Molly and Brett Muchow raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) dairy goats, sheep and laying hens at Verdant Hollow Farms in Buchanan, Michigan. The couple acquired the 225-acre property in 2016 and, using regenerative practices and a permaculture design, they are bringing the soil and farm ecosystem back to life.
Verdant Hollow Farms is home to a flock of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW Katahdin and Icelandic sheep. These breeds were chosen for their winter hardiness and excellent foraging ability. In addition to being Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, the sheep at Verdant Hollow Farms are Certified Grassfed by AGW, the first—and only—food label in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, and raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range.
The Muchows also raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW Alpine and La Mancha dairy goats, and Rhode Island Red laying hens outdoors on pasture. “For our animals, we choose quality over quantity,” Molly explains. “Our top priority is that our animals are healthy and happy. Their welfare comes before our production numbers and sales.”
Verdant Hollow Farms decided to pursue Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW because they believed the certifications reflect their high-welfare, sustainable farming practices: “We believe that AGW sets practical standards for animal welfare on farms and establishes a solid baseline for us to follow in the care for our livestock. We felt that it would not only reassure our current customers on the quality of product they receive from us, but also bring to the community’s attention the importance of animal welfare when it comes to the food they eat.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pasture-raised eggs and goat’s milk products and Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW lamb from Verdant Hollow Farms are available direct from the farm and (seasonally) at the Baroda Farmers’ Market. For more information about Verdant Hollow Farms, follow the farm on Instagram at @verdanthollowfarm and Facebook at facebook.com/verdanthollowfarm. Contact Verdant Hollow Farms at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-882-4431.