More than 20 years after Mimi Beaven studied agriculture in Wales, United Kingdom – during which time she worked in the restaurant industry, moved to the United States, and started a family – she, alongside her husband Richard, has now returned to farming at Made in Ghent, a 75-acre farm in Columbia County in upstate New York. “It a perfect melding of two things I really love—farming and food,” she says. The sustainable, high-welfare farming methods that Mimi uses to raise her Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) laying hens and meat chickens, however, are different from those she learned as a young student. Inspired by her love of good food, a desire to provide her family, friends and community with food that she knows is safe and nutritious, and the example of other family farms in upstate New York, she raises her animals with the intention to let them do what they are supposed to do—live outside on pasture where they can perform their natural behaviors.
Mimi’s pasture-raised meat birds are Black Freedom Rangers, while her laying hens are a mix of different breeds, including Speckled Sussex, Ameraucana, Delawares and New Hampshires. Although many of these are uncommon and traditional breeds (including the Dark Cornish which comes from Mimi’s home of Cornwall in the United Kingdom), she chose them specifically for their resilience to the cold and their suitability to pasture-based farming. In addition, this diverse mix of breeds produces beautiful eggs, varying from blue-green to dark brown.
When Mimi realized that her animal husbandry practices already met the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW stringent standards for animal welfare, she applied to the program: “It’s important for people to understand the difference between pasture-based, sustainable farming and conventional farming.” The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW label helps consumers identify quality products that are being raised using the best farming practices and Mimi wants to help more people understand the value of sustainably-raised food. “Gaining A Greener World’s AWA certification was important to me – along with the increasing number of consumers who source their food through the AWA’s Online Directory,” says Mimi. “I am really proud and glad to be part of an organization that is making a difference to how our farming is conducted.”
Made in Ghent’s pasture-raised chicken eggs and chicken meat are available direct from the farm store and kitchen. To find other locations where Made in Ghent Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW products are available, visit AGW’s Online Directory. For more information, visit www.madeinghent.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518-392-0804.