By Animal Welfare Approved
| November 21, 2014
Whereas Jeanette Sirianni grew up on a 240-acre ranch south of Cheney, Washington, and began raising sheep and goats when she was just 14, Warren, her husband, was, in Jeanette’s words, “a city-boy.” It took some convincing after they met one another to bring him out to Elk in 2010 where the couple established Sirianni Farms. The 65-acre farm, just 20 miles west of the Idaho border, is now home to Certified AWA meat goats, sheep, and laying hens.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| September 8, 2014
Ron and Suzanne Klein raise AWA-certified dairy goats on pasture at Windshadow Farm & Dairy in Bangor, Michigan. The picturesque 45-acre farm is surrounded by four organic farms to the south and west, and is home to around 150 AWA-certified dairy goats.
Two years ago, Mark and Dana Nicholson moved to Tobaccoville, North Carolina, after living among nomadic herdsmen on the Tibetan Plateau for over a decade. Their time in Tibet gave Mark and Dana the opportunity to experience a relational, deliberate, and slower-paced lifestyle that was very much connected to the land. Upon returning to North Carolina, Mark and Dana established NOMAD Farms to recreate a similar lifestyle—one that celebrates a connection to land, family, and friends.
Eloy and Anita Roybal raise AWA-certified laying hens and beef cattle at E&A Ranch & Garden in Mora, New Mexico. E&A Ranch & Garden is a member of Los de Mora Local Growers’ Cooperative, Inc., a producer-owned cooperative made up of 35 family farms and ranches in the area. Selling through a cooperative can offer many advantages. For example, by aggregating and coordinating supply, the individual family farm members can secure larger market opportunities that would be impossible to achieve on their own, while cooperatives offer consumers the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally-produced food at a fair price.
Barbara and Stephen Adams raise AWA-certified dairy goats on pasture at MeadowWild Farm in Barnum, Minnesota. The Adams live on 32 acres of hilly, sandy land with a mix of dry land and wetlands.
Growing up in southern California, Jean Andersen never set foot on a farm—even as the child of farmers. Jean’s father, an aerospace engineer, was raised on a dairy farm in Missouri and instilled a love for farming in Jean so strong that when Jean and her husband moved to North Carolina in 1995, Jean’s mother said, “You know, I always knew you’d end up on a farm one day.” That farm is Meadowview Farm—16 acres nestled in the hills of Stanly County.
Although Bill and Deb Robinson were both city-raised, Bills exposure to livestock as young child planted seeds for their dream to own a small farm and raise animals. In 2004, their decision to purchase some land finally gave them the opportunity to raise cattle on pasture as they had always envisioned. When a friend suggested they should look into AWA certification for their cattle herd, Bill and Deb quickly recognized that AWA standards aligned with their own objectives for the farm. “Our goal is to provide a good environment and have our cows well fed, well treated, healthy and calm,” says Bill. “Our potential clients recognize that we do what we say we do by having AWA certification.”
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.
By Andrew Gunther
| December 27, 2013
As the year comes to an end it’s become a tradition of mine to write a note of gratitude to Big Ag for the many “gifts” they’ve given us all throughout the year. Gifts that we didn’t really want, need or — in some cases — didn’t even know about. Here’s my top 10 for 2013. It’s just a shame they didn’t include a gift receipt…