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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.
Situated about six miles north-west of Galt, California, Kingbird Farms is a 5-acre mixed farm, set within the 46,000-acre Cosumnes River Preserve. The Preserve is an important wildlife habitat and is home to numerous migratory birds, such as the Western Kingbird—a grey and yellow songbird that is abundant on the property from April to September, and from which the farm takes its name.
Martha Jones grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, but always wanted to live on a farm. In 2008, she and her husband, Lloyd, bought 38 acres of high desert in Byers, Colorado, where they could start the farm she’d always dreamed of.
Ben Lyons raises laying hens on pasture at Lockewood Acres, a 10-acre family farm in Vacaville, California. Ben and his wife, Denise, moved to the property from southern California for Denise’s work in April 2010. Inspired by a 1954 worm composting publication that highlighted a farm called Serenity Acres, they began to develop their own self-sustaining family farm that would be not only economically viable, but would act as a one-stop shop for local customers who can come to their farm for fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat and milk before going to the grocery store.
By Andrew Gunther
| January 24, 2014
Pie Ranch is a model center for sustainable farming and food system education, sitting on a 14-acre triangular plot of land on California’s San Mateo coast. Nancy Vail, Jered Lawson, and Karen Heisler purchased the property in 2002 and, inspired by the shape of the plot and their belief that pie (with all its ingredients and associations) is a great means for understanding how food gets from the land to our tables, the partners gave the farm its distinctly fitting name.
Belinda and David Gutierrez manage Local Yolk, a pasture-raised laying hen operation, at Pilot Creek Ranch, a 970-acre property in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Belinda and David returned to the ranch, which has been in David’s family since the late 1800s, in 2006 and began raising laying hens on the family’s property in 2013. They raise 500 AWA-certified Black Austrolorp ,Ameraucana, and Rhode Island Red laying hens outdoors on pasture.
Rob White raises purebred Angus and Black Baldy (Hereford cross Angus) beef cattle in the Sierra foothills outside of Merced, California, where he has been breeding cattle for almost 20 years. The cattle at Sierra View Farms are never administered artificial hormones or routine subtherapeutic antibiotics, and eat a grain-free, 100% grass and forage diet.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| December 12, 2013
What began in 1984 as an endeavor to provide milk for their own family has grown into a thriving dairy goat operation for Will and Deb Dillon of Salal Ridge Dairy Goat Farm. As the saying goes, they couldn’t have done it without a little help from friends and a little life experience living and working on a dairy farm to learn the ropes of animal husbandry.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| November 26, 2013
Teresa and John M. Penhall both have a long history with farming and their four children are fourth generation farmers in the Klamath Basin, Oregon. Teresa’s grandfather, Joseph Meeker, and his wife, Dorothy, established Meeker Dairy in the early 1900s, which has been producing milk, turkeys, hay, potatoes, grain and beef for over 100 years. John’s family raised hay and beef in Eagle Point, about 70 miles west of Klamath Falls where the family farms today. While both John and Teresa have been involved in agriculture their entire lives, their interest turned toward sustainable production methods in 1999. Now the 55-acre Penhall Farm—known as Food 4 Life—is home to a herd of sustainably managed Animal Welfare Approved Angus beef cattle and laying hens.