Animal Welfare Approved

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Ferme au bonheur des prés – Quebec, Canada

By Animal Welfare Approved | August 22, 2014

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.

Ferme et Forêt – Wakefield, QC

By Animal Welfare Approved | April 11, 2014

Sean Butler and Genevieve LeGal-Leblanc have been involved in farming for many years. Sean has worked on several small farms across Canada, while Genevieve ran her own urban-based organic vegetable CSA after studying agriculture and international development. But in 2012, the pair decided to purchase their 154-acre property, Ferme et Forêt (Farm and Forest), in the rolling hills near Wakefield, Quebec.

Full Nelsen Farms – Vegreville, AB

By Animal Welfare Approved |

Owen and Neila Nelsen raise beef cattle on 840-acres of improved pasture at Full Nelsen Farms in Vegreville, Alberta. The couple both grew up on farms in Alberta: Neila on a federal cattle research center in the southern part of the province, and Owen on a family farm in the north.

Triple H Beef – Dysart, Saskatchewan

By Animal Welfare Approved | January 17, 2014

Leonard Pigott was born and raised on a diversified farm. He went away to university and worked as livestock specialist with the government for many years, before beginning his own farm in 2002. Now he puts his knowledge as a trained educator in Holistic Management into practice on a 2,200-acre ranch in Dysart, Saskatchewan, that he calls Triple H Beef. Leonard explains that, “The ‘H’s’ refer to healthy bodies, holistic living, and healing the land,” and believes that these three objectives go hand-in-hand: “If the land isn’t healthy, we don’t have anything.”

Ruzicka Sunrise Farm—Killam, Alberta

By Animal Welfare Approved | December 6, 2013
A_Ruzicka Sunrise Farm

In 1909, Don Ruzicka’s great-grandparents moved to Alberta from Fairdale, North Dakota, and purchased the land that would evolve into Ruzicka Sunrise Farm. Don and his wife, Marie, moved to the farm in 1983, and farmed conventionally until 1995. But after taking a course in holistic management they began to manage the farm using holistic principles, working in harmony with nature. The farm was certified organic in 2000. Marie suggested AWA certification after they began receiving the AWA Newsletter four years ago. “Since we were already doing some of the things that are required by AWA, we decided to take the next step,” Don explains. In the end, it was the certification of their good friends Colleen and Dylan at TK Ranch that gave them the nudge they needed to join the AWA program. Today, all of their AWA-certified beef cattle are raised on pasture and forage and dually certified as Animal Welfare Approved Grassfed—the first food label in Canada which guarantees that food products marked as grassfed come from animals that are fed a 100% grass and forage diet and raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives. As Don puts it, “Rather than commodities, we now raise and grow ‘food.’”

La Ferme Saint-Vincent – Saint-Cuthbert, Quebec

By Animal Welfare Approved | January 23, 2013

Yves Saint-Vincent’s father wanted him to follow in his own footsteps and become a firefighter. But instead, Yves chose to follow in his grandfather’s footprints and began a conventional dairy and beef operation, in 1958. However, after many years of conventional production, Yves woke one day and said, “Enough!” He sold his herd and spent two years traveling the world with his wife, Diane, visiting farms in many countries and, as Yves says, “learning from intelligent farmers, raising animals differently.”

TK Ranch – Hanna, Alberta

By Animal Welfare Approved | October 24, 2012

For over 50 years, TK Ranch has been committed to taking care of the wild prairie and producing quality beef for Albertans. Situated about a three-hour drive southeast of Edmonton, 10,000-acre TK Ranch is located in the endangered northern fescue grasslands of east-central Alberta. Thomas Koehler Biggs established TK Ranch back in 1956; today, three generations live, work, and raise Animal Welfare Approved grassfed beef cattle on the ranch.

Glenrock Farms – Markdale, Ontario, Canada

By Animal Welfare Approved | March 27, 2012

Hans Osthaus immigrated to Canada with his wife and children in 1985 from Germany where they had raised dairy cattle. The couple again established a dairy and raised their four children in Markdale, Ontario, between Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. The region isn’t suited to growing produce, but the steep, hilly and rocky landscape of Grey County lends itself well to pasture-grazing livestock.

Pine Hill Farm – Hemmingford, Quebec

By Animal Welfare Approved | August 18, 2011

Anna-Maria Nicolov raises Animal Welfare Approved laying hens at Pine Hill Farm in Hemmingford, Quebec. Over the last ten years organic egg production has been one of Pine Hill’s main focuses along with learning to make their own hay, a satisfying and cost saving activity for the farm.