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Once upon a time, there was a young woman who dreamed of having a job where she could work outside in the sunshine and not be cooped up in an office, stuck in front of a computer screen. She longed to own her own business, where she would be her own boss. So, in 2013, Heather Stovall acquired 5 acres of farmland outside Vacaville, California, and established Once Upon a Farm. In addition to a diverse produce business, Heather now raises 90 Certified AWA laying hens, supplying delicious, pasture-raised eggs to her local community.
Shellee Machado raises Certified AWA laying hens at 7-acre Kanu Farms in Waimanalo on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. AWA certification verifies that Shellee is raising her chickens according to the highest welfare standards, outdoors on pasture. Scientific research shows that pasture-raised eggs contain three times as much vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene, and twice the amount of omega 3 fatty acids as industrial eggs. To learn more about Kanu Farms, contact Shellee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-259-3483.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| December 17, 2015
Jill and Eric Skokan did not begin their careers in agriculture. In 2006, the couple opened the Black Cat, a farm-to-table restaurant in Boulder, Colorado, and began producing food in their backyard inspired by the ingredients that Eric, a chef, loved to prepare. Each year, their garden expanded until it filled their backyard and overflowed into a shared neighborhood garden. Eventually, the Skokans were able to take advantage of open space just outside Boulder that Boulder City and County had preserved for public and agricultural use, becoming the first to establish a small market farm on the land. Today, Black Cat Farm comprises of 88 acres where they grow a diverse array of produce and herbs, as well as raising Certified AWA laying hens and meat sheep.
Like many Americans of her generation, Leslie Carter grew up in a farming family that had given up farming. Her grandparents had sold the family farm by the time she was old enough to be involved, but, as she remembers, “my values were all based on the agrarian lifestyle.” Leslie got her chance to put those values into practice when she and her husband, Jon, moved to their first farm in 1980.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| November 27, 2015
Although 20-year-old Cameron Gunther might be relatively young compared to others in his profession, as a third generation farmer, his farming roots go deep. He was born and raised on his family’s diversified, pasture-based livestock farm and was tasked with day-to-day management chores until his family moved off the farm when he was 11. In high school, however, Cameron joined Future Farmers of America and, at 19, he came back to farming, establishing 40-acre Home Farm Foods in Culver, Oregon.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| November 23, 2015
The A7 Ranche has a remarkable history: It was founded in 1886 by A.E. (Alfred Ernest) Cross, who picked the ‘A7’ brand to symbolize himself and his six siblings. Said to be the oldest ranch in Canada still in the hands of the original owners, the ranch is owned and operated by A.E.’s grandson, John Cross. John is renowned for his exemplary land stewardship of the 13,000 acres of open grassland in the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies that constitute A7 Ranche.
Fred Ings established Trail’s End Ranch near Nanton, Alberta, in the early 1900s. Over 100 years later, Fred’s great granddaughter, Rachel Herbert, and her husband, Tyler, are raising Certified Grassfed by AWA beef, very much like Fred did four generations ago.
| October 14, 2015
The Magruder family has stewarded the 2,400-acre Magruder Ranch in California’s Potter Valley, 130 miles north of San Francisco, since 1919. Mac Magruder, the fourth generation to live and work on the ranch, returned in the 1980s after attending art school. The ranch was producing pears intensively, but Mac wanted to produce something that he could interact with more, and wanted to do away with the pesticides and oil-burning smudge pots (used to prevent frost) that had defined the ranch’s production when he was a child.
| September 28, 2015
Eldon and Maggie Handrich established Prairie Monarch Bison Ranch outside of Laramie, Wyoming in 1992. They were inspired by the ecological and human health benefits of returning native grazers like bison to the prairie ecosystem. The core philosophy, when the ranch began raising bison was to produce the healthiest meat possible in a way that is friendly to the land, the bison and the ecosystem. Those values still hold true today. Eldon’s son, Dylan Handrich, took over ranch operations in 2006, retaining the same core philosophy: raising bison on pasture using high-welfare management techniques produces healthier, tastier and more sustainable meat.
Kelly and Abi Criswell started down the path to becoming pasture-based farmers because they wanted to eat fresh, nutrient-dense foods. After growing out of a small backyard garden, in 2010 they bought a five-acre farm in Penrose, Colorado, and began scaling up production. Judging that their pastures were best suited to cattle, they bought a dairy cow for milk and a flock of mixed breed laying hens for pastured eggs.