The herd of beef cattle and flock of sheep at Liberty Farms in Ghent, NY…
Glen Cauffman and Dr. Judith Shoemaker DVM raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) goats outdoors on pasture at Pure American Naturals farm in Millerstown, PA.
Glen is a 10th-generation farmer, following in the footsteps of his ancestors who emigrated from the Rhine River Valley of Germany in 1750. Judith graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 and is an internationally known practitioner and educator in integrative veterinary medicine and therapy, licensed in 11 East Coast states.
The 350 Angora goats are raised on 190 acres of well-managed, fenced pasture with an abundance of trees for shade, and rocks and banks for the goats to play on. A spring-fed brook runs through the pasture for water, and feeds underground hydrants for other pastures and the sheds. The Angora goats are raised specifically for their high-quality fleeces, which are used to make mohair yarn and sustainable textile products.
“The goats are a key element in a holistic approach to sustainable production of quality, long lasting, comfortable and beautiful textiles without negative environmental impact,” Glen explains. “The goats themselves provide the sustainable upkeep of their pastures with little maintenance or waste of forage. They require only simple fencing and housing, much of which is made from recycled materials.”
Sustainability and conservation is a passion for Glen, and he has maintained no-tilled crops for the 35 years he’s owned the farm. “Cover crops and crop residue management provide soil armor, protecting the soil in winter months, enhancing biological activity in the soil and sequestering carbon which increases soil organic matter,” says Glen. “The goats are a crucial element in the non-chemical control of invasive plant species, such as multiflora rose and Canada thistle.” By resting the pastures for long periods between grazing the goats, Glen has not only enhanced forage yield but also minimized livestock parasites.
After the goats are shorn in March and October, the mohair is cleaned and sorted. It is then delivered to several different spinneries in the Northeast. The top-quality mohair is then processed to create Pure American Naturals textile fiber.
Pure American Naturals pursued Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW certification in the hope that the label will help to expose new conscientious consumers to their products.
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW mohair products from Pure American Natural are available direct from the farm and online at pureamericannaturals.com. Contact Pure American Naturals at email@example.com. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.