Courtney Schuur and Ethan O’Brien are first generation ranchers raising Certified Animal Welfare Approved by…
Brooks Watson and her daughter, Tami Parrott, DVM raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) sheep and goats at Chicken Creek Homestead in Livingston, Montana. As a descendant from a long line or farmers and ranchers, Brooks was a “hobby” farmer in NJ for many years, then in 2017, she moved to Montana and made a transition to raising lambs for direct sale to the public.
Located in the Lower Shields River Valley in south central Montana, Chicken Creek Homestead is a small operation of 56 acres. “We are very lucky to have beautiful and pristine Chicken Creek flowing the length of our farm between the Bridger Mountains to the west and the Crazy Mountains to the northeast,” says Brooks Watson. “Huge ancient cottonwoods and tall aspens line the creek bed and irrigation ditches which cross the central portion of the farm. Our pastures rise from a sub-irrigated coulee created by Chicken Creek to native pastures on a high bench with a breathtaking view of five mountain ranges.”
Chicken Creek Homestead focuses on raising their flock of 50 Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW sheep and small herd of goats by caring for each animal on an individual basis. “The most important aspect of our animal husbandry and farm management practices is maintaining an up-close personal relationship with each and every sheep or goat and our working dogs (livestock guardians and working border collies), ensuring the health and well-being of each animal,” says Brooks.
In addition to being Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, the sheep and goats at Chicken Creek Homestead are also Certified Non-GMO by AGW. They are the first farming business in Montana to achieve this certification for sheep and goats, which is the only certification and logo in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees a food product is produced without the use of genetically modified feed, supplements or ingredients, and comes from animals managed according to the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW leading welfare and environmental standards on an independent farm.
Brooks Watson chose to pursue Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW certifications because she felt the programs best mirrored their exemplary animal husbandry practices and commitment to sustainability. “Our pasture-based system benefits sheep, goats, the environment, as well as the humans who depend on animals for meat. Our certifications allow us to make credible claims about animal welfare and non-GMO practices, which adds value to the animals we produce. We were already maintaining a high animal welfare standard and feeding non-GMO, so we felt we would have no problem meeting those standards. We chose certifications by A Greener World because they represent the highest possible standards and credibility.”
Chicken Creek Homestead’s Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Non-GMO by AGW lamb and goat is available by reservation. To order or find out more about the farm and products call or text Brooks Watson at (973) 903-1723, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit chickencreekhomestead.com. Follow them on Facebook.