For those un-initiated to the rural life and the care of farm animals, being able to trust the provider of animal related products is crucial. We don’t always have the opportunity to share with our patrons the type of care our animals receive on a daily basis, but this aspect of our business has become increasingly important.
Our Nigerian Dwarf and Saanen Goats are an integral part of our business. Not only for the milk they produce but for the relationships they help foster with the public. Also as a farm, we are proactively prepared in the event of a visit from the more extremist animal rights groups as well. We want the public to know the premium care we provide our animals and that is why we reached out to “Certified Humane.Org”.
We began the application process earlier this year to achieve certification. On April 7, Brenda Coe, a Certified Humane registered inspector visited our farm. We were expecting her to be very thorough and were not disappointed. If anything, we were surprised at the intense level of detail in the examination of our operation. She left no stone unturned.
Certified Humane has “standards” which any animal related business has to meet regardless of whether the animals are for the food industry (poultry, beef, pork, etc) or in our case, the personal products industry. Brenda spent six (6) hours on our farm examining our practices. We went over each of the following:
- Facilities – layout, size of pens and ratio of space to number of animals present, access to pasture, access to shade, grazing and play areas. Adequate protection from the elements, air flow and lighting, and bedding for animal comfort.
- Feeding routine – types of feed, feed containers, feed ingredients (checking for prohibited substances), supplements and their ingredients, cleanliness of feed pans and water buckets, plus sanitation procedures.
- Milking area setup and cleanliness
- Individual health and body condition of each animal
- Safety in and around the barn – secured fencing and safe containment to protect the herd from cuts, bruises or any other type of injury.
- Methods of castration and post-care treatment.
- Record-keeping for the goats including proper animal breed registration records, laboratory documentation of required vaccinations, worming records including medication used and frequency, animal test results for CAE (Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis), CL (Caseous Lymphadenitis), and Johne’s disease.,
- Records of milk testing including butterfat, somatic cell count results and brucellosis.
- Analysis of milking records to verify enough milk is produced to meet production of our products. (We can no longer accept milk from other farms in the event of a shortage UNLESS they are registered as a “Certified Humane” facility as well).
We are very proud to say we passed without any issues or required remediation. This means Honey Sweetie Acres is currently the only Certified Humane producer of goat milk skin care products in the United States.
We’d like to thank our customers for their support. We know this was important to many of you. We will continue to be re-inspected annually. Our beautiful goats have been critical to our success and proper, loving care is the very least we can do.
If you would like to purchase eggs, chicken, beef, pork or any other animal products and are concerned about how they are cared for during their life, visit http://certifiedhumane.org/whos-certified/.