As we enter Earth Week 2011, millions of people across the U.S. and the world are looking for ways to minimize their impact on the environment. It might surprise you to know that one of the best places you can start is the food you eat. Did you know that at least 30 percent of our annual carbon footprint is made up of our daily food choices? Choosing the right food – such as Animal Welfare Approved meat and dairy products – is one of the most important, everyday activities that can reduce our individual environmental impact and help to improve the well-being of farm animals at the same time. So, why not use this opportunity to reduce your consumption of unsustainable, low-welfare, intensively reared feedlot meat and dairy – and choose high-welfare, pasture-based meat and dairy products instead? Animal Welfare Approved’s online directory makes it easy to find AWA-certified farms and products in your area and to support sustainable farming. Pasture-based farming can bring real benefits to us all, not only through healthier products but by helping to protect the planet for future generations.
The Hall family has worked the same land for many generations, raising hogs, tobacco, and other crops. Dwight Hall now farms 40 acres, raising Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) sows and their offspring on a portion of his acreage while growing feed on the rest. He also works off-farm as a carpenter and a general contractor.
Pigs at Dwight Hall Farm are raised outdoors, on pasture or range, where they are free to root and forage as pigs naturally do. This high-welfare management is a fundamental component of AGW certification and is known to have environmental, nutritional, and culinary benefits. Dwight raises two breeds that are specifically adapted to outdoor, pasture-based management: Duroc and Yorkshire. Duroc pigs are well-known for their exceptional meat quality, while Dwight chose the Yorkshire breed for their mothering ability, larger litters, length, scale, and frame.
The Hall’s operation is a true family farm, with Dwight and his wife, Linda, running the operation, and their youngest son is planning to stay involved. Dwight explains that he has always loved working with hogs: “Seeing them grow makes me happy.” He also says that he is especially pleased to know he will be able to pass this farm on to the next generation.
Dwight is also a member of the North Carolina Natural Hog Growers Association, a cooperative of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW hog producers who sell to restaurants, retailers, and food processors throughout the region.