Andy Boone and his family raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AG) sheep and pigs at Driftless Hills Farm, located 9 miles south of Decorah, Iowa.
Andy Boone and his wife, Betsy, met in California and dreamed of having a farm where they could raise their family, along with their own high-quality, thoughtful food. While working on a few farms in California, Andy’s passion for animal husbandry and intensive pasture management grew. The couple eventually moved to Iowa, which offered a promise of affordable living, green grass, and family support. The Boones now lease their farm from The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT), and grow healthy, nutrient-dense food, while simultaneously stewarding the property and contributing to their community in a meaningful way.
The flock of sheep at Driftless Hills Farm are rotationally grazed on pasture for as many weeks during the year as possible and are fed hay in the winter months and never grains. In addition to being Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, the flock of sheep at Driftless Hills Farm is 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% grass and forage diet, and raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range. “Using rotational grazing, we can ensure the animals have fresh feed and spread out the manure, which slows down parasite activity and naturally fertilizes the soil to encourage microbial balance and keep the grass coming back strong and lush,” explains Andy.
The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pigs at Driftless Hills Farm are also rotated on pasture and in timber. While this grazing is seasonal, they have outdoor access all winter, as well. They are fed a certified organic ration of small grains and minerals that is soy-free and low or no-corn formulated to have high omega-3 fatty acids. Andy and Betsy plan to grow their own certified organic feed of small grains for their animals in the near future.
The Boones decided to pursue certifications by A Greener World because animal health and well-being are key to their farming methods and goals for the business. “We believe in growing nutrient-dense food that is raised with humane stewardship of our animals and resilience of our land,” says Andy. “Optimal well-being is our passion, and the way we manage our animals is directly connected to the beneficial nutrients in the food they produce.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pork and Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW lamb from Driftless Hills Farm can be purchased at the Winneshiek County Farmers Market or the Fulton Market in South Minneapolis. Customers can also purchase products directly from the Driftless Hills farm store in Calmar by appointment, make a purchase online for pick-up at one of their regional drop-off locations or contact the farm for shipping information. Visit driftlesshillsfarm.com for more information and follow Driftless Hills Farm on Facebook and Instagram.