Press Release – Council Formed to Unite North Carolina Farmers

Council Formed to Unite North Carolina Farmers
Local farmers join with The Humane Society of the United States to foster better animal welfare and environmental stewardship

RALEIGH, N.C. (Dec. 20, 2013) – To advance humane and sustainable agricultural practices in North Carolina, The Humane Society of the United States has formed a state agriculture council of family farmers and ranchers who will act as an advisory body. The HSUS’s North Carolina Agriculture Council will work to improve the welfare of farm animals, to increase the number of family farmers in North Carolina and advocate for strong rural communities.

The council will pursue market opportunities for farmers and ranchers whose agricultural practices adhere to animal welfare standards, as well as facilitate a dialogue with individual farmers, ranchers and the organizations that represent them. The group will also highlight farmers who are good stewards of their animals and land, and advise The HSUS on issues affecting North Carolina’s family farmers.

The HSUS advocates compassionate eating – or the Three Rs: “reducing” or “replacing” consumption of animal products, and “refining” our diets by choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards, including the members of this new ag council who raise pigs, cattle and poultry.

Meet the local farmers who make up our North Carolina Agriculture Council, the fifth in our growing system of state agriculture councils:

Eliza MacLean

Eliza MacLean is the owner/operator of Cane Creek Farm in Snow Camp, N.C., in the heart of Alamance County. Cane Creek is a family-owned farm and practices sustainable agriculture.

MacLean said, “Our animals are never kept in confinement. Sheep and goats are all entirely grass-fed and their feed never has antibiotics or animal byproducts. Healthy animals lead to healthy food for our customers!”

Shelley Proffitt Eagan

Shelley Proffitt Eagan is part owner of Proffitt Family Cattle Co. in Kings Mountain, N.C.

Shelley and her husband moved from Colorado with their two children in 2008. Within a year of their arrival, the farm became the first beef operation in the Carolinas to become USDA-certified organic.

Initially direct-marketing their beef via farmers’ markets, restaurants, small grocery stores and an on-farm store, Shelley collaborated with their processor to get certified organic. They currently sell all their beef to Whole Foods Market in Charlotte.

David and Linda Spain

David and Linda Spain are the proud owners of the Spain Farm, a fourth-generation small farm tucked away between the woods and urban growth in Raleigh, N.C.

The Spains take dominion over the land by using stewardship techniques to preserve the farm for the next generation. Their philosophy is to work together with the animals and the food they grow; instead of trying to artificially stimulate them, they make them their partners.

Spain Farm sells to restaurants in the triangle area ranging from eastern North Carolina to the Piedmont.

Jamie Ager

Jamie Ager is a fourth-generation farmer from Fairview, N.C.

He and his family own and operate Hickory Nut Gap Farm, where they raise and market 100 percent grass-fed cattle, pasture-raised pigs, chicken and turkey. On the farm they also have U-pick blueberries, black raspberries, blackberries and apples.

Amanda Carter

Amanda Carter manages the Foothills Pilot Plant in Marion, N.C., in addition to raising pastured pigs and poultry with her family on Spirit Level Farm in Rutherfordton, N.C.

From this AWA-approved, USDA-inspected poultry-slaughter facility, she strives to educate growers, consumers and her staff in welfare-based best practices for small livestock management.

Traci Nachtrab

Traci Nachtrab, along with her husband Calvin, owns Lucky 3 Farm in Louisburg, N.C. They raise 100 percent grass-fed cattle, pastured poultry and pastured pigs on their small family farm.

Traci is an avid animal lover and is passionate about providing safe, clean meats to local consumers. She boldly believes the animals who provide nourishment for us should be honored and treated with the utmost respect during all phases of their lives.