Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) has announced a call for proposals for its 2011-2012 Good Husbandry Grants. 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 grants up to $5,000 toward projects including 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 grants program is that it gives farmers the freedom to try new ideas without risking the farm,” says Program Director Andrew Gunther. “We are thrilled to be able to contribute toward developing solutions for future generations of farmers – solutions with positive impacts that extend far beyond the farm gate.”
In Marengo, IL, Hasselmann Family Farm’s 2009-2010 Good Husbandry Grant funded the construction of new mobile home housing for the farm’s sow operation, facilitating the transition to pastured production. The move has produced numerous benefits for pasture farmer Scott Hasselmann in terms of animal health and welfare and improved disease prevention, farm sanitation and whole farm fertility.
Another 2009-2010 grant awarded to Fruitland American Meat in Jackson, MO, funded the purchase of a new knock box and handling facility improvements. The changes have allowed the plant to safely and humanely handle smaller animals such as lambs, hogs and calves, and improve animal welfare and plant diversification in the process.
Farmers and slaughter plants interested in applying should visit www.animalwelfareapproved.org/farmers/grants-for-farmers.com  or contact Grants Coordinator Emily Lancaster at [email protected]  or (202) 618-4497.