Animal Welfare Approved was pleased to join more than 30 organizations supporting family farmers at this year’s Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America. The AWA Farm Aid team, Beth, Emily and Brigid, arrived in Milwaukee excited to participate in Farm Aid Eve, FARMpardy (AWA’s version of JEOpardy) and, of course, the 25th Anniversary Farm Aid concert. Dave Matthews: "The farmers on our good Earth are taking care of the land and taking care of our children." Neil Young: "Maybe you don't realize what's really going on with factory farms in this country, how they are displacing family farms at an alarming rate...Factory farms are the reason why we have food alerts. They are the reason why we have dying people and disease. Try to buy something from a family farm, something that's sustainably grown. You deserve the best. Your children deserve the best."
Kevin and Delmas Hobbs raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pigs outdoors on pasture at Hobbs Farm in Faison, North Carolina. “I have been farming all my life,” says Kevin. “My family has operated a family farm for many years, and we grow several kinds of produce, wheat, corn and soybeans. Currently, I have three greenhouses being converted to grow hydroponic lettuce, tomatoes and bell pepper. We are excited to begin this new venture with hog farming!”
The 75-acre Hobbs Farm has been in the Hobbs family for over 75 years. Kevin and Delmas currently manage 50 Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW sows, including Duroc, Berkshire, Yorkshire, Tamworth and Poland China. “These breeds are a good-fit for my farm because it provides diversification,” says Kevin. The breeds are all well-suited for outdoor, pasture-based production, where they are free to root and forage as pigs naturally do. This high-welfare management is a fundamental component of AWA certification and is known to have environmental, nutritional, and culinary benefits.
For Kevin, the most important part of his animal husbandry practices revolves around animal care: “Taking care of the animals is very important to me. Being aware of the changes in the ground the pigs pasturing is important. Keeping farrowers cleaned and ensuring the animals have good feed, clean water and plenty of room is important.” Kevin also sees great benefit for his animals in pastured production. “The pigs benefit from being free roaming and stress free, and it really comes through in the quality of their meat. The land is also fertilized naturally and promotes pasture growth. The pigs are also great at clearing weeds and brush!”
Kevin chose to pursue Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW certification to help him improve his farm and to help him meet local demand for high-welfare products. “There’s a growing market for pasture-raised meat,” he says. “People are becoming more aware of how their meat for consumption is raised. My goal is to provide a good meat product to the market. Other sources of farming seem to be getting less lucrative and I need to find a better source of income in farming.” AGW certification helps Kevin’s product really stand out in the marketplace for customers seeking high-welfare, sustainable product.
For more information about Hobbs Farm and their Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pork, contact Kevin Hobbs at firstname.lastname@example.org and 910-290-0228.