Working as a well-known public safety service dog trainer and certified police officer for the last 20 years, Tracy Sargent had little background in agriculture when she started Jumping Frog Farm. But her strong drive to provide animals with an excellent life—and desire to create a self-sufficient property—motivated her to pursue her dream to have a livestock farm.
Today, Tracy manages a herd of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW meat goats and breeding goats on her farm just outside Cedartown in northwest Georgia.
As a producer of AGW-certified breeding goats, Tracy is approved to sell her breeding goats and kids to other Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW farmers. Certified Grassfed by AGW is 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.
Jumping Frog Farm is also the first farming business in Georgia to be Certified Non-GMO by AGW. This is the only certification and logo in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees a food product is produced without the use of genetically modified feed, supplements or ingredients, and comes from animals managed according to the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW leading welfare and environmental standards on an independent farm.
Tracy’s herd of grassfed, non-GMO breeding goats includes the Kiko, a breed that originated in New Zealand by crossing a wild goat with a European dairy breed. The Kiko performs well in hot and wet climates, and is known for its resilience, parasite resistance and good mothering abilities—making it ideal for pasture-based farming in Georgia. She also raises pure-bred Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, a miniature dairy goat of West African origin which produces a high quantity of high-butterfat milk for its diminutive size.
Tracy takes great care to manage her goats outdoors on pasture in and use rotational grazing practices—beneficial to both the health of the environment and the goats. “If you take care of the animals they’ll be happier, healthier and more productive,” says Tracy. “They deserve to be given the absolute best life and best care possible while they are in our care.” Tracy’s overall goal for the farm will always be to seek to understand the animals, give them what they need to be their best, and provide the animals with an excellent life in an environment natural to their needs.
Tracy applied for the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW certifications in an effort to ensure she was doing everything she possibly could to provide a high-welfare life for her animals and to manage her farm sustainably. “I consider the AGW standards as a resource to learn more about the needs of my animals,” she explains. But she also wanted the farm to be independently verified for its commitment to high-welfare production, since she feels that is what many consumers are looking for: “I believe there is a recent increase in awareness and shift in social responsibility, and that people are now understanding that they have choices when it comes to the source of their food.”
Tracy markets her Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW Kiko and Nigerian Dwarf breeding goats to other farms, and sells goat meat directly from the farm to local customers. As if that’s not enough, Tracy also breeds American Kennel Club-registered Great Pyrenees puppies and dogs. The dogs come from multi-generational working bloodlines that have proven track records and are given the best of care as they protect the flocks and herds. For more information about Jumping Frog Farm, call 770-722-4241 or visit the farm’s Facebook page and jumpingfrogfarm.com.