Animal Welfare Approved
In Theory Farm became Animal Welfare Approved in 2014. As an AWA farm, we conform to the AWA husbandry standards, raising our animals according to the highest welfare standards, with both compassion and respect. We have passed an AWA audit, which also ensured that our slaughter facilities comply with AWA requirements.
Why do we feel it is important to be Animal Welfare Approved?
We examined other certification programs (like Certified Organic, or Certified Humane) but were unhappy with the values of the programs available or the cost to the farmer. The first time we learned of Animal Welfare Approved, we knew we had found the right certification.
Not only does the program require that animals be raised outdoors and on pasture, they have stringent requirements concerning shelter size, cleanliness, feed, and management issues.
We have toured other farms and facilities, some of which have government licensing to produce products for human consumption. We were shocked at the conditions of the facilities and animals.
While small farms have many financial demands, it costs nothing but time and effort to be clean, safe and tidy. With both of us working the vet industry, we know how sterilization and standards affect care. We strive to raise our animals in a healthy environment, focusing on preventive care, so we don't have to spend money and heartache on vet bills.
Here's what our AWA inspector had to say:
"In Theory Farm is a nice example of a diversified, pasture based farm. That farm produced table eggs and hatching eggs, soap, and other dairy products for pet consumption. The chicken laying operation consists of a mixture of heritage breeds of birds. The birds free range the entire farm at will. The shelter provided for the birds is a well built building that contains perches, nest boxes, feed and drinking stations. The chickens are National Poultry Improvement Plan certified. The dairy cow operation has Jersey cows, purchased from Chapel Hill Creamery, an Animal Welfare Approved Farm. Their pasture is 5 well fenced acres. The dairy goat operation consists of the Oberhasli breed containing 15 goats. Farmers are in the process of fencing 5 additional acres of browse area in the wooded section of their property. Both farmers are Vet Techs, Lindsey works are NC State, Rachel works at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Cary. Both farmers take great care with their livestock keeping high animal welfare principles in mind. Farmers future plan is to add pigs to the farm operation."