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Brothers on Farms is a family operation named after brothers Andrei and Dmitry Ward, who came to the U.S. at the age of 2 and 3 from Moscow, Russia. Their mother, Susan Ward, was dedicated to raising her sons in a farming environment with good food and surrounded by animals. At the ages of 11 and 12, the boys decided they wanted to give back to the farm, initially cultivating oyster and shiitake mushrooms for sale at local markets. The family has now expanded into producing AWA lamb, and is planning to expand this operation even further.
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.
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.
Lindsey Cobb and Rachel Lilly raise AWA dairy cattle, dairy goats, and laying hens at In Theory Farm in Angier, North Carolina. Their 10-acre farm is rich with history and the house was built in 1890. However, the property was in such a rough state when they purchased it in 2010 that, “We found ourselves constantly pondering if one thing or another would work out the way we planned,” explains Rachel. “Our answer was always ‘in theory, it will.’” And thus the farm earned its name. As Rachel and Lindsey continue to add new aspects to the farm and face new challenges, they feel the farm name is as applicable now as it was when they first began.
In 1985, Jan and Rinske de Jong came to America (“the land of opportunity”) from Holland, with a dream to establish their own dairy. With the $5,000 they had saved in Holland, Jan and Rinske started working as relief milkers on several farms in Florida, before renting land and slowly building up their own herd.
Spruill Brothers Pastured Meats started as a way to help two brothers form a strong bond early in life through hard work, a love for animals, and an appreciation of the natural environment around them. Taylor Spruill’s sons—Brooks and Charlie—help to raise AWA pigs, sheep, and beef cattle on the family’s Jacocks Landing farm, situated between Windsor and Merry Hill, North Carolina. Previously used for peanuts and tobacco, the property consists of just over 400 acres of pasture and hardwood forest along the Cashie River in Bertie County.
Whispering Winds Farm is a diversified family farm in the North Carolina Piedmont. Tom and Debbie White raise Animal Welfare Approved laying hens and goats as part of a holistic farm management plan. The Whites purchased their land in increments and now have almost 30 acres, with a good mix of pasture, open land, forestry, commercial water gardens, and beautiful views of the shores of Lake Norman. Wooded areas remain natural with native plants and abundant wildlife.