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.
Billy McCarthy, a native of Baltimore, grew up loving nature and the outdoors. After a career in international philanthropy, Billy worked as a livestock apprentice at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in New York and then gained even more farming experience while working at several farms in the Hudson Valley. He now farms at Crooked Fence Farm alongside Sarah McCarthy, who has background farming and handling operations for farmers’ cooperatives. Billy and Sarah raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW), Certified Grassfed by AGW sheep in Upperco, MD.
The McCarthys manage a flock of California Red sheep at Crooked Fence Farm. “They are a relatively new breed—hearty sheep well adapted to hot climates, and very mild tempered,” says Billy. “California Reds are prized for the beautiful copper color of their wool.”
In addition to being Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, the flock of sheep at Crooked Fence Farm is 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% grass and forage diet, and raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range. The sheep are rotationally managed, grazing one section of pasture before being moved to fresh fields. This type of management allows grass to recover before sheep return to graze again; it also keeps the soil properly fertilized and minimizes the build-up of internal parasites, thereby avoiding reliance on chemical treatments.
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW lamb is available directly from the farm. For more information, visit crookedfencefarm.com, follow the farm on Facebook and Instagram and contact Billy at email@example.com and (443) 563-4075.