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. 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. Thank you for sharing, and for supporting pasture-based farming this holiday season!
Stephen Austin raises Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) beef cattle outdoors on pasture at Austin Red Angus Ranch in Rhome, Texas. The Austin family has been farming and raising cattle in Texas for more than a century.
The Austins chose to raise the Red Angus cattle breed because of their suitability to the land and local environment. “According to the Red Angus Association of America, the red hide color is more heat tolerant than black and allows the cattle to stay cooler in summer months, while the bronze pigmentation gives greater resistance to eye problems and sunburn,” explains Stephen. “They are a very gentle breed, a pleasure to raise and the cows make wonderful mothers. The Angus is also widely known for its quality beef, whatever the color.”
Stephen provides his Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW cattle with continual access to well-managed pasture, as well as the opportunity to perform natural and instinctive behaviors essential to their health and well-being. “Our cows graze in wooded pastures and open meadows with their calves right alongside, as nature intended,” explains Stephen. “We use two stage or natural weaning that basically eliminates stress for the cow and calf at this pivotal time.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW is the only label in the U.S. that requires audited, high-welfare slaughter practices and pasture access for all animals. The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW program operates on the simple understanding that the way ranchers like Stephen raise their animals, the nutritional quality of the meat they produce, and the impact of ranching systems on the environment, are all intrinsically linked. Healthy, content animals produce better tasting, healthier meat, and pasture-based livestock operations like Austin Red Angus Ranch have been shown to have a positive impact on the environment. “Cover crops, extensive rotational grazing, eliminating tillage and integrated pest management are just a few of the sustainable methods utilized here at the Ranch,” Stephen adds.
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW beef from Austin Red Angus Ranch is available direct from the ranch. For more information on how to place an order, contact Stephen Austin at Beef@Austin-Ranch.com and call 940-433-3981 for availability. To learn more, visit Austin-Ranch.com.