Rodale Institute, a 333-acre working farm near Kutztown, PA, is one of the world’s leading non-profit research facilities dedicated to organic farming. Founded in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, the Rodale Institute is committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture and sharing their findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, as well as advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about the healthiest options for people and the planet. The pigs at Rodale Institute are now Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW), further demonstrating the organization’s commitment to the care of animals, land and the local community.
Rodale’s former Executive Director, ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood, first brought livestock to the farm a few years ago and set up a number of farm animal enterprises involving different styles of livestock management systems and different breeds to examine how livestock and poultry systems can be managed organically and produce high-quality food for the market. “The purpose was to create living, working models of the best practices in animal husbandry”, says Mark. “We believe that the quality of life an animal experiences is reflected in the quality and taste of the products from that animal. Our animals work here, for examples, our pigs till as they root. We are not interested in simply meeting minimum standards of living space or daily hours in the sun, but encouraging these animals to thrive and to fulfill a meaningful purpose here on the farm. Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW understands our attitude because we have the same goals when it comes to animal welfare. We are more than proud to display their seal of approval.”
In keeping with their work as a research farm, Rodale Institute shares its observations of animal health and behavior and trends in production from the various demonstration enterprises with farmers and scientists throughout the world.
The Rodale Institute receives over 15,000 visitors every year. Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pork from the Rodale Institute are sold direct from the farm, through their CSA, and to a number of local restaurants. For more information, visit rodaleinstitute.org or follow Rodale Institute on Facebook for farm updates.