TK Family Farm awarded top environmental, animal welfare certification

Published 12:05 pm Thursday, June 15, 2017

Local farm uses sustainable agriculture methods for its pasture-raised pigs and laying hens 

The pigs and flock of laying hens at TK Family Farm are now Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World. This certification  and food label lets consumers know these animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S. and Canada, using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent family farm.

Like other Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) farmers across the country, Brittany and Jon Klimstra recognize the growing consumer interest in how animals are raised on farms. Managing animals outdoors on pasture or range has known benefits for animals, consumers and the environment.

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The AWA pigs at TK Family Farm are raised outdoors on pasture or range, where they are free to root and forage as pigs naturally do. This high-welfare management is a fundamental component of AWA certification and is known to have environmental, nutritional, and culinary benefits.

“We produce pastured pork raising traditional breed pigs, including Red Wattle and Hereford pigs,” says Brittany Klimstra. “Both breeds are a good fit for our farm because they are easy to keep and do very well in pasture and range-based, outdoor systems.”

In addition to the AWA pigs, the Klimstras also manage a flock of AWA laying hens outdoors on pasture.

“Our laying flock is comprised of several different chicken breeds,” says Brittany Klimstra, and they all have free range of the farm where they can perform natural behaviors like running, dust bathing, pecking and scratching for grubs and seeds.”

This type of pasture-based management not only provides the highest welfare conditions for the hens, but also produces healthier eggs containing three times as much vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene, and twice the omega-3 fatty acids as industrial eggs.

The Klimstras chose to pursue AWA certification because they wanted their customers to know how their animals are raised, and because of the trusted independent verification the AWA program provides.

“Our AWA certification helps convey to our customers our commitment to producing truly sustainable and high-quality pasture-raised pork and eggs.”

AWA Program Director Andrew Gunther says, “The accountability and integrity offered by Animal Welfare Approved farmers like Brittany and Jon are unmatched in food production. We’re glad to have TK Family Farm in the AWA family.”

TK Family Farm’s AWA pork and eggs are available around North Carolina. Check the AWA directory for details. More information on the AWA is online at

For more information about TK Family Farm, located in Green Creek, N.C., visit the farm’s Facebook page or contact Jon and Brittany Kilmstra at or 828-817-8348.

– article submitted by Stephanie Wuorenma