The herd of beef cattle and flock of sheep at Liberty Farms in Ghent, NY…
Although Mark Florenz has been involved in farming his entire life, it’s only in the last few years that he decided to turn it into a viable career. After having two young sons, Mark wanted to be closer to his family as they grew up, and so made the lifestyle change to take on farming full-time.
In 2014, the Florenz family moved to their 80-acre property in Keene. To the town folk, the farm is known as the “Hathorn” property, as it was in one family for several generations. “Many years ago, the property was a dairy farm, and more recently the fields were hayed to keep them open. The house and the barns date back to the late 18th century,” Mark explains. The Florenz family is proud to be the next generation to take on the agriculturally-rich heritage of their land, renaming it Archway Farm.
Today, Mark raises Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pigs on pasture at Archway Farm. “We have around 10 breeder sows and boars, plus piglets, growers and finishers. They are a mix of traditional breeds, including Tamworth, Gloucestershire Old Spots, Berkshire and Chester White—all known for their ability to thrive in a pasture-based operation, as well as excellent meat flavor,” explains Mark. He is passionate about the benefits of raising pigs outdoors on pasture in an environment that allows them to perform natural behaviors like wallowing, grazing and rooting with their snouts.
For Mark, the decision to become Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW was an easy one: “We knew this third-party farm certification would offer consumers who can’t see or visit our farm a degree of comfort that the animals are raised according to the highest animal welfare standards. A Greener World’s standards aligned very closely with the practices we were already using, so the whole process was straightforward.”
Mark believes the type of management required by the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW program makes sense—not only for the health and welfare of his animals, but also for his business. “Pasture-based management is better for our animals and our land, and also requires less up-front investment in infrastructure. Having a trusted label like Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW means we are better able to differentiate our pork products,” explains Mark.
Archway Farm plans to continue producing a high-quality product for their local area and, over time, increase the number of animals they raise. “We would like to expand our operation to a size that can reasonably support our family, while providing pasture based pork to our community at a price point that is affordable to more people,” says Mark.
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pork products are available at various retail locations in southwest New Hampshire, as well as directly from the farm. To learn more about Archway Farm, visit archway.farm. Contact Mark Florenz at email@example.com and 603-352-3198. Also, find them on Facebook and Instagram.