We at Animal Welfare Approved are privileged to work with some of the most amazing farmers in the world. They are leading the transition back to pasture-based farming, and pioneering a new agriculture that seeks to heal our planet while providing healthy, nutritious food to all. This year, as you prepare for a holiday that celebrates the bountiful harvest farmers have provided, we ask you to take a moment to thank a family farmer for the good food that nourishes you. Join us in celebrating National Farm-City Week by using the comments section of this blog to tell us about the farms that will fill your Thanksgiving table this holiday season and throughout the year, and why they matter to you. Take a moment to write a few words of thanks to your neighbor farmers, farmers from your farmer’s market, your CSA provider, and any family farmer you appreciate.
The Raleigh News & Observer’s restaurant critic Greg Cox came out with his annual recognition for local restaurants today. Topping the list as “Restaurant of the Year” is the new Bella Mia, the coal-fired pizzeria in Cary, NC. According to Cox, “Its blistery-crusted pies immediately raised the bar far above anything the area has ever seen.” AWA is proud to announce that all of the beef used by Bella Mia is supplied by Rare Earth Farms of Zebulon, NC.
Rare Earth partners Karl Hudson and Mann Mullen raise 125 grassfed Angus crosses on pasture, with no antibiotics, no added hormones and no animal by-products. Mullen has been farming all of his life while Hudson has returned to his farming heritage after a career in retail management. Rare Earth Farms uses rotational grazing to provide quality forage and Karl says he has some of the friendliest cows around. “We take people out to see the cows, and they just come right up to you.”
Karl recounts how he met chefs Louis and Anthony Guerra at the State Farmers’ Market and began to talk with them about Rare Earth and its AWA certification. Louis wanted to see for himself and spent a half day at the farm. The farm obviously impressed Louis as all of the beef served at Bella Mia is AWA certified from Rare Earth Farms.
Animal Welfare Approved farms also supplying Gold, Silver and “Best in Class” award winners include Cane Creek Farm (pork), Captain John S. Pope Farm (lamb), Cohen Farm (eggs), Fowl Attitude Farm (eggs), and High Ground Farm (eggs).
“We are proud of these farms that are providing high quality products to high quality restaurants in the Triangle region,” said Andrew Gunther, Program Director for AWA. “In addition to AWA farmers’ presence in major retailers, they are making a big splash in the best restaurants in the U.S.”
Animal Welfare Approved audits and certifies family farms that raise their animals with the highest animal welfare standards, outdoors, on pasture or range. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has lauded these standards for two years running as being the most stringent when compared to other third-party certification programs. Visit Animal Welfare Approved’s website for an online directory of approved farms (now in 42 states), as well as restaurants, shops and markets where AWA farmers’ products are sold. Choose the one independent food label that means healthy, safe, environmentally responsible and humanely raised.
For details on winning restaurants and farms that supply them read the press release.