August is here, bringing the dog days of summer for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere. We hope you’re managing to stay cool during this long, hot season. During the recent National Farmers Market week, we celebrate all whose dedication and work makes farmers markets possible. From the volunteers to the market managers to the producers and vendors, thank you for making food available to more people in more communities. And of course there wouldn’t be a farmers market without farmers, so if no one’s said it lately, Thank YOU.
This week, we wanted to open with a call for support for an AGW-certified farm in Buchanan, Michigan. Finn’s Ranch experienced a devastating fire, and while no humans or animals were hurt —they’ve suffered an extraordinary loss. Please feel free to help us spread the word about their fundraiser and donate towards their efforts to rebuild.
Please read on for more updates from AGW.
Certified Regenerative by AGW
Our team is thrilled to announce the Certified Regenerative by AGW program is now open and accepting applications. This program is the first of its kind—a plan-based, whole-farm assurance of sustainability, measuring benefits for soil, water, air, biodiversity, infrastructure, animal welfare and social responsibility.
Over the last 18 months, AGW’s inaugural Certified Regenerative pilot cohort made up of a group of 50 farms across the globe, has worked in partnership with AGW evaluating farm standards, plans and auditing procedures for Certified Regenerative by AGW, which have been under development since 2017. Now that the pilot and public comment period has ended, AGW is opening the program to new farm applicants. A HUGE thanks goes out to all the pilot farms we’ve worked with to test drive the program over the last year—we are grateful to be sharing this journey with you!
Congratulations American Cheese Society (ACS) Award Winners!
Congratulations to Harmony Fields, Green Dirt Farm and Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, whose Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW cheeses brought home a combined 9 American Cheese Society awards this year!
- Harmony Fields in Bow, WA won 2nd place for Fleecemaker—Feta – made from Sheep, mixed, or other milks and 3rd place for La Bertha—Sheep’s Milk Cheese Aged 31 to 60 Days.
- Green Dirt Farm in Weston, MO won 3rd place for Feta—Feta – made from Sheep, mixed, or other milks, 2nd place for Fresh Plain—Fresh Rindless Sheep’s Milk Cheese Aged 0 to 30 Days, 1st place for Prairie Tomme—Sheep’s Milk Cheese Aged Over 60 Days, 3rd place for Nettle Fresh—Sheep Cheese with Flavor Added – 100% sheep’s milk, and 1st place for Dirt Lover—Open Category – made from sheep’s milk.
- Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in Champaign, IL brought home 1st Place for Chevre Frais—Fresh Rindless Goat’s Milk Cheese Aged 0 to 30 Days and 1st place for Fleur de la Prairie–Farmstead Category – Aged less than 60 days – all milks.
RAFI’s Farmers of Color Network Webinar Series – Market Readiness, Part 4
The fourth installment of the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) Farmers of Color Network webinar series helps explain how farmers can become certified SNAP/EBT retailers and sell directly to SNAP shoppers in their community. The webinar will be held August 30th from 6:00-7:30pm Eastern. Learn more and register online, and be sure to check out their past webinars in this series.
Thinking of Getting Certified? Get in touch!
Wondering about AGW certification for your farm, ranch or food business? Learn more about the certification programs we offer and get in touch with your regional coordinator to find out how AGW certification can set you apart from the crowd. There’s no commitment and we love to hear from you.
For AGW-certified producers: Shop AGW Signage
With fall CSA signups and farmers markets in full swing, make sure you’re showing off your AGW certifications. Our signage makes it easy, with metal signs for Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW, Certified Non-GMO by AGW along with a vinyl Certified Animal Welfare by AGW banner perfect for displays. Place your order online or by calling +1 541-526-1119 (please call/email to order in Canada).
From Your Peers:
- Owner, Mark Florenz of Archway Farm in Keene, NH is interviewed in this NH Food Alliance article telling the story of his farming journey.