Ask any farmer to list his or her major challenges and the issue of who will take over the farm when it’s time to retire will no doubt feature in the top 10. According to government statistics about 40% of U.S. farmers are 55 years old and up, raising real concerns about exactly who is going to fill their shoes. The sad fact is that there are fewer young people getting involved in farming than ever, and many young people see no future in the family farm. As a result, countless family farms are being bought up and absorbed by larger industrial operations. In my opinion this is one of the greatest tragedies of our generation. This is why Shelby Grebenc of Broomfield, CO, is such an inspiration. Shelby is founder of “Shelby’s Happy Chapped Chicken Butt Farm,” located about 20 miles outside of Denver. And at just 12 years-old, Shelby is also the youngest Animal Welfare Approved farmer to date. Shelby represents a beacon of hope for the future. Her dedication to high-welfare farming is an inspiration to all of us – regardless of age.
Cicero Dobson raises Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) and Certified Non-GMO by AGW pigs at Tom Farm, near Magnolia, North Carolina. Pigs at Tom 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.
Cicero is a member of the North Carolina Natural Hog Growers’ Association (NCNHGA), a cooperative of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW hog producers who sell to restaurants, retailers, and food processors throughout the region.