A herd of dairy goats at Bifrost Farms Creamery is now Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World. The certification and food label lets consumers know these animals are raised in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S. and Canada, using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent family farm.
Like other AWA farmers across the country, Joel and Meg Wittenmyer of Boyceville recognize 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.
The Wittenmyers moved to the farm with the goal of producing as much food as possible for themselves, and their love of raising goats evolved into a cheese making business. The couple raises mini-Nubian dairy goats — a cross between Nigerian Dwarf and standard Nubian goats — which are perfect for one-on-one handling and produce wonderful, high-butterfat milk for cheese making.
The Wittenmyers decided to pursue AWA certification to highlight the high welfare, pasture-based management they utilize for raising their dairy goats.
“We felt we already practiced many of the tenets espoused by Animal Welfare Approved and wanted to let the world know,” Meg said. “We are very proud of our high-welfare, sustainable practices.”
According to Joel, “While I keep the pastures maintained and things working properly, Meg acts as cheesemaker, milker, goat herder and midwife for our herd. Between the two of us, every detailed aspect of the farm dairy, and creamery is controlled to our exacting standards — now also reflected in our Animal Welfare Approved certification — creating true pasture-to-plate goat milk products.”
Consumer Reports has acknowledged Animal Welfare Approved as the only “highly meaningful” label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainability.
“The accountability and integrity offered by Animal Welfare Approved farmers like Joel and Meg are unmatched in food production,” noted AWA Program Director Andrew Gunther. “We’re glad to have Bifrost Farms Creamery in the AWA family.”
AWA goat’s milk cheeses, seasonal yogurt cheeses (spring and summer) and luscious Cajeta (fall and winter) from Bifrost Farms Creamery are available at The Menomonie Market and Just Local Food Co-Ops, seasonally at the Menomonie Farmers’ Market, and direct from the farm.
For information, visit www.bifrostfarms.com, or follow Bifrost Farms Creamery on Facebook @BifrostFarmsDairyGoats and Twitter @bifrostfarms.