Celebrating Five Years of Funding to Help Farmers Improve Animal Welfare
Last week, Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT)—an organization that works to ensure all food-producing animals are raised in a more humane and healthy manner—announced new grants to farmers who are committed to better treatment of farm animals and sustainable farming practices. Funded in part by the ASPCA since 2017, FACT’s Fund-a-Farmer grants are provided to farmers who want to obtain or who already hold a meaningful animal welfare certification, as well as to farmers who are improving their animals’ access to pasture.
In the last five years, the ASPCA-supported welfare certification grants have gone to 93 farms, improving the lives of an estimated 85,700 animals. Providing these grants is a part of our strategy to build a more humane farming system as an alternative to cruel and unsustainable factory farming.
Small farmers often face financial barriers when attempting to transition to certified higher-welfare systems, especially ensuring their farms have the infrastructure necessary to provide animals with continuous access to pasture. This requires adequate fencing, access to food and water on pasture and shelter. The Fund-a-Farmer grants help to reduce those barriers, in turn providing farm animals with better lives. FACT has also made a commitment to racial equity, with roughly half of its 2021 and 2022 grants going to farmers who identify as Black, Indigenous or a person of color.
Through these grants, we get to meet farmers working hard to raise animals more humanely and be good stewards of their land and communities. Here are some highlights from the 2022 grantees:
- Callywood Farms (Westminster, SC)
After a tornado destroyed one of their pastures, this Animal Welfare Approved pig and chicken farm received a grant to re-open the pasture for their animals, build new shelters and reseed to ensure ample forage to graze on.
- Jóia Food Farm (Charles City, IA)
This farm raises Animal Welfare Approved laying hens, pigs and sheep and received a grant to purchase mobile handling equipment that allows farmers to monitor and inspect their sheep out on pasture, reducing stress for people and animals alike.
- Serendipity Farms (Wolverine, MI)
This Animal Welfare Approved farm raises their pigs on forested land, allowing pigs to root and explore to their hearts’ content. Serendipity Farms received a grant to build a watering facility for their pigs in the woods.
- Ardent Acres Farm (Palisade, MN)
This farm is working toward achieving animal welfare certification for their Scottish Highland cows and received a grant to install solar-powered water access out on pasture.
The ASPCA is committed to increasing more opportunities for farmers across the country to transition to higher-welfare systems and improve the lives of their animals.