We are very proud to congratulate Animal Welfare Approved farmer, Bill Stuart, Jr. of Stuart Family Farm in Bridgewater, CT who has been selected to maintain Happy Landings in Brookfield, CT. Happy Landings is made up of nearly 50 acres of farmland that, according to both Stuart and the Brookfield Conservation Commission, has not been very well taken care of in recent years. Stuart said in order to “get it back in farm shape” he’ll have to get the native grasses back, eliminate the weeds that have overtaken the land and add quite a bit of lime to the soil in order to neutralize its high acidity. The land’s sole use will be for hay making. Bill is very excited about the opportunity to become the steward of the property because he says, “it will be a huge benefit to the local community. It’s going to be a completely sustainable local food system.” Stuart Family Farm already feeds 250-300 Connecticut families and many of them are living in Brookfield.
Sarah and Tim Haws “jumped into” farming in 2001, when they first set up Autumn’s Harvest Farm in Seneca County, New York, near Tim’s hometown of Waterloo. Their Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle and Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW laying hens and pigs are truly pasture raised, producing meat that is healthier for consumers in a system that is better for the environment and the animals.
The Haws raise Murray Gray beef cattle outdoors on pasture, where they are free to roam and graze and engage in natural ruminant behavior. “Murray Greys are the most efficient, easy keeping cattle that we have worked with,” Tim explains. “They are docile, they are easy to handle and have superior maternal instincts. Their meat is tender and well marbled.”
The cattle at Autumn’s Harvest Farm are raised and finished entirely on grass and forage: “Eating grass, legumes and herbs is the natural way for cattle. Raising cattle on pasture creates a truly superior eating experience,” Sarah explains. “Meat from pastured raised cattle has less total fat, less saturated fat, less cholesterol and fewer calories. It has more vitamin A, more vitamin E and more beta-carotene. More importantly, the meat has two health-promoting fats called omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA.”
Tim and Sarah also raise Tamworth, Duroc, Hereford and Large Blacks pigs. They’ve specifically selected their breeding stock for their ability to thrive on pasture and in woodlots, and their instinct to farrow, or successfully birth and raise young. The pigs are raised outdoors year round and given natural feed that was developed on the farm and is free of antibiotics. “Years of careful breeding and allowing our pigs to live outdoors in ways that mimics nature has allowed us to create exquisite pork that is moist, flavorful and has marbling that rivals the finest beef,” says Tim.
In 2009, Autumn’s Harvest Farm built an on-farm store to better serve their customers. The attached processing facility has allowed them to provide customers with a consistent product, cut and packaged to specification. These facilities allow them to make all of our own sausages, bacon, and hams using custom recipes, and ensure full traceability, as they can oversee every step of their animals’ lives and processing.
The Haws’ biggest challenge in managing the 100 acres they own and lease, their farm store and processing facility is not the farming, but the marketing. Getting their name out there takes a great deal of time away from their work on the farm, and that is largely why they became Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW. They were looking for a certification that would assure their customers of the exceptional practices they were using to raise their livestock, without the need for everyone to come out to the farm. “Being Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW has done a ton to help my farm,” says Tim. “We’re seeing an increase in sales as a result. People love it!”
Autumn’s Harvest Farm’s Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef and Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pasture-raised eggs and pork are available from the farm, as well as at numerous local retailers. To learn more about Autumn’s Harvest Farm, visit www.autumnsharvestfarm.com. You can also follow Autumn’s Harvest Farm on Facebook to stay up to date on farm news, photos, and events. Contact Tim and Sarah at email@example.com or 607-869-3879.