Andrew Harris, a farrier by trade, and his wife Dawn Harris had raised horses for over 40 years before they began raising goats for meat and dairy. The couple had previously worked on several cattle farms in Texas before they moved to upstate New York and purchased hilly land in the Finger Lakes region near Ithaca, initially to raise horses.
Ann & Patrick Dunning raise Animal Welfare Approved goat breeding stock and laying hens at Maple Manor Farms, outside of Carthage, NC. The goat herd consists of New Zealand Full Blood Kikos and some high percentage purebred Kikos. The Dunning’s chose this unusual breed because it requires little maintenance while on pasture and performs extremely well on the 20-acre pasture-based farm. “Originally from New Zealand, the Kiko goat is right at home in the humid climate of the eastern U.S.,” Ann explains. “It’s an extremely hardy breed and has a high feed conversion rate – in other words, it’s good at converting forage to marketable meat and requires little in the way of supplementary feed.”
Allen and Ann Wright raise Animal Welfare Approved pigs in southern Virginia. Allen and Ann were both raised with an appreciation and respect for farming; Allen worked on his uncle’s farm raising cattle and pigs, while Ann grew up working on her family’s farm. Today, their children are the sixth generation to live on the 180 acres of land that has been in Ann’s family since the 1870′s.
Over the years, the farm fell into disuse as family members began making their livings off the farm. When Allen and Ann were married in 2009, they set their sights on revitalizing the farm and its pasture, fresh water springs and woodland.
Carol Peters spent time in a foster home as a teenager and had the good fortune that it was a diverse farm with dairy cattle, as well as other livestock, gardens, orchards and hay fields. Although she strayed from farming as an adult, when she and her husband bought five acres in central Florida, she returned to those roots by establishing Slow Turtle Farm.
The Peters family started with just six goats, but soon fell in love with the animals and over time the herd has grown to more than 50 Nubian and Alpine goats, breeds that are known for their high-quality milk. Since buying the first six goats, Carol has learned everything she can about raising dairy goats with the highest standards of animal welfare, and now mentors and teaches other goat farmers and would-be goat owners on husbandry practices for dairy goats and herd improvements.
Portia McKnight and Flo Hawley have raised Jersey dairy cows in the Piedmont region of North Carolina for 11 years. Portia says the venture began because they wanted to make cheese, and needed a high quality milk to start with. “We had certain criteria for our milk, and wanted to be able to understand and control the milk quality,” she explains. After a year-long apprenticeship with another dairy farm, Portia and Flo started their own herd. Beginning with nine dairy cows, they now milk thirty. They also raise steers for beef and are looking for more land to expand their grazing. Portia says they chose the Jersey breed because it fits so well with the local climate: “Jerseys are a great fit for our area because they can take the cold, but they also do well in the summer heat. Their rich milk also makes great cheese.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 20, 2012) Will Witherspoon will speak at a congressional briefing on July 24 against the routine feeding of antibiotics to billions of farm animals. An estimated 80% of all antimicrobials used in this country are squandered for non-therapeutic purposes – to keep animals raised in overcrowded, stressful and unsanitary conditions from getting sick, and to artificially speed their growth. Witherspoon ultimately is aiming to urge members of Congress to pass the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA).
Will Witherspoon, recognized for his work as a linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, will be making his presence known as a high-welfare, sustainable cattle farmer on July 24 when he speaks at a congressional briefing about the routine use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics in intensive livestock production. Witherspoon ultimately is aiming to ensure that these vital medicines remain effective for future generations of people and animals.
Witherspoon will be speaking at the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) Meeting Room South, at a briefing sponsored by Rep. Louise Slaughter. Witherspoon will call on members of Congress to support the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), legislation sponsored by Rep. Slaughter and Senator Dianne Feinstein. Passing PAMTA will end the widespread use of antibiotics on healthy animals and curb the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Refraining from overuse of antibiotics would help to preserve the effectiveness of medically important antibiotics while allowing their use for treatment of sick animals.
Located in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, Seven Seeds Organic Farm has been a working family farm for seven generations. Formerly a dairy operation, farmers Greg and Lea Stroncek now raise Animal Welfare Approved and certified organic grassfed beef just off County Rd Z, with beautiful views of Blue Mound State Park. In addition to cattle, the Stronceks also produced pasture-raised pork and pastured chickens for both meat and eggs.
Bill Rogers raises Animal Welfare Approved laying hens at Puddingstone Organics, near Middleborough. The flock consists of breeds that are particularly suited to a life out on pasture, including Buff Orpington, Black Australorp, Rhode Island Red and a few Americauna chickens. All the chickens are hatched and raised on the farm, in keeping with Bill’s sustainable approach to farming.
Grilling on the 4th? Animal Welfare Approved offers a no-compromise solution for healthy, high-welfare, environmentally sound celebrations. Stay tuned for more mouth watering recipes from independent farmers around the country.
Gourmet Mushroom Onion Burger
Farm: Rain Crow Ranch – American GrassFed Beef
Product: hot dogs & burgers
Available at: Whole Foods Market, Shnucks Markets, Hy-Vee, Inc., Fair Shares (CSA)