Anita Moss and her husband, Jesse Drager, bought 10 acres of pine-covered high desert in Mora, New Mexico in 2004. She began raising a small number of chickens outdoors on pasture so she would no longer have to buy eggs produced by corporate farms. However, it wasn’t long before she was producing enough eggs for her family and several neighbors, too. Anita increased production further and began to supply pasture-raised eggs to the Los de Mora Local Growers’ Cooperative, Inc., a local producer-owned cooperative made up of 35 small family farms and ranches. In 2014, Anita sought AWA certification after the Cooperative made AWA certification a requirement for all its livestock producers.
The couple began sheep farming in 1984 with a foundation flock of Hampshire and Suffolk sheep. In 1997, they grew into a pure bred sheep operation with the purchase of the Stevens Farm, which has been a working farm since the mid-1700s. With its beautiful, sprawling fields and woodlands, the Websters are committed to keeping their 1,000-acre property a working part of the rural landscape, raising around 1,850 AWA-certified Suffolk and Hampshire sheep at any time. The sheep also graze at nearby 625-acre Collyer Brook Farm in New Gloucester, which is protected by Maine Farmland Trust and sits adjacent to the site of the first water powered woolen mill in the U.S., as well as other rented grazing.
Diane Hale raises AWA laying hens on pasture at 30/30 ranch in Florence, Texas. Researchshowsthat pasture-raised eggs contain three times as much vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene, and twice the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids as industrially produced eggs. AWA is the only label that requires pasture access for all animals and all AWA standards, policies and procedures are available on this website, making our program one of the most transparent and trustworthy certifications available
Apple Barn Farm sits at the heart of the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. When Lindsay and Brian Shea purchased the 250-acre property it had been abandoned for 50 years and the orchards were dead and the land needed extensive renovation work. The couple hired Marybeth Boruta as farm manager to help with the transformation of the farm, and they began to make changes. They cleared the orchards, planted 50 acres of hay fields, as well as peach trees and other fruits. Today, the Apple Barn is a popular wedding venue and the farm is home to a small flock of AWA-certified sheep who graze the abundant pastures and new orchards.
Nikolaus Horster first gained experience farming 15 years ago, milking goats and Jersey cows to make cheese and other dairy products for a dairy CSA. Today, Nikolaus raises Animal Welfare Approved beef cattle on his own 40-acre farm at Shire Beef in Vershire, Vermont.
Edward Taylor raises AWA laying hens on a diversified farm located between Mount Yonah and the Chattahoochee River in Georgia. Indian Ridge farmland rests on ground that has historical and cultural importance for the Cherokee nation, and each year the Taylors host a celebration of this land for the Cherokee community.
Charles and Barbara Kissling raise AWA beef cattle in the mountains of western North Carolina. Charles originally hails from New Jersey, with a background in the restaurant business, while Barbara comes from a more agricultural heritage. Realizing their skills were complementary, the couple began raising beef cattle on 160 acres on Carter Cove in 2001, and have been expanding and improving the herd ever since.
Ryland “Dutch” Meyr raises AWA cattle on pasture at Touchdown Ranch in Jackson, Missouri. Touchdown Ranch is one of several trusted ranchers who supply high-quality grassfed cattle to the American Grassfed Beef brand. For more information, see americangrassfedbeef.com.
Riverstone Organic Farm raises AWA sheep in the rolling hills of Virginia. Owners Woody and Jackie Crenshaw started the farm as a way to foster sustainable land stewardship, promote the local economy, and provide young farmers with learning opportunities. With the help of farm managers, Clem Swift and Kat Johnson, they currently have about 40 breeding ewes and 40 lambs each spring.
Whistlin’ Hollow Farm is nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, with picturesque high pastures, a creek, and fertile bottomlands. Owners Kate Mahanes and Jim Fleming raise AWA sheep that thrive on the grassy hillsides. They also maintain local fields for grazing and hay.