MCMINNVILLE, TENN. (Feb. 21, 2014)- The flock of sheep at Yellowbird Farms is now certified as Animal Welfare Approved. This certification and food label lets consumers know that these animals were raised in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S., using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent family farm.
Like other AWA farmers across the country, Jim and Deanna Malooley recognize the growing consumer interest in how animals are being raised. Raising animals outdoors on pasture or range has known benefits for animals, consumers and the environment. The Malooley's raise Katahdin sheep, a traditional American "hair sheep" breed which produces meat, but not wool. "The fact that the Katahdin sheep do not have wool makes it perfectly suited to Tennessee's humid, sub-tropical climate and they thrive on our lush pastures," says Jim.
The sheep are moved daily, which ensures they always have access to fresh pasture and prevents the build-up of internal parasites. The Malooley's do not give their sheep subtherapeutic antibiotics, added hormones, or animal byproducts. "By allowing our animals to live as they were designed to, they are naturally healthy and stress-
free," Deanna says.
The Malooley's protect natural resources through responsible stewardship, careful planning, and collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services. In recognition of their commitment to sustainable farming practices, Jim and Deanna were named 2013 Warren County Conservation Farmers of the Year. "We are passionate in our commitment to sustainable land stewardship and humane animal stockmanship," says Deanna.
On getting AWA certified, Jim says, "We are proud of the way we care for our animals and feel that our AWA certification is a great representation of our values and practices. Our AWA certification is tremendously important to us." The farm is also a member of the American Grassfed Association.
Visitors are welcome to see the farm and can call 931-743-0376 to make an appointment. Lamb from Yellowbird Farms' AWA-certified sheep flock is available online at yellowbirdfarms.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.