Hello Farm Friends and Happy June!
We are super happy to report that we passed our annual Animal Welfare Approved by a Greener World Farm Audit in May. Why does this certification mean so much to us? This certification represents how we feel farm animals should be treated in this country. We would not farm any other way than what is reflected in the Animal Welfare Approved (AGW) standards even if were not certified! Our farm has been certified by AGW since 2016. It took some time to build the infrastructure and fencing to support these standards but we feel that there is nothing more important. The health and well being of each and every animal on our farm comes first. The following information is cut and pasted from the AGW website. Please continue reading if you would like to learn more about these awesome standards. You can begin to see how farming this way creates more nutritionally dense healthy food for you and your family. As an added bonus, these farming practices create healthy soil, less erosion and prevents agriculture runoff when animals are allowed to graze and not be confined to large buildings with no access to the outdoors.
A Greener World (AGW) has the most rigorous standards for farm animal welfare and environmental sustainability across the globe. Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW standards have been developed in collaboration with scientists, veterinarians, researchers and farmers across the globe to maximize practicable, high-welfare farm management with the environment in mind.
Covering all major farmed livestock and poultry, AGW standards are proven to be achievable in the vast majority of farm situations, and AGW updates them regularly to incorporate new research or to reflect “best practice.” The basic premise of all AGW standards is that animals must be able to behave naturally and be in a state of physical and psychological well-being, and that the way we raise our animals, the nutritional quality of the food they produce, and the impact of the farming system on the environment are all intrinsically linked.
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW:
- Requires animals to be raised on pasture or range
- Awards approval only to independent farmers
- Incorporates the most comprehensive standards for high welfare farming
To accomplish the goals of the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW program, all standards address every aspect of each species’ lifecycle needs from birth to death. AGW works diligently to maintain a farm’s ability to be economically viable and the standards have been proven to be achievable by the vast majority of farm situations. AGW standards are reviewed annually and updated as needed to incorporate new research and on-farm findings.
Various certification and labeling programs have been developed in response to the growing trend of consumers looking for better quality meat, eggs and dairy products from animals treated with high welfare. Some USDA approved food labels and marketing claims use loose, subjective terms such as “free range” or “naturally raised,” which are misleading to consumers and do not require farm compliance verification or program validity.
Click here to read specifically about the AGW goat standards:
Thanks so much for reading and supporting AGW farms! Together we can be the change that our food system needs!
Gretta and Eric