Don and Debbie Davis are the owners of Bandera Grassland, located in the hill country of south-central Texas, where they raise Texas Longhorn cattle. Texas Longhorns are America’s original breed, having evolved from the Spanish cattle brought to the New World by the explorers. The cattle were left to roam freely in the wilderness of Mexico and the southwestern portion of the United States for 400 years, unhindered by the hands of man. The folks at Bandera Grassland aim to preserve the majestic Texas Longhorns in their historically correct state for future generations.
Kevin and Cherie Schenker raise Animal Welfare Approved beef cattle on their family farm in McCune, Kansas. The Schenkers are committed to providing a stress-free and humane environment for their animals: their cows graze freely on several hundred acres of prairie and grassland, and in the winter are fed hay made from fresh, native grasses.
David Whitman raises Animal Welfare Approved hogs on David L. Whitman Farm in Kenansville, NC. David started farming when he was 14 years old. He now lives on and tends the farm where he grew up. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he says.
On Sunday, I attended the Just Food:CSA in NYC conference and I was impressed with the great turnout. The Meat and Egg Share workshops connected NYC CSAs with pasture-based farmers in the NYC region. The panelists and attendees discussed the logistics of getting the products from their farms to the various NYC CSAs – from the best refrigerated truck delivery service for the farmers to use down to how much product each CSA member could reasonably contain in their small NYC refrigerators. I had already been talking or emailing with many of the farmers at the conference and was so glad to be able to put faces to their voices and names. It was also great to put a face and voice to the blogging/emailing voice of Kerry Trueman from Eating Liberally. Thanks for stopping by the table Kerry.
Thanks also to everyone who signed up for our listserv. I’m so glad Just Food set up our table next to the wine tasting from Martha Clara Vineyard. It certainly made for a steady flow of attendees at the Animal Welfare Approved table. And to all of the farmers I met at the conference, I hope we’ll be in touch soon.
William and Andy Mize raise Animal Welfare Approved beef cattle on Mize Farm in Bunker Hill, IL. Mize Farm dates back to 1853 and has been in the Mize family for seven generations. William’s father raised dairy cows there before they switched over to their current herd of AWA Angus grassfed beef.
Dew Dance Farm is a small family farm focused on producing healthy and sustainable goods both for their own family and for their community. Located near the Deep River in Lee County, North Carolina, Dew Dance Farm works in a way that respects the long-term health of both the land and the animals.
Haines Farms, just north of Richmond, Missouri, consists of 15 partially wooded acres, lots of pasture, with a spring-fed well, stocked pond, and plenty of natural wildlife. Doug Haines raises laying hens here through his own labor, with two nanny goats for weed control. He took over the property in 1993, but it has been in the family since the 1970s.
Haines Farms started with just gardens and fruit trees, but then in 2004 the first hens arrived. Doug is proud to still have three of these original ladies, two of which are still laying. No animals are ever sold, given away, or butchered at Doug’s farm; they live a full life there producing healthy, fresh eggs.
Deneane and Mark Ashcraft have farming in their blood. Both are sixth-generation California farmers and both feel a deep connection to their land and their animals. North Valley’s goats are born and raised on the farm and Deneane, who is the goat keeper, puts their well-being first and foremost. “Our goats are so important to us and we want them to have as natural a life and as contented a life as possible,” she said. “And our goats are healthier, too. Their high standard of living means they live a longer, healthier life and produce longer.”