Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Animal Welfare Approved offers grants for farmers to make welfare improvements on farm

Animal Welfare Approved Published on 28 June 2011

Animal Welfare Approved announced a call for proposals for its 2011-2012 Good Husbandry Grants. Now in its fourth year, the Good Husbandry Grants program has funded nearly 100 projects across the country to improve farm animal welfare. Certified farmers and those who have submitted an application for AWA certification may apply for up to $5,000 towards projects such as mobile housing, breeding stock, and on-farm processing equipment. Slaughter plants working with or seeking to work with AWA farmers are also eligible for funding.

"One of the greatest triumphs of this grant program is that it gives farmers the freedom to try new ideas without risking the farm," says Program Director Andrew Gunther. "It is becoming obvious that industrial agriculture is unable to meet our needs as a society, and innovation in agriculture is now more important than ever. We are thrilled to be able to contribute towards developing solutions for future generations of farmers – solutions with positive impacts that extend far beyond the farm gate."



The funding priorities for this year's cycle include improved genetics, increased outdoor access, welfare improvements in the slaughter process and non-lethal predator control. A primary goal of this grant program is to facilitate the growth and success of high-welfare, pasture-based systems.

Gunther explains: "The biggest challenge in agriculture right now is getting animals outside. The science tells us that when farm animals are responsibly managed on open pasture or range, a whole host of challenges inherent in industrial agriculture simply disappear. For instance, the incidence of pathogenic E. coli is much lower in pasture-based systems, and animals are proven to have higher welfare. This ultimately leads to more nutritious, healthier products."

Farmers and slaughter plants interested in applying should click here or contact Grants Coordinator Emily Lancaster at (202) 618-4497. PD

—From Animal Welfare Approved news release