AWA staffers Emily Lancaster, Brigid Sweeney and Beth Hauptle were honored to represent Animal Welfare Approved at Farm Aid this year from October 2-4 in St. Louis Missouri. AWA farmers Mark and Patricia Whisnant, David and Lana Price and Henry and JoAnn Fudge joined us for the festivities. It was the 24th year of Farm Aid and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews continue to work hard to promote family farms.
Animal Welfare Approved has an annual tradition of thanking the family farmers who work so hard, year in and year out, to produce healthy, safe, humane and environmentally responsible food for our communities. Farming is not an easy job, and we want to encourage AWA friends and followers to take this opportunity to appreciate farmers you know for their contribution to this harvest holiday of Thanksgiving, and throughout the year.
We are not only indebted to farmers for our food itself, but for their careful husbandry of our natural resources. Pasture-based farmers are truly the custodians of the countryside. This method of farming in particular requires an intimate knowledge of the land, the animals and the interaction between the two. The practice of raising animals outdoors, humanely, in pasture- and range-based systems is experiencing a resurgence as we learn about the environmental, social and welfare consequences of conventional farming — and seek an alternative.
This pasture-based alternative is not new; it is in fact the way our ancestors fed themselves for centuries. We are grateful to the farmers in the AWA program, and to all those practicing sustainable farming, for reviving and building on this traditional knowledge to the benefit of us all.
Please take this opportunity, by including a comment below, to share your appreciation for the farmers in your life. You may also comment via Facebook and Twitter (#ThankAWAfarmers). If you are a farmer, tell us about fellow farmer or mentor who has influenced your development or has helped you along the way.
Thanks for your comments and from all of us at Animal Welfare Approved, may you and your family and friends enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday!