Does local = sustainable?

Plus the latest updates from AGW
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Photo Credit: Outlaw Valley Ranch in Templeton, California
Dear Rebecca,

We’ve been thinking about everyone impacted by drought and fires right now. Please let us know if you have any questions or issues that we can help address. For many, the worst drought in decades coincided with World Environment Day, a reminder of how important the sustainable farming practices you put into action on your farms, ranches and businesses are for ecosystems around the world. Whether you’re certified with AGW or not, we hope the information below is of help to your farm and business. Let us know what else you want to hear from us, and we hope you are having a good start to the summer season.

Featured Blog Post: Is Local Always Best?
Everyone’s local to somewhere, but what does the word actually mean? The term ‘local’ offers no information about farming practices—and may not necessarily help shoppers make truly informed decisions. Our newest blog post for consumers is a great resource to help your customers appreciate the importance of how you farm, no matter where you farm. Look for a similar article for farmers to appear in the summer edition of Sustainable Farming Magazine.

CFAP 2 Video Series put together a video series that provides a step-by-step look at form AD-3117, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) application. In the series, Farm Service Agency staff members talk through each section of the form. Watch the videos.

From Application to Certification
Thinking about getting certified? As an AGW-certified farm or business, you’re ideally placed to meet the growing demand for high-welfare, sustainable, locally produced food. Research from The Hartman Group shows that Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW has the highest impact on consumer purchasing of any food label. According to market-research firm Nielsen, recent sales of grassfed beef rose nearly 40%, over six times the rate of conventional beef, and Technavio reports that the market for non-GMO products is surging 17% annually and is expected to reach 1.1 billion USD by 2023. Be sure to get in touch with your regional coordinator and check out our online step-by-step guide to the certification process. We look forward to working with you.

Featured Resource: A Breath of Fresh Air
Our report, A Breath of Fresh Airconfirms that the most sustainable livestock production comes from pasture. The only accurate way to compare different methods of livestock production is to look at everything that goes into that production system—including the growing and fertilizing of feed crops. Although pasture-raised cattle might have a slower growth rate and produce more methane per pound of meat, this is more than offset by the overall benefits of the entire pasture-based production system.

Featured Resource: Technical Advice Fact Sheet 11- Horns and Thermoregulation
This technical paper explores the science on the role of cattle horns and horn structure, and whether horns are involved in cattle temperature regulation.

Updates From Your Peers
Please catch the latest press mentions about AGW-certified producers and the program below. This week,

  • Bison du Nord in Ontario, Canada, producer of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW bison was featured in the early summer issue of LCBO Food + Drink Magazine.
  • The Lands at Hillside Farm in Shavertown, PA was featured in Lancaster Farming. The story covers their agreement with Timshel Wildland in VA, to accept donated AGW-certified dairy calves from the farm that will be used to restore grasslands by grazing Mid-Atlantic farms.
  • tells the story of Maple Hill Farm in Ladysmith, WI, where the Michielson family raises Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW laying hens and pigs—offering AGW-certified products to their community.
  • Capital Press covers the Astoria Food Hub in Astoria, OR—a local food hub for the region’s farmers, ranchers and fisheries. The article features AGW-certified farmers Jared Gardner and Hilary Foote, who raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pigs and Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle at Nehalem River Ranch in Nehalem, OR.
Wishing you well this week,
Emily Moose
Executive Director
Need help navigating with everything up in the air? Don’t forget our COVID-19 Farmer Resources,
and let us know what you need.
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