Gerry and Janelle Shudde raise Animal Welfare Approved Longhorn cattle and Devon bull-mixed cattle on their farm, Shudde Ranch in Sabinal, Texas. Shudde Ranch has been owned and operated by a long line of Shuddes since 1897. Gerry’s grandparents started as beekeepers, planting oats, grains, and vegetables, and surviving off what game they could hunt on the land. Gerry’s father, Emil, converted the farm into a cattle-raising endeavor by digging a stock tank, and the Shudde’s never looked back.
McCollum-Lemke Ranches is a fourth generation, family-owned farming and ranching business that has been in continuous operation for over one hundred years. The family produces all-natural, forage finished cattle, sheep and goats in Mason and Menard counties in Texas. Animals are raised humanely and in sync with the way nature raises animals in the wild. This allows the operation to stay away from chemical inputs and utilize the natural forage base.
Kelly and Wesley Adams are a husband-and-wife team who run their grassfed beef operation out of Ladonia, Texas. They are members of the Grassfed Livestock Alliance, a cooperative formed to provide a fair sustainable market for family owned and operated farms and ranches that put their care, labor and reputation into the quality of the beef they raise. Kelly and Wesley sold their conventional herd in 1994 to begin a pasture-based system. They are happy now to operate without the use of confinement, synthetic pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers. They explain, “We believe healthy soil is the basis of animal and plant health, and ultimately, human health. All animals in our grazing program are raised on grass from birth.” Kelly and Wesley chose to change the way they did business for their animals’ welfare and for the nutritional and health benefits of pasture-raised beef.
Border Springs Farm is owned and run by Craig Rogers in Patrick Springs, Virginia, with the help of his wife Joan. The two began their sheep farm to train border collies, starting only with a small herd of six Kathadin and Texel sheep. However, today that number has grown to five hundred. Craig always dreamed he would run a farm so the growth of his sheep enterprise seems natural, and he still shows the same enthusiasm as he did when it was all still a hobby.
Farmer Max Turner raises Animal Welfare Approved hogs for the North Carolina Natural Hog Growers Association on his farm in Albertson, North Carolina.
The MJ Ranch, owned by Mel and Joyce Williams since 1994, is 520 acres of beautiful rolling hills just north of Lawrence, Kansas. Angus cattle, bred for tenderness and marbling, have been born and raised here since 1995 when Mel “retired”. Mel purchased a small herd of cows from the family farm, the same place he was raised. Joyce had also helped on his parents’ family farm since their marriage in 1960. The MJ Ranch now consists of approximately 160 cattle most of the year, which includes the cows, bulls, and calves, in different stages of growth.
Diaz Murray is no stranger to cattle ranching: he was born on a ranch in 1962. His current herd started in Montana in 1974, until he moved in 1998 to Texas where he currently works with his wife Laura. It was Laura who encouraged Diaz to join the Grassfed Livestock Alliance in Texas in order to sell wholesale with like-minded farmers.
Animal Welfare Approved program director Andrew Gunther gives pointers for farmers and consumers regarding Swine Influenza.