Siblings Erin, Lauren and Matt Williams raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World…
Elizabeth Collins and Bradley Wiley raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle along with Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW laying hens and pigs at Otter Creek Farm in Johnsonville, New York.
Elizabeth’s interest in nutrient dense food led her to produce her own meat in 2017. Now, along with her partner Bradley Wiley (a fifth-generation farmer), the couple has been working to transition the Wiley family farm from a formerly conventional dairy system to a sustainable, pasture-based farm.
The 440-acre Otter Creek Farm has about 300 acres of pasture and hay land, with 140 acres remaining wooded. “While Otter Creek Farm has seen many changes over the years – we like to think that we are now going back to the way it used to be, and now farming this property in a similar way to Bradley’s grandfather. We focus on diversity, for both animals and vegetables,” says Elizabeth. “We are doing some new things, but really most of it is going back to where it was.”
The herd of 40 Red Angus cow/calf pairs are raised for the farm’s primary business supplying feeder cattle to a nearby farm. Otter Creek Farm also sells a number of 100 percent grassfed beef shares through their farm CSA, and they hope to expand this part of their business in the future. The pigs at Otter Creek Farm are raised outdoors, on pasture or range, where they are free to root and forage as pigs naturally do. This high-welfare management is a fundamental component of AWA certification and is known to have environmental, nutritional, and culinary benefits. The flock of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW laying hens enjoy dust bathing, pecking and scratching for grubs and seeds. The most important part of animal husbandry at Otter Creek Farm is being a part of every process, from birth to death. “We are very passionate about being involved in the animal’s entire life,” says Elizabeth.
Otter Creek Farm pursued AGW certification because they believe that trusted food labels and third-party certifications are extremely important for the consumer. “Beyond the certifications being foundationally, something that we believe in, we were also looking for guidance,” says Elizabeth. “At this point we don’t know every best practice and protocol for pasture-based management, so being a part of this program helps us to transition from conventional farming to a sustainable system in the best possible way.”
Otter Creek Farm’s AGW-certified products are sold direct from the farm through a CSA subscription. For more information about Otter Creek Farm contact Elizabeth Collins at email@example.com or (518) 753-2301. For more information about Otter Creek Farm, visit otter-creek-farm.square.site or visit them on Facebook and Instagram.