| December 30, 2010
Almost one and a half billion dollars changed hands at farmers’ markets across the United States during 2010. Yes, I was pretty surprised by that figure, too.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the number of farmers’ markets increased last year by 16 percent, up from 5,247 to 6,132 markets. Over three million Americans regularly buy food from the 60,000+ farmers who sell at these markets each year. This isn’t the result of some multi-million dollar corporate advertising campaign. The success of the farmers’ market is driven by the desires of people who believe that food is best when it’s fresh, grown locally, and bought directly from the farmer who grew or produced it. So, who are the unsung heroes who are making all this happen?
By Animal Welfare Approved
| December 29, 2010
Brett and Maria Jose Chedzoy and their children Ian, Clara and Joe raise 100% grassfed Animal Welfare Approved black Angus cattle at Angus Glen Farms in Watkins Glen, NY. The Chedzoy’s farm location is quite unique as the original Grand Prix course of the United States runs through the center of the farm.
Yellow Wolf farm is a small, diversified farm located in Harmony, in the NC foothills/Piedmont area. Farmer Stacey Martin sells naturally raised meats and eggs, goat milk soaps and lotions and breeding stock. Yellow Wolf Farm’s animals are raised humanely outdoors on pasture. The farm is dedicated to sustainable practices, using pasture rotation and compost to preserve its pastures and enrich the soil. No chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides are used on the farm. Yellow Wolf Farm raises organic produce, and Animal Welfare Approved heritage chickens, geese, sheep and goats. To learn more about the farm and its growing practices, please visit www.yellowwolffarm.com.
Erik and Doniga Markegard raise Animal Welfare Approved grassfed Belted Galloway and Black Angus cattle in Half Moon Bay, CA. Erik started his own cattle ranch in 1985, but his family has been farming for six generations! And as a sixth generation cattle rancher, having a family owned and operated farm is extremely important. Erik and Doniga strive to include their kids in the business and hope to pass the family business on to the next generation.
The Teagues raise a herd of roughly 100 Charolais and Simmental cattle in the foothills of North Carolina using pasture rotation, mob grazing and environmental conservation practices. Working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Teagues are careful stewards of the land and take great pride in their farm. It all began in 1867 when Ronnie’s great-great grandfather, Christopher Teague, purchased 80 acres and began farming. The farm was then passed down through the generations and run as a mixed livestock farm, a dairy farm, and a cow-calf operation. Ronnie and Pam are now the fifth generation of the Teagues to work the beautiful land located in historic Snow Camp, and are shifting the focus to raising natural, grassfed beef. While continuing to evolve they still maintain the traditions of the past, including making molasses – a skill learned from Ronnie’s grandfather, Marion.
| December 21, 2010
In a side-by-side comparison of farm animal welfare standards, Animal Welfare Approved is shown to be one of the best. A leading welfare organization, Humane Farm Animal Care, has just published a comparison of standards including USDA/Organic, American Humane Certified, Global Animal Partnership (GAP/Whole Foods Market) and others, and once again, AWA’s standards are the most rigorous requiring pasture access and grass-based production. The comparison chart shows key elements of standards such as outdoor access for animals, antibiotic use, transparency and managerial conflicts of interest. Across the board, AWA was ranked the best, as it has time and again.
By Animal Welfare Approved
| December 20, 2010
Pasture Prime Family Farm is a sustainable farm in Summerfield, Florida, raising 100% traceable, Animal Welfare Approved, Wagyu cattle that are raised and finished on a 100% grass diet. The farm also raises a unique breed of pigs, called Mangalitsas, which are prized for their high-lard content and deep flavor. Additionally, Pasture Prime has Berkshire pigs, free-range chickens, and heritage turkeys.
Arnold Potter raises Animal Welfare Approved beef cattle at Potter 8 Ranch in Loyalton, CA. Potter 8 Ranch began as a journey towards healthy living after the Potter’s health care practitioner recommended grassfed beef to them as an alternative to conventional feedlot products. Research has shown that grassfed beef is richer in protein, omega 3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acids and also higher in levels of fat soluble vitamins A, C, D, E and K than beef from cows raised on grain.
Farmer Alex Hall of Triple Hall Farm has been farming his whole life, raising hay, cows, guinea hens and horses on the homeplace which has been in his family for eight generations. Triple Hall Farm recently added pastured sheep to the operation, when Alex bought two sheep for his grandson. The farm now raises a flock of sheep that are cross-bred Katahdin and Dorper – breeds which are designed for meat production and ability to thrive on pasture. Hall says that the biggest challenge is the variable weather, specifically the recent drought. Since pasture management is so important to producing quality grassfed lamb, this is a major focus for the farm. Triple Hall Farm sells grassfed lamb through the East Fork Farm group as well as through other outlets.
Since 2007 Morgan and Rebekah Hartman have been running Black Queen Angus Farm in Berlin, NY with their children Gable, Graziella and George and their partners, good friend Pete VonSchilgen and Rebekah’s dad, Terry Lamphere. As their farm name would suggest, the Hartmans are raising 100% grassfed Black Angus cattle.