Jill Johnson and Mary Wills raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) hogs and laying hens and Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle outdoors on pasture at Crane Dance Farm in Middleville, Michigan.
Named for the Sandhill Cranes that make the farm their home each spring, Crane Dance Farm is nestled among the hills, woods, and wetlands of Barry County. After graduating from Western Michigan University with a degree in agriculture, Jill purchased Crane Dance Farm in 1996. Getting the farm back into shape took a lot of hard work–from restoring buildings to rehabilitating the health of the soil. “My life’s goal is to provide our animals with the happiest, healthiest lives possible, while maintaining nature’s balance on the farm,” Jill explains.
Jill’s business partner, Mary Wills, is a retired high school English and music teacher. She first began volunteering at Crane Dance Farm after Jill convinced her she could eat the pasture-raised meat from her farm and not worry about cholesterol. She soon became a resident and owner.
Jill and Mary are committed to genetic diversity and focus on raising heritage breeds whenever possible. On Crane Dance Farm, plentiful pasture, fresh air, and sunshine nurture their pigs, cattle, and laying hens without the use of hormones or unnecessary antibiotics. Jill and Mary believe that this farming philosophy is one that’s not only better for the animals but also benefits the earth and consumer.