Animal Welfare Approved

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Blue Pepper Farm – Jay, NY

By Animal Welfare Approved | December 10, 2014

Shannon Eaton discovered her love for raising sheep as a farm apprentice in Royalton, Vermont, back in 2009. After moving to Jay, New York, Shannon introduced herself to Rhonda Butler at Asgaard Farm, a Certified AWA goat dairy, and over the course of four years, worked her way up to goatherd manager. She learned a lot about best management practices for raising happy and healthy ruminants,
Today, Shannon raises her own flock of sheep at Blue Pepper Farm in Jay, NY, with her husband, Tyler, an environmental science teacher at Northwood School in Lake Placid, and their two young sons, Wyatt and Shepherd. Tyler and Shannon bought their 46-acre farm in 2011. Their property lies on the edge of the Adirondack high peaks, where farmland meets the mountains. The small flock of Katahdin breeding ewes is frequently moved to new grass growth throughout the season, ensuring they have access to the most nutritious pasture and avoiding overgrazing, preventing the build-up of potential diseases and internal parasites, and maximizing the animals’ natural health and immunity. “We are extremely careful about how long the pasture rests before being grazed again to ensure that our sheep and our pastures stay healthy,” Shannon explains. “We also never feed grain to our sheep, which is a benefit to pasture-based management. Everything we need grows right in our fields, and then the animals help to put those nutrients right back into the fields.”

Lazy Lady Farm – Westfield, VT

By Animal Welfare Approved | December 8, 2014

Laini Fondiller, owner of Lazy Lady Farm in Westfield, Vermont, is anything but lazy. A self-proclaimed workaholic, Laini has been farming since she was 22 years old. After meeting a farmer in Indiana, she left her last year of college and changed her course to pursue farming as her career. “It was like an epiphany,” Laini says. “It changed my life and I knew I couldn’t do anything else after that.”

The Farm of Milk and Honey – Washington, VT

By Animal Welfare Approved | November 21, 2014

After several years of working a “regular” job, Ryan Hayes realized how much he missed the connection with the land, the seasons, and animals that he had as a child growing up on a family farm. So he and his wife, Susan, and son, Milo, made the move to expand their homestead to a small farm. They now lease a beautiful hill farm in central Vermont where they raise a herd of Certified AWA dairy cattle. Ryan is also an avid beekeeper, so the Farm of Milk and Honey was born!

Stone Spirit Farm – Benson, VT

By Animal Welfare Approved | October 24, 2014

Bud Stone raises Certified AWA beef cattle at Stone Spirit Farm in Benson, Vermont. The cattle roam 500 acres of species-rich pasture, eating grass and hay, and drinking clear mountain spring water directly from the farm’s own springs. The hardy cattle are managed outdoors on the well-maintained pasture and woodland year-round.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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