ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP & HUMANE HUSBANDRY GIVE YOU HEALTHY FOOD
We believe good organic livestock husbandry is holistic in nature, striving to promote and enhance the health of our whole environment. This would include not only the animals’ health, but also the health of people, their land, and their water. Good health relies on respect for individual differences and the complexity of nature. To this end, keen observation and monitoring of environmental conditions is an important part of what we do on the farm. We accept that we cannot control our environment (if we ever start believing that, we’re making a big mistake!), but we simply strive to work with it for better. Leaving it better and richer than when we received it is our goal.
STRENGTH IN DIVERSITY
We believe a diversity of species in the landscape is natural and healthy. When that diversity is removed, problems will arise. Research has shown that the effect of producing vast quantities of one crop in the same field year in and year out will leach nutrients, destroy the soil structure, and result in a poor, nutritionally deficient food. The natural sugar content of the produce of these monoculture fields has been found to be measurably lower than that of organic fields. In contrast, West Wind Farms organic fields yield a sweet and varied mix of grasses, herbs, and produce. This sweet bounty nourishes a diversity of animal species - domestic and wild – which, in turn, nourish it.
Instead of ridding our farm of pests using synthetic chemicals and poisons that can harm domestic animals and wildlife, pests are held at bay by our barn kitty and other natural predators living in the trees, hedges, and wild patches of West Wind Farms.
On West Wind Farms, we select our breeding stock for natural parasite resistance. Then we graze our stock in rotation on our pastures, breaking the life cycles of parasitic organisms. Gently working with, not against, our animals’ environment in this way, and closely monitoring them for their health and parasite resistance, we’ve had success overcoming parasite burdens in our livestock. Our organic animals are not injected or dosed with synthetic parasiticides, or wormers. Where you have a choice, meat that is both grassfed AND organic is your best choice for healthy, residue-free food.
Our animals are never reared in crowded unhealthy conditions, so they do not suffer from many of the ailments commonly associated with intensive livestock units. Thus, we avoid the need for sub-therapeutic medication, insecticidal ear tags, sprays and dips. If an animal does become sick (a very rare occasion), it is treated by herbal, homeopathic, or other natural methods first. We never withhold treatment from a sick animal. If synthetic treatments are necessary for the welfare of the animal, the animal is never sold for organic meat. Don’t just take our word for it…organic certification ensures it. Go to the Reading Room to read more about the USDA Organic Standards.
The inclusion of growth promoting substances such as hormones, antibiotics, and heavy metals in livestock feed rations and the use of all kinds of strange and unnatural feed items (newspaper, sawdust, poultry litter, and meat and bone meal) have become acceptable practices for some farmers. Other farmers may simply not realize the livestock feeds they purchase from the farmers’ co-op contain these, and other, non-organic substances. Studies indicate even the best grass fed animals may be compromised if they are grazed on pastures laden with pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers. Because genetically modified organisms (GMOs) occur in the innoculated seed of nearly ALL commercially available alfalfa, clover, and other legumes, even the grass grazed by non-organic grass fed livestock may contain GMOs! What a shame! As organic farmers, we at West Wind Farms do not allow our organic animals access to these synthetic growth enhancers, medications, or chemicals, or any unnatural feedstuffs. West Wind Farms' livestock thrive on a rich variety of certified organic grasses and forbes, free of chemical residues and GMOs.
When certain species of livestock such as poultry and pigs require, by nature, grain in addition to grass to be healthy, their rations are milled on our farm from organically grown grain and never include animal by-products, GMOs, or herbicide- or pesticide-laden grain. And they always have access to certified organic grass pastures as well. Because we do not use concentrated commercial rations or growth enhancers, our animals have a natural, slower rate of growth. For example, where conventionally grown chickens take only 5 ½ weeks to grow to harvest size, ours take between 9 and 12 weeks, depending on the time of year and the weather.
Rest assured, we never buy in animals from the sale barn. Your organic meat comes only from animals raised on our certified organic farm. We never use electrical wands to frighten the animals into moving, nor do we withhold food or water. Knowledge of the animals’ origin, and attention to the animals’ well-being, assures you of the integrity, quality, and purity of the meat you eat.
West Wind Farms voluntarily complies with recommendations of the Humane Society of the United States. Our animals are able to indulge their natural instincts, to stretch wings, dust bathe, build nests, and give birth unrestrained. They are reared outdoors in small groups, with airy shelter for protection and plenty of dry bedding, and are provided with reasonable protection from predators. They are able to peck in the hedges and holes for insects and seeds, to nibble browse, and to farrow in freedom. In these conditions they do not suffer from aggressive behavior, so there is no need for tail clipping, beak snipping, or other physical mutilations to protect them from each other. They commune together in harmony.
Soil quality, animal husbandry, water protection, co-habitation with wildlife, woodland management, grass production, respect for diversity, community strength, and healthy food are inseparable elements of West Wind Farms. All of our endeavors must be aligned with these guiding principles, or we will not continue to pursue them. Our objective is to produce & sell wonderful organic meat and other healthy foods in ways that are good for the land we farm, good for the animals we raise, and good for people, like you! If you are looking for the purest, highest quality food you can buy, West Wind Farms is for you!