Nathan Martin and his family raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW)…
Based in Kansas, Central Grazing Company produces food and fiber from high-welfare, Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) sheep using regenerative farming methods.
Since 2015, Central Grazing Company has sold lamb meat to the natural food wholesale, retail and foodservice market through direct distribution and by partnering with other small businesses across the country. Central Grazing Company produces 18 different meat products from lambs raised on 10 family-owned farms, supplying lamb to major retailers nationally, on Amazon and on their website.
Founders Jacqueline Smith and ReGina Cruse are committed to providing a fair price to their farmers, a living wage to their workers and to keeping every step of production—from farming to manufacturing—completely transparent. They ensure every product they create has a positive impact on their soil and economic health. The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW logo communicates to the discerning consumer that their food and fiber comes from lambs raised according to the highest welfare standards outdoors on pastures, socially and naturally, their whole lives—essential to their good health and wellbeing.
Jacqueline first became familiar with the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW program working on a sheep dairy farm in Missouri that joined the program in 2008. “When I transitioned to our new farm, I quickly applied to become Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW again,” says Jacqueline. “The certification allows my customers to trust in the way we promise to raise our flock.”
In addition to managing their own animals, Jacqueline and ReGina launched Central Grazing Company in 2015 as an aggregation and distribution center for other Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW farms, coordinating supply of lamb to the retailer, Natural Grocers, in several states. The women work closely with several producer partners to ensure that only the best tasting, Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW lamb carries the Central Grazing Company label. Looking to the future, they are excited to continue to increase the availability of certified lamb in the marketplace.
In 2018, Central Grazing Company and their network of certified farmers took on a new endeavor, launching a new fashion line of designer-inspired, sustainable handbags made from 100 percent traceable Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW sheep leather. Central Grazing Company is proud to launch the market’s first Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW sheep leather handbag line.
“After a bit of research, I realized feedlot hides were being sold to China or India for tanning, sold again for manufacturing, then returning here as imported consumer goods,” Jacqueline explains, “changing hands many times through the global fashion industry, with little oversight for worker rights or environmentally responsible production practices. My goal has always been to honor the animal, and I knew there had to be a way to bring transparency and accountability back to the process. And that’s how I became a handbag designer.”
To learn more about Central Grazing Company’s line of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW sheep leather designer handbags, go to cgchandbags.com
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pasture-raised lamb from Central Grazing Company is currently available at nearly every Natural Grocers location throughout the West region. For more information about where to find lamb from Central Grazing Company, visit centralgrazingcompany.com or follow the farm on Facebook and Instagram.