I hope you and those you love are safe and well—these are incredibly tough times. We are facing an ongoing pandemic, economic disruption and difficult, much-needed conversations about how we treat each other. Our hearts go out to all of the cities, towns and neighborhoods struggling for justice, peace, safety, and healthy, equitable communities. Against this backdrop people are also navigating returns to work, imagining what school might look like in the Fall and continuing to live life in a different way. Now is a time like no other; we all have questions, concerns and worries ahead of us. We know you do too. We hope this email pinpoints some ways that AGW is here to help you in our capacity as an organization supporting you and your farm, as we celebrate the importance of the work you do every single day.
We have seen some of your photos on social media, celebrating the graduates in your lives. We want to celebrate them too. Do you have a high school or college graduate in your household? If so, please send a photo to info or your regional coordinator along with their name so that we can congratulate them through social media.
Help Farmers Feed Hungry Families
Thanks again to everyone who has shared and supported our fundraiser to help farms donate to food banks around the country. Lucky Hook Farm in Washington is getting closer to their goal to help donate milk to feed families in need at the Second Harvest Food Bank, but they need your help! Can you share their giving page with your networks to help get the word out?
Open For Business
AGW suspended travel in March due to COVID-19. During the first months of the pandemic, we put all of our focus on assisting impacted producers. This support will continue going forward, as will all of our farmer services (explained below), but we are returning to the work of auditing and certifying your businesses, making sure that we are carefully navigating the ways that we will operate safely during a pandemic. If you have questions about auditing, please get in touch and we will be glad to assist. We have experienced an uptick from farmers currently interested in certification, and are glad to be able to help people out during this time by offering a discount for the Certified Non-GMO by AGW program. We’ll be reaching out this week with all the details, but please get in touch with your regional coordinator with any questions. In the meantime you can learn more about our family of trusted certifications, and if you want to consider the benefits of Certified Non-GMO by AGW, we encourage you to check out our blog post on the topic.
We are here to help you promote your certification, making sure that your customers learn more about why you are an industry leader in high-welfare, sustainable production. Don’t forget about the marketing support provided by AGW! Whether you’d like to incorporate the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW logo into your labels (learn more about labeling assistance), need AGW-branded promotional materials for point of sale, need to update your vendor listings or want to brainstorm ideas for getting your farm and products out there even further, we hope you’ll be in touch. The more we know about your farm and business, the more we are able to help! If you want a quick refresher on some ways to get the most mileage out of your certification, this guide called “Help Us Help You” is a great place to start.
- The AGW Marketplace—anyone and everyone seeking or selling AGW-certified products is encouraged to use it freely
- AGW’s Farm-to-Farm Sales page is here for AGW-certified producers to place advertisements for livestock, forage or feed or even to lease pasture for grazing. All you have to do is fill out this form to place an ad.
- Our COVID-19 Collected Resources for Farmers page—new resources added regularly
- AGW’s Online Shopping page—we get emails from people weekly asking for AGW-certified online shopping options, so make sure you’re listed!
- Our video check-ins with farmers, processors, and people working in the supply chain across the country share how folks have adapted to pandemic-related changes in their businesses.
- AGW’s technical support services and Farm Health Online are here to help with any technical questions or issues that you may have during this time.
From your Peers
The AGW program and AGW-certified producers continue to make the headlines. This article from The Keene Sentinel covers an area crowdfunding program to help raise funds for local businesses, including Archway Farm in NH, during the pandemic. This article from WUNC-FM radio covers a story about the reporting of COVID-19 cases in NC slaughter plants. This article from Farm and Dairy about the return of milk delivery mentions Apple Valley Creamery in PA. This article from Adirondack Almanack highlights the challenges with large milk supply chains and features Blue Pepper Farm and North Country Creamery—both in NY—as artisan dairy producers in the Adirondacks with products in a number of local outlets. This article from The News-Gazette highlights Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in IL and how they are providing AGW-certified goat cheese in the USDA’s Farmers to Families food box program. We will continue to share coverage, and we encourage you to be in touch with your regional coordinator for any news you would like for us to share about your farm or ranch.
If we can be of help to you in any specific way, we encourage you to let us know. We cannot thank you enough for the day-in-and-day-out work you put into taking care of your livestock, land, families and communities.
Wishing you, your families and communities health, safety and care for each other,