Animal Welfare Approved is pleased to announce that it will offer a third year of Good Husbandry Grants. AWA is seeking proposals for projects to improve farm animal welfare with a concentration on three areas: increased outdoor access, improved genetics and improved slaughter facilities. “We have awarded funding for 65 projects in 25 states and are delighted to be able to continue these grants for 2011,” said Andrew Gunther, AWA Program Director. “The impact of these grants has been extraordinary—the finished projects prove that there is an inextricable link between high-welfare, pasture- and range-based husbandry and successful farms.” Current Animal Welfare Approved farmers and those who have applied to join the program are eligible for grants of up to $5,000.
Jeremy Vargo of AWA-certified Vargo Farms in Bullock, North Carolina, raises hogs and received a 2010 grant to improve his mobile housing system. “The huts have greatly benefited my hogs,” he explained, “by improving herd health and expanding our ability to rotate pastures while providing shelter from the elements. This grant program, like AWA, is a win-win for the whole farm.” Organic Pastures Dairy Company, LLC in Fresno, California – the largest retail-approved raw and organic dairy in the United States (California allows sales of raw milk in retail outlets) – used a Good Husbandry Grant to improve its shelters and allow for greater pasture access. Farmer Aaron McAfee reported positive feedback: “Our nutritionist has noticed an overall improvement in the health of our calves.” He went on to say, “This project was very beneficial to our herd and overall AWA standing.”
Slaughter plants working with AWA farms are also eligible to apply but should contact Grants Coordinator Emily Lancaster to discuss proposed projects before submitting a proposal. The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2010. Guidelines, FAQ’s, project profiles and an application form are available on the AWA Grants for Farmers page or by contacting Emily Lancaster at 919.428.1641 or Emily@AnimalWelfareApproved.org.