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Animal Welfare Approved Announces Twenty-eight Projects to Improve Animal Welfare
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.
Program Director Andrew Gunther said of the Good Husbandry Grants program, “We are so grateful to be able to continue this program into its third year. The interest has been overwhelming, and our review panel had a tough time selecting proposals from the many worthy applicants.” He continued, “We are confident that the projects chosen for this round reflect the most promising proposals with the most significant welfare benefits.”
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.
Highlights of the 2010-2011 AWA Good Husbandry Grant Program
Deutsch Family Farm of Osseo, WI was awarded funds to purchase gravity-flow watering equipment, mobile fencing and mobile shelters for their breeding sows. These shelters will allow for increased pasture rotation while offering protection from the sun, rain, ice and snow of the sometimes harsh Wisconsin climate — ultimately resulting in healthier and happier sows and piglets.
One of the grants will be used to help create a breed of chicken at Midsummer Farm in Warwick, New York. This new bird will be adapted especially to pasture-based management. Midsummer Farm will also use grant funds to convert an existing building into a breeding, hatching and brooding facility. This means chicks will no longer have to go through the stressful process of being shipped to the farm, a dramatic step to increase chick health and well-being.
Nelson Land and Livestock in Wadesboro, NC was granted funding for a Mobile Processing Unit for chicken. This unit will be shared among six farms and will contain the necessary equipment for humane, on-farm processing for thousands of birds each year. This unit will facilitate the growth of pastured poultry operations in the area to meet the ever-growing demand for pastured chicken raised according to high welfare standards.
The Royal Butcher in Braintree, VT was given funds to purchase a new squeeze chute. This new equipment will facilitate safer, humane handling, reduce stress for animals and plant workers and improve overall welfare for cattle, sheep, pigs and goats slaughtered at the plant.
Visit our 2011 grants page for a complete list of this year’s winners. More information about the Animal Welfare Approved Good Husbandry Grants, including profiles of grants given in the past, is available at www.AnimalWelfareApproved.org/farmers. Stay informed about grant opportunities by signing up for the AWA mailing list.