On May 4 Animal Welfare Approved hosted an expert panel of writers, farmers and representatives of sustainable livestock production. Entitled, “Green Pastures, Bright Future: Taking the Meat We Eat Out of the Factory and Putting it Back on the Farm," the discussion centered on the need for truly sustainable livestock farming that takes into account animal welfare and the health of our environment - and ourselves. Panelists included investigative journalist and author of Animal Factory David Kirby; author of the bestselling Righteous Porkchop Nicolette Hahn Niman; chicken farmer and whistle-blower in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Food, Inc.” Carole Morison; and rancher, veterinarian and president of the American Grassfed Association, Dr. Patricia Whisnant.
The Stueve family’s history is deeply rooted in agriculture. Four generations ago, their ancestors arrived from Germany and became American farmers, citizens and Christian leaders in their communities.
Starting on a farm in Missouri in 1839, the Stueves learned to clear thick forests so they could cultivate and plant crops and raise cattle, chickens and pigs, using plow horses to do much of the work. Some of the second generation, including Harold J.J. Stueve and his two uncles, Elmer and Ed, migrated to southern California to establish Alta Dena Dairy, which, in time, became one of the country’s largest family-owned dairy farms.
Today, the Stueve family continues the farming tradition in the Sierra Foothills in California’s Central Valley, raising 13,000 laying hens outdoors on pasture where they can perform their natural behaviors, flap their wings freely, run, dust bathe and peck and scratch for grubs and seeds. “We work hard to produce high quality and healthy foods,” explains Jake Townsend, a Stueve son-in-law responsible for egg sales. “Our chickens range on pasture together to produce a perfect biodynamic environment for eggs.”
Jake and the rest of the Stueve family chose to apply to Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) to validate their high-welfare farming practices. “The chickens live outdoors on pasture and lay eggs in a mobile chicken coop, which offers a safe place for them to shelter and sleep at night,” explains Jake. “Along with their natural diet of fresh greens, insects and seeds, we feed high-quality feed from a local custom grain milling facility. This farming style encourages high levels of omega 3s and CLAs in the eggs.” Indeed, research shows that 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 – not to mention, delicious tasting eggs!
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pasture-raised eggs from Stueve Organic are available at regional retail outlets, including over 40 Whole Food locations in California and Reno. For more information, visit stueveorganic.com. Contact Jake Townsend at email@example.com and 209-549-6160. Follow the farm on Facebook and Instagram.