Grass-fed farms get stamp of approval

Animal Welfare Approved label a 
boost for sales

Two grass-fed Alberta livestock operations have recently been given a stamp of approval by an influential U.S. organization called Animal Welfare Approved.

Don and Marie Ruzicka raise Angus, Galloway and Red Poll cattle on 600 acres of pasture at Ruzicka Sunrise Farm near Killam, while John and Kelsey Beasley raise North Country Cheviot sheep at Integrity Ranching near Youngstown.

The two farms join TK Ranch of Hanna in having the right to put the AWA Grassfed label on their meat. The AWA food label program was launched in 2006 to tell consumers about farms that meet the organization’s environmental and welfare standards. To earn the designation, animals must be raised outdoors on pasture or range, and fed a 100 per cent grass and forage diet for their entire lives.

“We believe this approach will allow the land to grow food sustainably, as well as contributing to the health of the livestock we raise and the wildlife that we steward,” said Don Ruzicka.

From the Canadian Cattlemen website: Strong demand for direct-marketed, grass-fed beef

About the author

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Glenn Cheater

Glenn Cheater is a veteran journalist who has covered agriculture for more than two decades. His mission is to showcase the ideas, passions, and stories of Alberta farmers and ranchers.

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