respect for animals

Animal Welfare Approval

CGF Earns Animal Welfare Approval

It’s now widely accepted that raising animals intensively – indoors or confined on dirt feedlots – is not only bad for animals, but is also harming human health and the wider environment. The headlines speak volumes about our broken food system: about the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, environmental pollution from intensive farming systems, and animal welfare abuses.

In 2006, a program was founded to address the growing consumer demand for meat, eggs and dairy products from animals treated to the highest welfare standards and managed with the environment in mind. Animal Welfare Approval (AWA) audits, certifies and supports independent family farmers raising their animals according to the highest standards, outdoors on pasture or range. Called a “badge of honor for farmers” and the “gold standard,” AWA has come to be the most highly regarded food label when it comes to animal welfare, pasture-based farming, and sustainability.

The AWA program operates on the simple understanding that the way we raise our animals, the nutritional quality of the meat, milk and eggs they produce, and the impact of farming systems on the environment, are all intrinsically linked. We know that if we manage our animals properly and according to their needs, we don’t have to rely on things like routine antibiotics and other chemical inputs to farm. We know that healthy, content animals produce better tasting, healthier meat, milk and eggs. And we know that pasture-based farming livestock systems can actually have a positive impact on the environment, too. Click here to learn more about the benefits of pasture-based farming.

Cherry Grove Farm is proud to have been given Animal Welfare Approval for our fully pastured laying hens. Our heritage breed birds live in mobile coops and are moved several times a week to follow our sheep through their pasture.

Read more on our Press Page.


1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens
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