Now in its third year, the AWA Good Husbandry Grants program is helping promote innovative, forward thinking farming techniques that ultimately enhance farm viability. Twenty-eight grants have been awarded to farms and slaughter plants across the nation to improve animal welfare and allow pasture-based farmers to increase productivity for their operations. The 2010-2011 Good Husbandry Grants range from $600 to $6000 and were open to current Animal Welfare Approved farmers and those who have applied to join the program, as well as slaughter plants working with or seeking to work with AWA farmers. The funding priorities included genetic improvement for pasture-based systems; outdoor access and mobile housing; welfare improvements in the slaughter process; non-lethal predator control and other innovative projects that improve the welfare of animals.
Harriett and Milton Baucom raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW), Certified Grassfed by AGW beef cattle at Baucom’s best in Monroe, North Carolina. The Baucoms work closely with Chris and Leigh Moul of Locust Point Cattle Company, Pennsylvania, who also manage Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW cattle.
Both Harriett and Milton have farming backgrounds, and Milton has worked in the commercial poultry business. When they looked into expanding their farm, they began to explore the commercial beef business, before learning about the animal, environmental and human health benefits of pasture-based management. “Somewhat accidentally, we learned of a different way to raise cattle,” Harriet explains. “One without feedlots, hormone implants and subtherapeutic antibiotics. It was a better way for the animals, which are raised on open pasture. It was a better way for the environment, by conserving land and natural resources. It was a better way for families because it produced a product with tremendous health benefits. And it was a better way for us to produce a product that we could be proud of and sell to customers we would know by name.”
The cattle at Baucom’s Best are rotationally managed, grazing one section of pasture before being moved to fresh fields. This type of management allows grass to recover before cows return to graze again; it also keeps the soil properly fertilized and minimizes he build-up of internal parasites, thereby avoiding reliance on chemical treatments. “Rotational grazing allows the cattle to receive the best grass available, which in turn creates the best tasting beef for our customers!” Milton adds.
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef from Baucom’s Best is available through the Locust Point Cattle Co., as well at several farmers’ markets in the Charlotte area and direct from the farm. The Baucoms also have Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW feeder calves for sale to other AGW producers. For more information about Baucom’s Best, visit baucomsbest.com or contact Harriett and Milton Baucom at email@example.com and 704-254-0742.