Now in its third year, the AWA Good Husbandry Grants program is helping promote innovative, forward thinking farming techniques that ultimately enhance farm viability. Twenty-eight grants have been awarded to farms and slaughter plants across the nation to improve animal welfare and allow pasture-based farmers to increase productivity for their operations. The 2010-2011 Good Husbandry Grants range from $600 to $6000 and were open to current Animal Welfare Approved farmers and those who have applied to join the program, as well as slaughter plants working with or seeking to work with AWA farmers. The funding priorities included genetic improvement for pasture-based systems; outdoor access and mobile housing; welfare improvements in the slaughter process; non-lethal predator control and other innovative projects that improve the welfare of animals.
Gaston and Michelle Schaeffer raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) pigs and laying hens, as well as Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle at Whiskey Creek Ranch, a first generation, family-run farm, located in the beautiful Peace region of British Columbia.
The Schaeffer’s Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pigs are raised outdoors on pasture, according to the highest animal welfare standards. “There is no barn confinement, no needle teeth trimming and no tails removed from our piglets,” says Michelle. “While on pasture, we provide all of our pigs with mud wallows and shelter from the sun. They always have more than enough free room in their pasture so they can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and natural pig behaviors.” The farm’s flock of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW laying hens are given daily access onto new areas, and continual renewed access to fresh grasses, berries, herbs, insects, soil, and forage.
The farm also raises Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle. “Our fledgling beef herd has a tall order to fill. While we are managing their location on the landscape, they shoulder the responsibility of being our primary facilitators for the regeneration of our lands,” says Gaston. Whiskey Creek Ranch uses rotational grazing practices and sustainable farming techniques, which results in lower environmental impact and a higher quality product.
The Schaeffers say they chose to pursue certification because, “livestock welfare, authenticity, and transparency are most integral to our production.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pork, chicken eggs, and Certified Grassfed by AGW beef from Whiskey Creek Ranch is available directly from the farm Mon- Fri 9am-4pm and weekends by appointment. For more information about Whiskey Creek Ranch, visit whiskeycreekranch.ca and contact Michelle and Gaston Schaeffer at email@example.com or 250-271-0441. Follow the farm on Facebook and Instagram.