 12, 2014

Tricia Smith raises Certified AWA Oberhasli and Saanen dairy goats at Ruggles Hill Creamery in the bucolic central Massachusetts town of Hardwick. Although Tricia has been raising goats since 2001, she moved to the picturesque 38-acre farm in 2010. The farmhouse on the property dates from 1760 and sits along a quiet lane with hayfields to the west and barns and pastures to the south and east.

Windshadow Farm & Dairy—Bangor, MI

By Animal Welfare Approved | September 8, 2014

Ron and Suzanne Klein raise AWA-certified dairy goats on pasture at Windshadow Farm & Dairy in Bangor, Michigan. The picturesque 45-acre farm is surrounded by four organic farms to the south and west, and is home to around 150 AWA-certified dairy goats.

Cranberry Creek Farm – Cresco, PA

By Animal Welfare Approved | September 5, 2014

Jeffrey and Mary-Jean Henry raise AWA-certified dairy goats at Cranberry Creek Farm near Cresco in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Their herd is made up of American Alpine dairy goats, a versatile breed which is known for its high milk production and ability to thrive in a variety of climates.

One Acre Farm – Bolton, MA

By Animal Welfare Approved | August 22, 2014

Janet Pesaturo raises Animal Welfare Approved laying hens at One Acre Farm in Bolton, Massachusetts. The small farm sits on one acre of cleared land, just as the name suggests. In addition to being the home for her small flock of laying hens, Janet also grows a variety of fruit, berry, and nut-producing trees, shrubs, and vines, and tends to large vegetable and perennial flower gardens. The chickens range throughout a fenced area where apple trees, blueberry bushes, and hazelnut bushes provide shade and cover. Compost bins are also placed in the chicken yard, under the shade of the apple trees, providing additional fun and forage for the birds.

North Fork Farm — Nicholasville, KY

By Animal Welfare Approved |

Richard Peddicord raises Certified AWA laying hens at North Fork Farm in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Orginially from Iowa, Peddicord spent many days on his cousins’ farms—something that instilled in him a lifelong interest in farming. Wanting to provide fresh eggs for his family, Richard started raising laying hens three years ago on North Fork Farm’s 22 acres. Since then, local interest in his pasture-raised eggs has increased so much that he is barely able to meet demand.

Ferme au bonheur des prés – Quebec, Canada

By Animal Welfare Approved |

Michael Smith has worked in many types of agricultural production, including raising pigs, poultry, dairy goats and beef cattle, as well as greenhouse growing, grain crops and honey. In 2001, he was able to purchase his own farm and has been farming full-time since 2005.