This is a lovely video of a beautiful farm near Junction City, Oregon. Deck Family Farm raises AWA* certified pasture raised beef, pork, laying hens and raw milk. Owner Christine Deck describes their multi-species grazing operation, and how their Animal Welfare Approved certification has benefitted their bottom line.
*AWA stands for Animal Welfare Approved. As noted in an earlier On Pasture article, one of the things that consumers like about the idea of pasture raised products is that animals are cared for humanely. The Animal Welfare Approved certification was created in 2006 in response to this growing demand.
To carry the AWA logo on their products, farmers meet standards developed in collaboration with scientists, veterinarians, researchers, and farmers across the globe that maximize practicable, high-welfare farm management. These standards require that every AWA-certified farm provides their animals with continual access to pasture or range, and the opportunity to perform natural and instinctive behaviors essential to their health and well-being. AWA is one of only two labels in the U.S. that require audited, high-welfare slaughter practices, and is the only label that requires pasture access for all animals.
While that may sound a bit daunting initially, it’s clear from what participating farmers say about the audit process that AWA certifiers focus on helping farmers meet standards while still managing their businesses profitably.