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CONTACT: Stephanie Wuorenma
Office: Terrebonne, OR (Pacific Time Zone)
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FIRST FARM IN PUEBLO COUNTY, CO, AWARDED TOP ENVIRONMENTAL AND ANIMAL WELFARE CERTIFICATION
— Heritage Acres Market, LLC, uses sustainable agriculture methods to earn Animal Welfare Approved certification for its pasture-raised laying hens —
PUEBLO WEST, CO (JULY 20, 2017)–The flock of laying hens at Heritage Acres Market, LLC, is now Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World. This certification and food label lets consumers know these animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S. and Canada, using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent family farm. Heritage Acres Market, LLC, is the fifth laying hen operation in CO to achieve this highly acclaimed certification.
Like other Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) farmers across the country, Nicole Gennetta recognizes the growing consumer interest in how animals are raised on farms. Managing animals outdoors on pasture or range has known benefits for animals, consumers and the environment.
Gennetta manages a small flock of mixed-breed laying hens outdoors on pasture at Heritage Acres Market, LLC, in Pueblo West, CO, selling the fresh pasture-raised eggs to the local community, as well as fresh produce and fruit from a small orchard and market garden. Although she works full-time off the farm as a firefighter, Gennetta hopes to one day make the transition to full-time farmer.
Gennetta believes it is important to encourage the natural behaviors of her laying hens. The birds are free to roam on well-managed pasture and range, where they can flap their wings freely, run, dust bathe and peck and scratch for grubs and seeds: “Raising our chickens outdoors allows them to be not only happy and healthy, but also helps improves the soil through the spreading their manure, while their natural diet increases the nutrition of the eggs,” she adds. 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.
Gennetta explains that applying for AWA certification was a natural step: “I wanted people to know that we’re not just a small farm, and that we’re committed to supplying our local community with the best possible eggs,” she says. “How we raise our chickens is important to their health and happiness. With Animal Welfare Approved behind us, it shows we’re serious about the wellbeing of our animals and the quality of our pasture-raised eggs.”
AWA Program Director Andrew Gunther says, “The accountability and integrity offered by Animal Welfare Approved farmers like Nicole is unmatched in food production. We’re glad to have Heritage Acres Market, LLC, in the AWA family.”
ABOUT A GREENER WORLD
A Greener World (AGW) identifies, audits, certifies and promotes practical, sustainable farming systems by supporting farmers and ranchers and informing consumers. AGW’s growing family of trusted certifications includes Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW. Each program is designed to have positive and measurable impacts on the environment, society and animals, and to encourage truly sustainable farming practices. AGW’s standards and procedures are robust, transparent and achievable.
A nonprofit funded by public donations and membership, AGW offers a range of resources to help people make informed food choices, including an Online Directory of certified farms and products and Food Labels Exposed–a definitive guide to food label claims (available in print, online, and as a smartphone app). For more information visit agreenerworld.org.