Therese and Hani Gasser raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) sheep…
James and Chelsea Keenan raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pigs, sheep and laying hens at Keenan Family Farms in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. The Keenans, a first-generation farming family, raise their animals on 35 acres of forested areas and rolling hills. “We are the first to farm this land as far as we know and have been able to improve the land quality substantially since using animals to help with weed control and building soil nutrients,” says Chelsea Keenan.
The Keenans raise 250 laying hens, 100 to 150 pigs and a small mixed flock of hair and wool sheep. “Rotationally grazing all of our animals is important in many ways,” says Chelsea. “Each species is moved to fresh space according to their impact on the land. Once each group is moved, we reseed and let the land rest and regrow behind them. This practice ensures the sustainability of our land for the future and even more importantly the health and happiness of our animals.”
The Keenans are passionate about the high-welfare management of their animals. “Pasture-raised, non-GMO fed animals produce higher quality meat and eggs. In addition to the superior finished product, the sustainability of the land is of high importance to us,” says Chelsea.
In their search for a third-party farm certification for their animals, the Keenans sought out a program that represented their values: “When we saw that 99% of our current practices already lined up with the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW standards we decided to pursue certification. We are very transparent to our customers about how we raise our animals but felt that a third-party audit and certification would be a valuable asset for consumer confidence,” says James.
The Keenan’s long-term farming goals include growing their farm and customer base to a point that can fully sustain their family while still maintaining the sustainability of our land. “We are continually working to improve systems while keeping animal welfare and land sustainability our top priority,” James adds.
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pork products, chicken eggs and lamb from Keenan Family Farms are available by local pick-up and delivery through the farm’s website and at the Downtown Salmon Arm Market and Vernon Farmers Market. For more information about Keenan Family Farms, visit the farm’s website: keenanfamilyfarms.ca or on Facebook and Instagram. You can e-mail Chelsea Keenan at email@example.com.