Sylvan Dale Ranch in Loveland, Colo. has been awarded funding to incorporate new breeding stock into the farm’s cattle herd. Animal Welfare Approved announced the 2012-2013 Good Husbandry Grants which help promote sustainable, forward thinking farming techniques and Sylvan Dale Ranch was among the 42 grants that have been awarded to farms and slaughter plants across the nation. The grants are intended to improve animal welfare and allow pasture-based farmers to increase productivity for their operations. This is the fifth year of the program.
In announcing this year’s grants, Program Director Andrew Gunther remarked, “More and more farmers are transitioning from industrial agriculture to high-welfare, pasture-based farming and our program provides a pathway for that transition. Our grants give farmers the creativity to try new ideas without betting the farm, which we think is crucial to the widespread adoption of sustainable agriculture practices.”
The funding priorities for this year’s cycle included welfare improvements in the slaughter process, improved genetics, increased outdoor access, and non-lethal predator control.
A primary goal of this grant program is to facilitate the growth and success of high-welfare, pasture-based systems. Gunther explains, “The biggest challenge in agriculture right now is getting animals outside. The science tells us that when farm animals are responsibly managed on open pasture or range, the challenges inherent in industrial agriculture simply disappear. This ultimately leads to more nutritious, healthier products.”
More information about the Animal Welfare Approved Good Husbandry Grants, including profiles of past grants, is available here.