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Greenville Business Magazine

S.C. Farm Certified By A Greener World

Sep 07, 2018 09:32AM ● By Kathleen Maris
Pompey's Rest in Ware Shoals, S.C. is the first farming business in the state to be Certified Grassfed by A Greener World (AGW) for their grassfed goats. This is the only certification and logo in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives, and managed according to the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW leading welfare and environmental standards on an independent farm.

Don Jackson, along with his wife, Patsy, and eldest son, Patrick, raise Hereford beef cattle and goats outdoors on pasture on their 125-acre property in northwest South Carolina. Although the farm's beef cattle have been Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW since 2017, the Jackson family was eager to gain that status for their grassfed goats.

Jackson says, "We have been using non-conventional grazing practices since 2011 and have seen a complete turnaround from where our farm was in 2008. We pursued the Certified Grassfed by AGW label for our cattle and goats to send a clear message to our customers about our commitment to high-welfare management livestock and feeding 100 percent grass and forage. The proof is in the quality of our grassfed meat." 

According to recent research, demand for grassfed beef has increased by 25-30 percent every year over the last decade. But while demand for grassfed meat is sky-rocketing, not all grassfed labels are meeting consumer expectations - and some continue to permit highly questionable practices. Some meat currently marketed as grassfed could come from animals confined on dirt feedlots for long periods outside the growing season, or where growth hormones and subtherapeutic antibiotics are used - just as long as they were fed cut grass or forage.

Certified Grassfed by AGW is an optional, additional accreditation for farmers meeting Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW standards of production. Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW has been lauded by consumer reports as the only "highly meaningful" label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access, and sustainability.

AGW Director of Communications and Outreach Emily Moose says, "No other grassfed label can match the breadth, integrity, and transparency offered by AGW's practical and achievable Certified Grassfed standards and certification procedures. We're proud to support farmers and ranchers like Pompey's Rest and to help them promote their high-quality grassfed meat and sustainable farming practices to the public."