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Columbia Business Monthly

Saluda County Farm Certified By A Greener World

Sep 24, 2018 10:17AM ● By Kathleen Maris
Sylvan Farm, LLC is the first farming business in Saluda County, S.C. to be Certified Grassfed by A Greener World (AGW). This is the only certification 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 AGW's welfare and environmental standards on an independent farm.

Joey McQuade and his family raise Black Angus cattle on their 120-acre farm in South Carolina. The farm has held the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW certification since 2017 for their high-welfare and environmental management practices for its beef cattle and pigs, and the McQuade family was eager to gain Certified Grassfed by AGW status for their grassfed cattle.

McQuade says, "Our farm certifications from A Greener World set our pork and beef apart from the other products in the meat coolers in the specialty markets that we sell to. With our new Certified Grassfed by AGW certification, people really know how our beef cattle are treated. They know they're eating 100 percent grassfed beef and know that we're raising our animals according to the highest welfare and environmental standards from birth through slaughter."

According to recent research, demand for grassfed beef has increased by 25-30 percent every year over the last decade. But while demand for grassfed meat is sky-rocketing, not all grassfed labels are meeting consumer expectations - and some continue to permit highly questionable practices. Some meat currently marketed as grassfed could come from animals confined on dirt feedlots for long periods outside the growing season, or where growth hormones and subtherapeutic antibiotics are used - just as long as they were fed cut grass or forage.

Certified Grassfed by AGW is an optional, additional accreditation for farmers meeting Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW standards of production. 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.

AGW Director of Communications and Outreach Emily Moose says, "No other grassfed label can match the breadth, integrity, and transparency offered by AGW's practical and achievable Certified Grassfed standards and certification procedures. We're proud to support farmers and ranchers like Sylvan Farm, LLC and to help them promote their high-quality grassfed meat and sustainable farming practices to the public."