Ice House becomes first Vermont goat dairy to get AWA Grassfed Certified
GOSHEN — Ice House Farm in Goshen is the first Vermont goat dairy to win the Certified Grassfed accreditation from A Greener World, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainability. The farm was also awarded AGW’s Animal Welfare Approved certification for both its goats and its pasture-raised flock of chickens, which includes Welsummers, Marans, Speckled Sussex, Araucanas and other assorted breeds.
The Grassfed certification means that animals are:
• Fed 100 percent grass or forage
• Raised outdoors (which in Vermont winters also means having free access to the outdoors)
• Managed with high animal welfare and environmental standards
• Raised on an independent family farm
To achieve Animal Welfare Approved for either chickens or dairy goats farms must meet 30-some pages of specific criteria for each animal, including on-site farm audits and detailed record keeping. In a recent New York Times article comparing so-called humane certifications, Consumers Union called AGW’s certification “The only one we have any confidence in and think gives you value for your money.”
Ice House joins 13 other Vermont farms in being AWA certified. Three Vermont beef farms are AGW Certified Grassfed.
“When we started really forming the farm together as a business, we sat down and thought about what our priorities were, and animal husbandry was on the top of the list,” said Ice House Farm owner Chad Beckwith. “We wanted to provide an environment for these animals to thrive and that goes for everything — the goats the chickens and the bees.”
He noted that AGW “spent a lot of time here auditing us on the farm. And it was great to work through because they really work through your animal plan for almost everything including things we didn’t think of like emergency plans, if there’s a flood or a fire what are you going to do for your animals.”
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