For ethical eaters attending this year’s Big Apple BBQ in New York City June 12-13, a visit to legendary pitmaster Ed Mitchell and The Pit restaurant booth will be an exceptional opportunity to satisfy a hunger for ‘cue while supporting family farmers raising their animals with the highest humane standards. The Pit, of Raleigh, North Carolina, will be serving its signature whole-hog barbecue made exclusively from Animal Welfare Approved pastured pork supplied by the North Carolina Natural Hog Growers Association (NCNHGA). Pastured pork means the pork comes from pigs raised outdoors, on pasture, where they enjoy sunlight and mud baths in natural surroundings. For eaters, AWA pastured pork means there is no conflict between what your taste buds savor and what your conscience demands. Animal Welfare Approved staff will be on-hand to run contest giveaways of limited edition AWA “I (HEART) Pastured Pork” T-shirts and backpacks, apply temporary tattoos, and answer questions about farm animal welfare and the Animal Welfare Approved program. “We’re proud of our farmers and proud of our program,” says Animal Welfare Approved Program Director Andrew Gunther. “Since we can’t really shout it from the rooftops, we thought t-shirts would be fun.” All visitors who sign up for the Animal Welfare Approved e-mail list will receive a free drawstring backpack.
We were thrilled to hear from Dan Gibson this weekend about his farm being featured on WMHT. Take a look! A farm visit is featured at first, followed by a cooking segment. And nice cap there Dan! SHOW LINK HERE: Egg-ceptionally Healthy Comfort Foods
From Grazin’ Angus Acres Farm Profile
Despite the pouring rain at NYC’s Union Square Greenmarket, customer after customer stopped by to ask Dan Gibson from Grazin’ Angus Acres detailed questions about how he raises his animals. His new status as the first Animal Welfare Approved farmer in Greenmarket is something he’s very proud of and it shows in his conversations. Dan said he gets these questions all the time, but that’s why he loves having a farmstand at Greenmarket. He appreciates when people ask questions and come for tours on the farm. “Once they come for a tour of the farm,” he said, “they’re customers for life.”
While Dan is usually the person you’ll meet at the farmers’ markets, he doesn’t run the farm alone. He raises 250 head of cattle and 400 laying hens with his wife Susan, his son Keith and his wife Nicole and their partners Jim and Ilene Stark. Dan and his family are successful farmers even though they didn’t come from a farming background. Dan was a corporate executive in NYC and after 9/11 he decided to leave the corporate world. Two and a half years ago Dan retired to become a full time farmer.
When asked why his eggs are “so great,” Dan replied, “The hens are pasture raised and the eggs have an orange yolk that’s full of beta carotene and Omega-3’s. The hens are out and about all day long eating bugs and grass-they’re supplemented with 100% organic grain.” The fact that his animals are pasture raised is very important to Dan. He said, “‘Pasture-raised’ is key, ‘free-range’ is meaningless. All of our chickens are moved to fresh grass every day. We want our animals to have a longer life span and raising our cattle to a later age gives nicer tasting beef because it allows the animals to marble. We cultivate the best grasses, 100% Black Angus, best genetics.”
Grazin’ Angus Acres applied for the Animal Welfare Approved certification because as Dan recalls, “I was sure in my heart that I was doing the right things, not just providing a superior, safe and efficacious product and we were sure we were treating our animals with the respect that our customers in NYC and Albany would appreciate. I could talk about it all I wanted, but without the Animal Welfare Approved seal it wouldn’t [have the same impact].”