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Sanford and Debbie Fishel raise Certified AWA pigs at Fishel Organic Farm in Grassy Creek, North Carolina. “I’ve been around farming all my life, and we have farmed on our own for 40 years,” says Sanford. “We currently manage a herd of about 25 Certified AWA pasture-raised hogs, as well as 30 acres of organic vegetables, 35 acres of pumpkins and 300 acres of Christmas trees.”
After a 20-year career as an engineer, working in corporate technology, Cindy Hamrick wanted a change for her family that reflected their long-time interest and concern for sustainable agriculture and food production. In 2011, Cindy and her three sons started farming and eventually built what became Carolina Farmhouse Dairy, a 15-acre family farm located in Bahama, North Carolina. The Hamricks wanted to raise dairy cows, and they also noticed that yogurt was a dairy product missing from local food outlets in their area, so they began looking into the possibility of creating a farmstead yogurt business. They haven’t looked back!
Jason and Christina Morris, along with their sons, Micah and Eli, raise Certified AWA goat breeding stock at Blessed Acres Farm in Crofton, southwest Kentucky. An old cattle farm, Blessed Acres Farm consists primarily of pasture, but also includes some wooded areas and meandering creeks. Christina, a science and social studies teacher, grew up on a small cattle farm; so when she and Jason, a firefighter and EMT, acquired 50 acres of land, they decided to start raising goats.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| February 19, 2016
For over 20 years, David Crafton worked in the commercial electrical field while farming part-time in Maryland, raising rabbits, chickens and cattle, and tending bountiful gardens. In 2012, however, David began farming full-time at Six Oaks Farm in Norway, South Carolina.
Sara, Chad and Evie Fraker raise Certified AWA laying ducks at Willow Creek Ducks in Waxhaw, North Carolina. Sara grew up in the city; her parents were certified Master Gardener parents and rented community garden plots where they raised most of the family’s vegetables. When Sara and her husband, Chad, moved to the country two years ago, they purchased 10 acres of woods backed by a winding creek and started gardening, added fruit trees for their family’s use. Before too long, they added a flock of Certified AWA laying ducks for eggs.
BJ and Amanda Callahan started their agricultural journey shortly after college while they were living in Denver, Colorado. As newlyweds, they became increasingly interested in food and cooking, and decided to start growing fresh ingredients in a small backyard garden. They added three chickens and were soon hooked on growing fresh food and raising animals.
In 2006, Christina Gordon began farming in the foothills of north Georgia with two goats to provide healthy milk and a small market garden for produce. Since then, the two goats grew into a small herd of 17, the farm became USDA Certified Organic, and Christina began the process of making goat milk soap, farm fresh cheese and teaching farming and outdoor education workshops with the help of many friends and family.
Rob Staples and his wife, Verde Shaffer, manage a herd of Certified AWA pigs at Hog Haven Farm, a 22-acre family farm located in Columbia, VA. The pastures, which have supported both cattle and sheep in the past, gently slope down from the edges to a 6-acre wooded section in the center, which surrounds a natural spring. These woods serve as a hub for the pasture-raised pigs, which are rotationally grazed on the surrounding pasture and range. In addition to the pigs, Hog Haven also manages a flock of Certified AWA laying hens, which are raised outdoors on pasture as well.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| December 17, 2015
Kevin Bass raises Certified AWA pigs at Piney Grove Farms in Nelson, Virginia—located in Mecklenburg County in the southern portion of the state. The pigs at Piney Grove Farms are raised outdoors on pasture or range, where they are free to root, forage and demonstrate natural behaviors. This high-welfare management is a fundamental component of AWA certification and is known to have environmental, nutritional, and culinary benefits.