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COVID-19 Resources for Farmers & Consumers, Food Labels Exposed And Animal Welfare Certifications ft Emily from A Greener World

COVID-19 Resources for Farmers & Consumers, Food Labels Exposed And Animal Welfare Certifications ft Emily from A Greener World

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Show Notes

Join Nicole and Emily from A Greener World as they talk about resources for farmers and consumers during the Covid-19 pandemic, the truth behind food labels and Animal Welfare Approved certifications from A Greener World.

What You’ll Learn

  • What is A Greener World?
  • How A Greener World is helping farmers and consumers during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic
  • Common misconceptions behind food labels
  • Animal Welfare Approved certifications and why they matter
  • Benefits and marketing services for producers that join A Greener World

Our Guest

Emily is the Director of Communication and Outreach for A Greener World.

A Greener World (AGW) is an independent, non-profit farm certifier that works to support farmers and ranchers by helping their high-welfare and sustainable products stand out in a crowded marketplace through trusted and meaningful farm certifications. Certifications by AGW guarantee that animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives on an independent farm using truly sustainable, high-welfare farming practices. It is the only label in the U.S. to require audited, high-welfare production, transport and slaughter practices, and has the highest impact on consumer purchasing of any food label, according to a nationally representative survey conducted by The Hartman Group.

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    Transcript

    Announcer: Welcome to the Backyard Bounty Podcast from heritageacresmarket.com, where we talk about all things, backyard. Poultry, beekeeping, gardening, sustainable living and more. And now here's your host, Nicole.

    Nicole: Hello everybody, and thank you for joining us for another episode of Backyard Bounty. I'm your host Nicole, and today we're joined by Emily, who's the Director of Communication and Outreach for A Greener World. And today, we're going to talk about resources for people that are dealing with the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and also learn more about food labels, some online resources for farmers and what the Animal Welfare Approved Certification is and how you can get involved. So without further ado, Emily, thank you so much for joining me.

    Emily: Well thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to talk with you today.

    Nicole: Yeah, I'm really excited to cover some topics that I think are not only pertinent now with the current pandemic thing that's going on, but also some stuff that can relate to people even outside, once all of this stuff passes and once we're back to hopefully a normal state. So, can you tell us more about Animal Welfare Approved and A Greener World, and what all that is?

    Emily: Sure. Yeah. So A Greener World is a nonprofit farm certifier, and so what we do is we are a home for food labels. And kind of the niche that we fill in the labeling landscape is that we specialize in pasture-based independent farms. And so, we like to say we're a home for food labels that mean what they say. So what we do is we audit, certify, support and promote farms that are raising animals, and food, and crops, and fiber to high welfare standards, and incredibly meaningful environmental and sustainability standards.

    Emily: So we have a few labels in our wheelhouse here. We've got Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World, and that was our flagship label. And so we have thousands of farms across the world who are Certified Animal Welfare Approved. We also have Certified Grass Fed by A Greener World, which is a hundred percent grass fed feeding protocol, and it's like a cherry on top of the animal welfare approved label.

    Emily: Then we also have Certified Non-GMO by A Greener World. Similarly, to Certified Grass Fed is an add-on to Animal Welfare Approved if you're raising animals. But otherwise, you can also do it if you're a grain farmer or, raising other crops as well. Or, if you make juices or supplements, or any number of products. And then we also just recently launched Salmon Welfare Certified as well. So we've got quite a few labels. We get very positive marks from consumer advocates and we're widely respected as a home for labels that are highly meaningful and deliver on their promises. So, that's what we do. And we're a nonprofit and we only exist by donor support. So we do what we do because donors who appreciate transparent food systems make us possible.

    Nicole: And I have been a member for my laying hens and I definitely respect the work that you guys do. And we can talk more about that in a minute. But you mentioned the salmon and some of the other certifications, but with the animals, which welfare certifications do you offer for animals?

    Emily: So Certified Animal Welfare Approved. And then the other two, our Grass Fed label and our Non-GMO label can also be applied to livestock and poultry as well.

    Nicole: And so which livestock is it?

    Emily: Oh, man, yeah. Oh, all kinds. So, yeah. So we've got standards for most food producing animals that you might raise. We've got standards for beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, dairy sheep, goats and dairy goats, laying hens, meat chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and bison. So we're a full service certifier there.

    Nicole: Yeah, that covers most of them at least.

    Emily: Yeah, yeah.

    Nicole: So I know that you guys are taking a different approach right now with the COVID-19 pandemic that's going on. And so how are you guys getting involved with that and helping farmers and consumers?

    Emily: It has been an all encompassing shift in focus, as I know it has been for a lot of people across the world right now. Obviously we were fortunate to be able to switch to remote work and we have had to make some adjustments, just in terms of how we work on a daily basis. But our biggest focus has been the farms and the plants in our program, and the businesses that depend on them. And so over the last week and before that too, as we saw this kind of growing as a concern, we've been checking in with farms and making sure that they're doing okay. A lot of folks have had significant disruption in their lives and not just from a business perspective, too. The people are really feeling this from a health concern, from having kids home from school, having elderly parents. This is a really, it's a far reaching pandemic that we're all dealing with in the best way that we can.

    Emily: What we've seen among farmers ... First off, one of the things that we've seen is some really amazing examples of people just pulling together, and figuring out ways to get through this together in some really creative and innovative ways. And some of the challenges that they're responding to are things like, farmer's market's closing. It's been a pretty, very market dependent and very kind of a patchwork view on the ground here because some markets are staying open and implementing social distancing practices, increased hygiene protocol. Others are closing entirely. Others are moving toward a more kind of drive in, pickup order mode. We're also seeing some things, food hubs pop up or restaurants deciding to serve the function as a food hub, in lieu of one that may have existed already.

    Emily: One of the biggest challenges that we're seeing market wise is in the restaurant industry and as you know, a lot of restaurants have been significantly impacted by this and are closing every day. And it's a really, it's a tough situation because if you're a farmer who was dependent on restaurants and had a lot of eggs in that basket and they're all closed, and they're not ordering again for the foreseeable future and you don't have another market that is there at all or ready to grow, then you're in a really tough spot, and you're having to make some really tough decisions right now. And so what we're doing is to try to be a resource for those farmers to help them find matches. For instance, we had another firm who their online sales had just boomed and we're seeing that a lot. Folks that had that type of market already set up. Many times are doing really well right now. And so, we're trying to hook those people up with folks that are experiencing a drop in their markets. And so that's been a big focus for us.

    Emily: Also, trying to be aware that the case today may not be the case next week or two months from now, and no one really knows what the future may hold. And so, we're really trying to keep a close eye on what this looks like for the longterm and help farms be ready for that. Making sure that if this bump in online sales doesn't stay, that farms have a plan and are ready to react to those cases too. If it turns out that a lot of this was panic buying and people aren't longterm customers, how do farms respond to that.

    Emily: So, hopefully this is a helpful resource for folks. We just put out an article last night that kind of helps farms, no matter if you're doing great right now or if you're struggling right now, just offer some really good tips on how to think about the business longterm, in reacting to some of these really fast market changes. Some of the folks on our team have been through this before, whether it's foot and mouth disease or H1N1, or a farm crisis in the '80s but just have some good experience to share on this and just trying to help people be as prepared as possible in the face of some of these challenges.

    Emily: So, another thing that we've been doing is to help farms be technically supported in this period as well. So if they need to be thinking about alternate feed sources, or if they're thinking about changing the setup on the farm, or increasing or shrinking their flock size, so just kind of helping to do some of the nitty gritty helping problem solve in that way, too.

    Nicole: So if there's a producer that's listening to this now and they're struggling with an excess of product, whatever that may be, can they still join right now or is with the travel restrictions and stuff, and we can talk more about the actual process, but there is an on-farm inspection and whatnot. Can people join so that they can take advantage of some of the resources that you have to connect them with some consumers?

    Emily: I would definitely encourage them to apply. I'm on the marketing and outreach side so I don't actually do the audits, but I would strongly encourage anyone who's interested in certification to apply and we would be glad to talk with you about how to make that happen. We know, whether it's in the immediate term or whether it's in a medium term. That's why we exist, to help independent, sustainable farms find markets and get their products to the people who want them. Because, that's another thing that we're seeing right now is this huge general demand and appreciation for independent farmers that are in a position to provide these foods to people. It's not always the case that the general public appreciates farmers, but they sure do right now, and it's good to see and I hope it lasts. That's another reason we exist is to make sure that those connections are enduring.

    Nicole: And so, I'm sure a lot of people are experiencing similar things to what we are here in Colorado, where you go to the grocery store and it's kind of hit and miss whether or not there's little, low on toilet paper, but meat and other things like that. So if somebody is wanting to become a customer of one of these farms and buy meat from them or otherwise, meat or other products, is there a resource on your website so that they can find these farms and restock their own household supplies?

    Emily: Absolutely. Yeah. So if you go to the website under resources, there is a page that specifically lists the online shopping options for farms who are selling online, whether it's nationally available or regionally available. So some farms will, you can order anywhere and they'll get it right to your door. And other farms, it may be more regional, pickup based, but we have over a hundred farms who ship product nationally and that's in the US and Canada. So, that's one resource. And then the find products button on our website, too, our online directory is a really great source for foods, too. And, the online folks are, they have been just inundated with calls and folks trying to get their products, because as you say, there's some shortages out there right now. Hopefully they don't last. But it also is an opportunity for independent producers to demonstrate how necessary they are.

    Nicole: And you said that, that's on the website, but can you tell me what the web address is for that?

    Emily: Sure. Yeah. So if you go to agreenerworld.org, you can find the directory and list of online shopping options.

    Nicole: Okay, great.

    Emily: If anyone is interested in following along and checking out the resources that we have available for this situation and just in general, you can check out our website. And then also we're on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also sign up for email list as well. So we're pretty diligent about making sure that folks know about resources that can help them, whether they're a farmer looking to manage this situation and do the best they can in it, or whether they're a consumer who is trying to stay informed and help out how they can as well.

    Nicole: Okay, perfect. And I know that I've been getting emails from you guys as well as the social media and they've been so helpful. And there's so much great information, and thank you for not sending out tons of emails. Everything that you do send us, is so helpful and filled with wonderful information.

    Emily: Awesome. We try.

    Nicole: So obviously, the big thing that you guys do is food labels. So there's a lot of food labels out there. So can you tell us a little bit more about some of the different food labels and what makes yours different?

    Emily: So the biggest difference in food labels is whether or not they are actually verified. Generally people can agree that food labels are pretty overwhelming. And so when you go to a grocery store, or even the farmer's market or shopping online, wherever, you see a label and you kind of think, "Is that, does that mean what I think it means? That sounds so good. But, how do I know for sure?" And in most cases you really don't know for sure. Most of the labels are either, you can just slap them on a packet with very little bureaucratic headache. We call it a note from mom, and just write a statement, a signed statement saying, "Yes I raise my animals 'humanely,'" or, whatever the case may be. And there's very little oversight, or accountability, or transparency for most food labels.

    Emily: And so with that, you have seen the importance and the interest in third party certified labels, which is what we are. So instead of just handing out this label to anyone, we actually have a set of standards. And so all of our labels, whether it's Animal Welfare Approved, Grass Fed, Certified Non-GMO or Salmon Welfare Certified, we have actual standards for each of those labels. And so farms come to us, it's a voluntary program and they say, "Hey, I think I meet your standards and I want to get credit for that in the marketplace. And I want my customers to know that I'm doing what I say I'm doing. And I want that accountability, and that transparency and I want to offer that to my market."

    Emily: And so what we do is we go out, we visit the farm, we look at the farm next to those standards and we say, "Yeah, it looks great," or like, "It looks awesome. Here's a couple things you would need to change to get compliant." And so, or, "Maybe this isn't a good fit." That's rare. Most farms, we're really good about working with folks. You can't use the label until you're compliant, but we will work with you to get there. It's a program that is practical and achievable. This is not ethereal, somebody just came up with these un-doable standards. These are practical farm-based, veterinarian inputted, farmer inputted standards that do work on the farm, and we want to make them work with you.

    Emily: So we've audited the farm annually after that process, after everything is ironed out, if anything would need to be changed. Then farms can use the labels on their products. And so, it's a really quick and easy, and straightforward way for producers, businesses, whatever, anyone using these products to show their customer that they are using the highest welfare standards. That they are raising their animals outdoors on pasture. That they're not using animal byproducts, or routine antibiotics, or hormones. It's an important way to put transparency into a food system that does not have it currently. And so that's what we do.

    Nicole: Sorry my brain got locked up for a minute.

    Emily: Well, labels will do that to your brain every time. And if you really want to get to your brain, total freeze, just go to the grocery store and bring a copy of our Food Labels Exposed guide, and really teach yourself what those labels actually mean. Because, it's as crazy as you think. I mean just taking for example, okay, free range. So for instance, so this has a meaning for poultry meat and it means producers must demonstrate to the agency that poultry has been allowed access to the outside for at least 51% of their lives. This is not what most people think when they think free range. So when you see it on pork, "I don't know what that means."

    Emily: It means whatever the company wrote into the USDA to decide what that means, and even for the poultry, for them, the definition we read, it doesn't mean that they were in a pasture based system. It could be the door at the end of the building. There could be de-beaking and all kinds of other practices that wouldn't necessarily mesh with the average consumers' pastoral ideal of free range.

    Nicole: So the free range that you were talking about, when they want to put that on their product, they just write a note to the USDA or whoever and says, "Oh, of course they were out 51% of the time."

    Emily: Yeah, yep.

    Nicole: There's no, nobody inspects it. Nobody. There's no ...

    Emily: Nope.

    Nicole: What are some other misconceptions or confusing food labels that we're probably all pretty familiar with, with the grocery store?

    Emily: Well, a really interesting one right now that I think is going to become more and more of a bone to chew is regenerative, because that's a term that is becoming more widely used. And it does not mean the same thing to everyone. And it's being very liberally used without any definitions, and without any standards, and-

    Nicole: I've been hearing that one a ton lately on commercials and things.

    Emily: Yeah. It's the new sustainable and it sounds awesome, but you don't, I mean, you have no idea. Is it awesome, I don't know. Did he have standards? Are they audited? Is it actually delivering on the promises of climate change, worker justice, water quality, air quality, animal welfare? So far, there's not a lot of evidence to say it is. And to me, that's one of the ones that is one of the most egregious because as we all know, these are some of the fundamental threats. Obviously we are facing a very big threat right now, but I think longterm, the agricultural systems that we support in the next decade are going to be incredibly important for the future of our planet. We don't have time to waste on this. And if you're going to be telling me, if I'm looking at a package of food and you're telling me that you're storing carbon in the ground, that you are carbon neutral, that you are doing things to protect the planet for the future for our kids, for the next generation, you better be doing it.

    Nicole: Yeah. And I think that it's so easy for the ones that aren't monitored, or that there's not a clear definition like the regenerative farming that I saw recently on TV for a cereal brand, it was on their commercial and I know what regenerative farming means to me, but I don't know what it means to them. And like you said, are they doing it to their entire crop or are they just doing it to this one corner of this one crop and they're just throwing the phrase out there? It's somewhat deceptive and confusing at times.

    Emily: Well, ask who the certifier is and look at the standards, or see what consumer advocates say about the standards. I recognize that most people aren't going to, if you don't do this for a living, you're not going to sit down on a Friday night and read standards. I get that. That's why we made food labels exposed. That's why we're turning it into an app soon. But you can, there are quick and easy ways to check and see what a party who isn't vested in you thinking a label is great, thinks about it. So listen to what the label critics say about us. Listen to what the label critics say about other food labels. It's the classic Reading Rainbow thing. Like don't take my word for it. See what somebody who has no skin in the game says about the label.

    Nicole: Absolutely. So I know that we touched on it a little bit, but the process of obtaining a certification from A Greener World, based on whatever you are producing. I know that again, we had your certification for the laying hens and when you guys came out, there was a couple of little things that I didn't have just right. For example, I didn't have enough roost space for the amount of birds that I had, but it was great. I just got a little thing that said, "You have to fix this." And then I fixed it and then all was well and everything went really smooth. And you guys worked with me and I didn't feel like I was in trouble or that I was never going to get certified. It was all super obtainable.

    Emily: Yeah, yeah. So, we're not the farm police. We beckon it like this is, and lot of the auditors on our program are farmers too. And so they know what it's like and they know how nerve wracking it can be to have somebody come and look at it. It's a reflection of you. It's a very personal thing and they respect that. So nobody's trying to call you out or get anyone in trouble or anything like that. And it is, it's a totally confidential process. So, we don't ever audit a farm and then throw pictures up online or anything like that. We would never do that. It's a program for farmers, by farmers. This, it's not adversarial and we really do want to work with folks and we want to support farmers. So that, your experience reflects a lot of what I've heard from other farmers, and that it's very important to us that we keep that approach.

    Nicole: Well, and of course, reaching out to you guys to get the certification, I think that I'm doing everything right to my birds. So, it's not like I'm keeping them in a way that I think is not ...

    Emily: Right, right. Yeah, yeah. And a lot of this, it's not about right versus wrong. Our program, it's based on science and best practice and setting up a high welfare system that works for the animal, and the farmer, and the environment too. And so, when you put all those things together, if you're going to have a food label, you have to have standards around it. And so, it's a way to kind of define what we mean when we say high welfare, pasture-based production for instance. And so it's a way to have that clarity with what the practices are, and what you're communicating in the marketplace. And it's a way to give people trust in your products as well.

    Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. So the actual application process, can you walk us through that? I know that you know there's the initial application and then an application fee, correct?

    Emily: Yes. So if you go to the website, first step is reading the standards, just making sure you feel comfortable with that. And if you have any questions, definitely reach out. We have outreach coordinators that are more than happy to help get any questions addressed and then just hit that little get certified button. The application takes about 15 minutes. And if you're ever, if it's something that you want to do and you just don't ever get around to it, but you know you're ready, just call, just feel free to call one of our outreach coordinators and they can even do it over the phone. I've done it for folks, when they were driving a tractor. We will work with you. We want to make this easy and we know that farmers are not necessarily in front of a computer all day.

    Emily: So yeah, we will make it work. There's a application fee and it's a hundred dollars generally. There is, it changes slightly, 10 to $20 on either side of that based on your size of your acreage. But it's yeah, it's right around a hundred dollars and you can get a discount if you apply for more than one certification at a time, or if you're working with a producer group. So definitely ask about that if it applies to you when you're applying. And then after that there is, the application fee is one time only and then annually there is an audit fee as well. And that's similarly around a hundred dollars for certifications. Well, for Animal Welfare Approved and Grass Fed. And then the non-GMO is a little different because it depends on testing, depending on what crop you're raising or what animal you're raising, what they're eating. That could change that fee somewhat. But we are definitely a competitively priced Non-GMO label and a very good one. So we'd love to have anyone who's interested in the program.

    Nicole: And you said that the fee is based on the acreage, but does somebody have to have a hundred chickens to be certified, or what if they just are kind of a small scale producer and provide eggs locally to just their own contacts?

    Emily: Sure. I mean we're happy to have anyone who feels like the label would be useful to their business and communicating their practices. That really is the main thing. If you feel like you have a place for it in your marketing plan, if you think your customers would appreciate it, then yeah, by all means go for it. We'd love to have you.

    Nicole: So, this isn't just specifically for large commercial scale producers?

    Emily: No, we have farms of every shape and size. It's not a big or a small program. We have farms that are less than five acres. We have farms that are many hundreds of thousands of acres. Yeah. We work with all farms, all sizes. And it really is just about the system and is the system meeting the standards? Whether that's welfare standards, environmental independent ownership inputs, and treatments and all of that. But yeah, it is a very systems' based approach and it's not necessarily a size.

    Nicole: Okay. So after the application and all that, then there's the audit where somebody comes out and takes a look around in the terrifying, but not interview for us?

    Emily: Exactly. Exactly. They'll hold your hand and walk around the farm with you. And then after that, yeah, so after you get, after you do the audit, after you get certified, whether or not you have to make any changes like you mentioned, adding roost space or whatever it might be. Or, whether you need to work with your plant to get the plant reviewed. So we're a birth through slaughter program, and so we work with the farm and the slaughter plant. So any farm that is going to put an AWA logo on their ground beef for instance, we would visit the farm and we would also visit the slaughter plant. So we work with hundreds of plants all across the US and Canada. And we don't certify plants, but we do review them and recommend them for use by certified farms.

    Emily: And so a lot of farmers really appreciate that part of the certification, because they know that the plant that they're taking their animals to is doing a good job, and following meaningful welfare guidelines and standards around animal handling, around food and water, and around treatment in general. So, most of those farmers raising animals for meat are really aware of the impact that animal handling can have on meat quality as well as animal welfare. So, we do have a lot of really good relationships with plants, and both the plants and the farmers appreciate the benefits of the program.

    Nicole: So typically, and I know that there's going to be some variation depending on any changes that might need to be made, or maybe working with the plant like you mentioned, but how long does the process from start to finish usually take?

    Emily: Oh man. I mean it really depends. It's a tough question to answer because it just, it really does depend. We've done it as quickly as days, a matter of days and others may drag on if it's a complicated supply chain, or there's any number of reasons. I would say if you are pretty sure you're right there and the plant's already working with us or is excited and open to it, then a couple months is reasonable. Like I said, we are more than happy to shorten that time from application to certification by helping to address any tech questions that you might have before you apply, and to make sure that that process goes quickly and smoothly. We also do have a eligibility coordinator who will talk with you right after you apply to make sure that that everything, that everybody's on the same page and that everybody's reading the standards the same way, and that it really does make sense to go out and do that audit. And so that kind of helps smooth that process as well.

    Nicole: And so in addition to the obvious ability to use your label on the product, what other benefits come with the membership?

    Emily: So, we really do think of ourselves as a full service PR team for our farms, and we are dedicated to doing everything that we can to helping farms get credit in the marketplace and communicate the importance of their practices to their customers, and to the market in general. And so we do a press release for every farm that gets certified. We have a farm profile for every farm in the program on our website. We promote farms on social media and we also list farms, not only the farm, if they have a farm store for instance, or do online ordering. But any place that you can find their products as well. So if you were selling to a grocery store chain, or a restaurant, or a coffee shop or a school system, any of those outlets, those vendors would be listed on our directory.

    Emily: And so we get tons of traffic from consumers who are looking for sustainable, high welfare meat and dairy products, and other products as well. And so that directory is the highest traveled page on our website. And so, it's a really good way to get your name out there and to find customers who are looking for you, and make sure that they find you. So yeah, we do a lot to support the farms in the program and we want them to succeed. So, and we wouldn't be here without the awesome farms that we work with. So, we definitely, we do everything we can.

    Nicole: And then can you tell me some more about the farm health online resource? You mentioned that earlier.

    Emily: Yeah. So this is another technical resource that we offer. And regardless of whether you get certified or not, this is a really good resource. Whether, no matter what skill you are, if you're just doing backyard stuff, if you are producing at scale, this is a partnership that A Greener World did with Duchy College in the UK and it's a online database of technical support that is specifically geared toward pasture-based production. It's got guidance, and best practices, and also disease summaries, for a number of different species. And again, specifically geared toward pasture-based production. And this is not a substitute for a vet, but it's a really good source of information. It might be a good starting point. There's a real shortage of independent vets in the US and so this can be a good place to start a search if you're having a problem, or to help get your system set up. There's some really great resources on housing It's a good place to start and it's free.

    Emily: You know, we appreciate donations to keep it going, but it is something that we want to be accessible to everyone, and we get people looking at this from all over the world. It's really cool to see those analytics. I mean just like countries that I probably couldn't find on a map. Just really, really cool to see. Just kind of tying the world together around an interest in high welfare, pasture-based production, and folks really using those resources. So it's great. Highly recommend it and share it if you like it.

    Nicole: Awesome. And we'll course post the link to that in our show notes, that people don't have to go searching for it.

    Emily: Awesome.

    Nicole: So I imagine that most people listening to this are a producer at some scale. Even if it's just a small scale, have a couple chickens in our backyard. But what if somebody's not a producer, or a large scale producer, how can they become involved with this?

    Emily: So we have a lot of resources and ways to plug in. If you go to our website, there's the get involved tab and there's some great information about how to volunteer. You can become a monthly donor, which is the lifeblood of our organization. There's also ways to suggest a farm. So if you have a favorite farmer that you think would be a great fit for the program, just fill out that form and we will get in touch and we would love to work with them. You can sign up to get email updates from us. And there's also the directory as well. So, a lot of us, even if we have a few chickens in the backyard, we may buy butter or we may buy beef jerky or whatever. It's the rare person and farm that is a fully self-sufficient homestead. So there are a lot of ways to support independent producers doing great things, no matter who you are. And I've highly encouraged folks to go to the website and get involved. We'd love for you to be a part of the program.

    Nicole: Wonderful. And so feeding off of that, where can we find you online?

    Emily: So the first off, I would encourage you go to the website and so agreenerworld.org and then we are also on Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram, and YouTube and evolving all the time, wherever the kids go these days. So definitely stay in touch, get our emails and yeah, and we will talk to you wherever you are. And where we're excited to be a part of this and we appreciate everybody that makes it possible.

    Nicole: Well yeah definitely check them out. Lot of great information, whether or not you want to become certified or you're just looking for a good resource for some high quality produce. So definitely take note of these websites, check the show notes where I'll put the links as well. And Emily, thank you so much.

    Emily: Thank you so much for having us.

    Nicole: And for those of you listening, thank you so much for joining us for another episode and we'll see you again next week.

    Announcer: Thank you for listening to Backyard Bounty, a podcast by heritageacresmarket.com. Don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review. If you have a question you'd like us to answer on the show, please email us at ask@heritageacresmarket.com. Also, find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube at Heritage Acres Market. All the links mentioned in this podcast will be included in the description. See you again next week.

    Edited by PodSugar Audio Production & Editing

    #backyardbountypodcast #heritageacresmarket

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