In response to many ongoing requests asking whether Animal Welfare Approved products are available in Whole Foods Market stores, the answer is YES! This holiday season, in addition to purchasing your AWA meat directly from the farm, CSA, farmers’ markets, co-ops, or buying clubs, you can shop at more than 130 Whole Foods Market locations and find Animal Welfare Approved grassfed beef and pastured pork products. While Animal Welfare Approved farmers supply numerous Whole Foods Market locations, typically it has been difficult for consumers to find Animal Welfare Approved products at these stores because most AWA products will lack the familiar AWA label. And since Whole Foods Market stores offer a variety of meat products from a host of different sources, consumers need to ask for Animal Welfare Approved products by the specific farm or farm group where the animals were raised on pasture or range.
Susan and Chic Whiting raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) beef cattle on Spotted Dog Family Farm in Brandon, VT. The farm is bordered by Otter Creek and situated in a hollow, surrounded by open pasture and rocky plateaus. When Susan and Chic purchased the farm in 2001, the land was quite fallow. They implemented a no-till policy and raised a medium sized herd of Irish Dexters to help repair and restore the health of their soils. The cows are rotated frequently throughout the fields and enjoy a varied diet of legumes, as well as typical Vermont grasses (like fescue, blue grass and Timothy). Their diet is also supplemented by about 350 round bales of hay that the Whitings produce each year, to ensure their herd has a nutritious diet outside of the growing season. Recently, Susan and Chic have been working to ‘exceptionally socialize’ some of their cows, a process by which cows are exposed to an increased level of human interaction so that they may be purchased by a family for the family’s own personal use.
The cattle at Spotted Dog Family farm are also Certified Grassfed by AGW, the first—and only—food label in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, and raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range.
Susan and Chic sell their Certified Grassfed by AGW, Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW beef directly from their farm and at the Rutland Farmers’ Market. Their beef is also now served at Café Provence in Brandon, VT. For more information about Spotted Dog Family Farm’s Certified Grassfed by AGW, Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW beef, please visit www.vermonirishdexters.com.