First farm in Portland area obtains animal-welfare certification
Beavercreek-based Naked Acres Farm recently became the first business in the Portland-area to be Certified Grassfed by nonprofit organization A Greener World (AGW).
This is the only certification in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, and raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives.
Naked Acres Farm was first established in 2012 on a small 3.5-acre farm in Southeast Portland by two women who had a dream to farm. Augustus and Margo Liszka first became Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW in 2013 for their dairy goats and laying hens.
By 2017, however, the business had outgrown the original plot of land, so the Liszkas moved to a 75-acre farm near Oregon City and introduced beef cattle and sheep operations.
The couple then chose to pursue additional AGW certifications because they felt the programs best mirrored their animal husbandry practices and commitment to sustainability.
Augustus Liszka said, "As a small farm, we choose not to certify organic because of the prohibitive cost, but also because the animal welfare rules under organic certification are so shallow. We know it is important for many of our customers to see that we meet specific welfare and environmental standards, rather than just taking our word for it. In our search for a suitable certification, the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW programs stood out as number one in the country."
According to recent research by the Wallace Center of the Winrock Foundation, demand for grass-fed beef has increased by 25-30 percent every year over the last decade. But while demand for grass-fed meat is sky-rocketing, not all grass-fed labels are meeting consumer expectations. Some meat currently marketed as grass-fed could come from animals confined on dirt feedlots for long periods outside the growing season, or where growth hormones and subtherapeutic antibiotics are used, as long as they were fed cut grass or forage.
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW has been lauded by Consumer Reports as the only "highly meaningful" label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainability.