FROM OUR FRIENDS AT SLOW FOOD Dear members, supporters and friends, On Labor Day, more than 20,000 people came together in all 50 states to tell Congress it's time to give kids real food at school. If you went to an Eat-In, we'd like to say thank you. And if you're one of the Slow Food Chapter Leaders and Eat-In Organizers who put incredible time and energy into the 300 Eat-Ins that took place nationwide, we'd like to shout thank you -- you made the day possible. The momentum helped us surpass our Labor Day petition goal - there are more than 20,000 signatures online, another 10,000 on paper, and many more still coming in. That's a huge show of support. When Congress starts debating the Child Nutrition Act this fall, we'll be able to take those signatures to legislators and make a strong case for reform.
Carson and Justine Berry are second-generation farmers, raising Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) and Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle in Craigmyle, Alberta, Canada. Justine and her husband, Carson, are raising animals on her family’s farm. “Together, we are working on diversifying ourselves in the beef industry and trying to navigate the direct marketing world,” explains Justine. “My husband and I still have full-time off-farm jobs, as a power engineer and registered nurse. My dad, Leo, works solely on the farm and my mom, Donna, is a teacher.”
Justine’s father, Leo Johnson, purchased the family farm in 1983 from his uncle. “The land is mostly flat prairies reseeded to an alfalfa grass mix, the trees here are few and far between, but we really enjoy that most of our land is all in one large clump,” says Justine. “We have a total of 11 quarters of land. My parents live on the main ranch and Carson and I live about 4 miles away on acreage that borders the family property.”
Flaghill Ranch raises Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW Black Angus beef cattle outdoors on pasture and range. “We are in the business of selling both Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW bred-heifers as well as finished beef cattle at 22 months of age,” says Justine. “Both herds of heifers currently run together and are summered close to home on grass and spend the winters on the same pasture eating free choice hay.”
The farm uses a rotational grazing system, which they find helps with their environmental stewardship and soil health goals by promoting better grass management and production. “All of the bodies of water and riparian areas are fenced with free choice solar watering systems to allow for access to clean water in all seasons,” shares Justine. “We feed a custom mineral mix, based on feed testing in the fall to help meet our animal’s demand for minerals.”
The farm chose to become Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW for their beef cattle to showcase their high-welfare practices to customers. “Our farm was already selling grass-fed beef, however we wanted to expand our business, as well as keep up with industry demands for certification,” explains Justine. “The auditing process helps us to prove to customers the value of the meat we’re producing. We chose to become certified by A Greener World because our values aligned with the high-welfare standards of the program, as well as the added nutritional value that results in the meat produced from an entirely grass-based feeding protocol.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef from Flaghill Ranch is sold online through their website, social media sites and email listserv. They are currently selling quarter, half and whole beef. Flaghill Ranch will deliver to Alberta and Saskatchewan in February annually. For more information, visit their website, flaghillranch.com and contact Justine Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the farm on Facebook and Instagram.