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Swallowtail Farm profile

Swallowtail Farm – Alachua, FL

Owners Rick and Jane Nesbit along with Noah Shitama and Melissa Muller raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) laying hens and dairy cattle at Swallowtail Farm in Alachua, Florida.

Swallowtail Farm consists of approximately 30 acres of land, just outside of Gainesville. They grow fruits, vegetables and flowers on around 6 acres of land for CSA members and local markets, running cattle and chickens on well-managed pasture.

The Swallowtail Farm team manages a herd of 12 Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW Jersey and Dexter dairy cattle, breeds that are efficient at turning forage into high-quality, flavorful and nutritious milk.

In addition to the dairy cattle, Swallowtail Farm is also home to a flock of around 240 Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW laying hens. The variety of breeds of hens are raised outdoors on pasture where they can perform natural behaviors like running, dust bathing, pecking and scratching for grubs and seeds. Pasture-based management not only provides the highest welfare conditions for the hens, but also produces healthier eggs containing three times as much vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene, and twice the omega-3 fatty acids as industrial eggs.

For Swallowtail Farm, rotational grazing is a foundational component of their pasture-based management. The livestock are rotationally managed, grazing one section of pasture before being moved to fresh fields. This type of management allows grass to recover before animals 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.

The Swallowtail Farm team chose to pursue AGW certification because of the independent verification and guidance it provides their customers who want to learn more about their food and the farm’s management practices. The team at Swallowtail Farm has plans to continue their work to develop sustainable practices on the farm and to help educate their community about high-welfare, healthy food choices.

Swallowtail Farm’s Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW chicken eggs and dairy products are available directly from the farm through their CSA. Check the AGW directory for details. For more information about Swallowtail Farm, visit and follow the farm’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Contact the team at

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