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FIRST DAIRY FARM IN NEBRASKA, THIRD IN U.S., TO ADD TOP GRASSFED LABEL TO LEADING ANIMAL WELFARE CERTIFICATION | KRVN Radio

FIRST DAIRY FARM IN NEBRASKA, THIRD IN U.S., TO ADD TOP GRASSFED LABEL TO LEADING ANIMAL WELFARE CERTIFICATION

FIRST DAIRY FARM IN NEBRASKA, THIRD IN U.S., TO ADD TOP GRASSFED LABEL TO LEADING ANIMAL WELFARE CERTIFICATION

RAYMOND, NE–Davey Road Ranch is the first farming business in Nebraska–and the third in the U.S.–to become Certified Grassfed by A Greener World (AGW) for dairy cattle.

Certified Grassfed by AGW is an optional, additional accreditation to Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, meaning that any farm bearing AGW’s grassfed logo also meets the rigorous standards of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW–recently designated by Consumer Reports as “The only [welfare label] we have any confidence in and think gives you value for your money.”

Having already demonstrated their skills and expertise with high-welfare dairy, Ben Gotschall of Davey Road Ranch joins Working Cows Dairy in Slocomb, AL, and Pure Eiré Dairy in Othello, WA, as the third dairy cattle farm in North America to achieve this highly acclaimed certification.

Building on the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW standards, Certified Grassfed by AGW is the onlycertification 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. Because Certified Grassfed by AGW is an optional, additional accreditation for farmers meeting the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW standards for high-welfare, sustainable production, the combined standards also guarantee the dairy cattle at Davey Road Ranch are not given things like growth hormones (such as rBST–recombinant bovine somatotropin) or routine antibiotics.

Ben Gotschall was raised on his family’s farm and has been in the dairy business since he was 10 years old, practicing high-welfare, pasture-based management for just as long. Gotschall was Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW for dairy cattle back in October 2013, but recently decided to add Certified Grassfed by AGW to verify his 100 percent grassfed feeding protocol.

Ben Gotschall of Davey Road Ranch says,

“Cattle are natural grazers and produce the healthiest, best-tasting milk from grass and forage. Our dairy cattle have been 100 percent grassfed for the last 18 years, but I pursued the Certified Grassfed by AGW label to send a clear message to customers about my commitment to high-welfare treatment of livestock and feeding 100 percent grass and forage. It’s unfortunate that a lot of farms say they’re grassfed or claim high-welfare management but aren’t verified by a third-party certification like ours.”

Demand for grassfed dairy products is sky-rocketing, and with it, the proliferation of misleading labels. While many consumers assume that Certified Organic and “grassfed” labels ensure higher welfare practices, neither actually does. In fact, Organic permits routine confinement as long as animals are fed Organic feed, and there is no standard definition for “grassfed” dairy, meaning on-farm practices can vary considerably. No other grassfed dairy label on the market incorporates meaningful welfare standards, especially important for lactating cows which can have extremely poor welfare if not fed a nutritionally appropriate diet.

This gap between consumer expectation and reality inspired demand for an audited, high-welfare grassfed claim: Certified Grassfed by AGW is the only label in the marketplace that ensures dairy products come from truly pasture-based, high-welfare, sustainable farms. Unique in the marketplace, Certified Grassfed by AGW is:

  • The only high-welfare grassfed label
  • Only awarded for cow dairies after a year of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW
  • The only label audited to ensure 100 percent grass and forage, outdoors on pasture with high-welfare and environmental standards

AGW Director of Communications and Outreach Emily Moose says,

“We are proud to announce the first Certified Grassfed by AGW dairy operation in Nebraska, and the third farm in the U.S., with a label that delivers real transparency and trust. Families want dairy products from happy cows on pasture, but with so many misleading labels it can be difficult to purchase with confidence.

Other grassfed labels just don’t cut the mustard when it comes to welfare and sustainability. And while there are certainly organic farmers out there exceeding the standards, the baseline organic requirements do not meet consumer expectations for animal welfare or a 100 percent grassfed diet. That’s why we exist–to support farmers like Ben Gotschall at Davey Road Ranch who are industry leaders, and ensure their products stand out in a confusing marketplace.”

Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef and dairy products from Davey Road Ranch are available direct from the ranch. For more information visit daveyroadranch.com. For inquiries about wholesale deliveries to the Omaha or Lincoln areas, contact Ben Gotschall at bdgotschall@gmail.com and 402-783-0377. Follow the farm on Facebook and Instagram.

For more information about Certified Grassfed by AGW visit https://agreenerworld.org/certifications/certified-grass-fed/.

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