Odilia Osthaus raises Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) dairy cattle and beef cattle at Sunny Lane Farm in Durham, Ontario, about 160 miles northwest of Toronto.
Odilia grew up in Germany, and always knew she wanted to be a farmer. In 1998, Odilia and her four children established Sunny Lane Farm in Durham, where she manages around 16 Holstein and Fleckvieh dairy cows outdoors on pasture, for both milk and beef. The 200-acre farm comprises 90 acres of pasture and the rest is forest.
Odilia’s Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW cows are rotated through the fields from May through October, grazing one section of pasture before being moved to fresh fields. This type of management allows grass to recover before cows return to graze again; it also keeps the soil naturally fertilized and minimizes the potential build-up of internal parasites, thereby avoiding reliance on chemical treatments. “Pasture-raised cows are less prone to illness,” says Odilia. “They spend more time outdoors socializing with the other cows, which keeps them content.” The cows go in and out of the barn throughout the winter, where they are fed a high-quality forage-based diet.
For Odilia, the decision to become Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW was an easy one: “I’m an animal lover and I hate when they are mistreated. I want to support anything that makes sure animals are treated in the right way. It’s hard to be a farmer, but I try to do it in a way that I can stand up and say this is the best way to do it. I want to be able to sell dairy and meat and be able to say that I raise my animals in the best possible manner, and my customers will know my animals have had a happy life.”
Sunny Lane Farm is a member of the OntarBio organic farmers’ cooperative, and milk from the co-op is marketed under the Organic Meadow brand name. Sunny Lane Farm also sells Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW red veal, which is sold directly from the farm. To contact Sunny Lane Farm, call 519-369-5384 or email email@example.com.