First Farm in US Gains Dual Top Certified Wildlife Friendly™ & Animal Welfare Approved Certifications
For Immediate Release
FIRST FARM IN U.S. GAINS DUAL TOP ANIMAL WELFARE & WILDLIFE FRIENDLY CERTIFICATIONS
Living Earth Farm in Eugene, Ore. Uses
Sustainable Agriculture Practices to Coexist with Wildlife
EUGENE, ORE. (August 5, 2013) – Sharon Blick of Living Earth Farm is the first farmer in the U.S. to achieve dual certification from both Animal Welfare Approved and Certified Wildlife Friendly™ for her flock of laying hens, meat birds, and herd of dairy goats.
The Certified Wildlife Friendly™ program is designed to assess and reward farmers and ranchers across the U.S. and Canada who coexist with native predator and wildlife species. Blick participated in a third-party audit, carried out by an Animal Welfare Approved auditor, to demonstrate compliance with the specific standards. As a result, Living Earth Farm products can now be marketed using the Certified Wildlife Friendly™ logo.
As well as gaining Certified Wildlife Friendly™ accreditation, Blick also achieved Animal Welfare Approved certification, an accolade only granted to family farmers with the keenest attention to animal welfare and environmental management on their farms. Called a “badge of honor for farmers” and the “gold standard,” this certification and food label lets consumers know that the animals were raised in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S., using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent family farm.
Blick manages a flock of Rhode Island Red hens for eggs and meat, a herd of Nubian dairy goats, and grows fruits and vegetables. 15-acre Living Earth Farm has diverse wildlife species and is situated near a number of managed habitats, including the West Eugene Wetlands. Both Sharon and her husband, Jim, have a keen interest in wildlife and have recorded over 120 different bird species on or near the farm, as well as a number of notable predator species, such as coyotes, cougars, and predatory birds, which can present a threat to livestock.
To protect their flock of hens, Blick introduced a guardian border collie, which resulted in a 100% survival rate. She also runs a guardian llama with the goats, which successfully prevents coyote predation. Because llamas are very territorial and instinctively suspicious of canines, they will often strike out at small predators such as coyotes. Blick says, “As Jim and I both come from wildlife backgrounds, ensuring the farm was a corridor between these habitats for all wildlife, including predators, was important for us.”
“Once you start looking behind the label, even some of the most lauded ‘green’ farm certifications actually have no rules whatsoever on how farms must coexist with predators, or even limits on the use of lethal control against wildlife,” says Blick. “We wanted a way to show customers that our concern for animal welfare extended to all of the wildlife on our farm, not just the animals we raise. Dual certification with both Animal Welfare Approved and Certified Wildlife Friendly™ does exactly that.”
For more information on Living Earth Farm visit www.thelivingearthfarm.com.
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About Animal Welfare Approved
Animal Welfare Approved audits, certifies and supports farmers raising their animals according to the highest welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range. Called a “badge of honor for farmers” and the “gold standard,” AWA is the most highly regarded food label in North America when it comes to animal welfare, pasture-based farming, and sustainability. All AWA standards, policies and procedures are available on the AWA website, making it the most transparent certification available.
Animal Welfare Approved’s Online Directory of AWA farms, restaurants and products enables the public to search for AWA farms, restaurants and products by zip code, keywords, products and type of establishment. In addition, AWA has published Food Labeling for Dummies, a regularly updated guide to commonly used food claims and terms, available free for download at www.AnimalWelfareApproved.org.
About Certified Wildlife Friendly™
The Certified Wildlife Friendly™ standards cover a number of areas relating to wildlife and predator conservation – from the provision and preservation of wildlife habitats, to monitoring requirements and permitted non-lethal predator management strategies. Participating farmers are audited annually to ensure they maintain and enhance wildlife habitats on their farms and employ a mix of observation and proactive practices to allow wildlife and livestock to coexist. Find out more about the Certified Wildlife Friendly™ program at www.wildlifefriendly.org/northamerica.
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