Resources for Farmers and Consumers

This resource list is for farmers looking for marketing assistance, interested in health and safety on the farm, as well as support for raising livestock on pastures.
This page has resources for eaters who want to buy pasture-raised meat, dairy and eggs; are looking for ways to stay current with sustainable food news, and want to advocate on the behalf of their local farmers.
Conflict of interest disclosure: I am currently serving as a Board of Directors for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.

Resource Categories

Avian influenza guidance for NC farmers who raise chickens and turkeys for meat and eggs

For farmers who raise livestock on pastures

Farm marketing tools and networks

Farmer safety and health

Directories for consumers who buy meat, dairy and eggs

For news about sustainable food and farmers

For food consumers interested in large-scale farming operations

For farmers who raise livestock on pastures

Pig on pasture at Homestead Harvest Farm Pig on pasture at In Theory Farm Cattle on pasture at Fickle Creek Farm

A Greener World (AGW) provides the Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) free certification program to independent farmers who raise their animals according to the highest welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range. In addition, A Greener World offers Certified Grassfed by AGW, and Certified Non-GMO (Non-Genetically Modified Organisms) by AGW accreditations.

The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW seal is the most highly regarded food label when it comes to animal welfare, pasture-based farming and sustainability.


The Humane Farm Animal Care organization audits, and certifies farmers, ranchers and retailers in Brazil, Canada, Peru and the United States that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment.


Firsthand Foods sells pasture-raised beef, pork and lamb sourced from a network of North Carolina farmers who raise their animals humanely, on pasture, without using sub-therapeutic antibiotics, added hormones or animal by-products.


NC Growing Together is a USDA-funded project led by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems. NC Growing Together connects North Carolina’s small and medium-sized farmers with retailers, food hubs, and food service buyers. The project also removes the barriers that prevent local produce, meat, dairy and seafood from entering large-scale markets.


The Keeping Backyard Poultry CDC website provides health information to people who raise chickens in their backyards. There is information about how to lower the chances of people getting infected with the bacteria Salmonella, which can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain.


The Livestock Conservancy promotes genetic diversity in agriculture by protecting over 150 endangered livestock and poultry breeds.


NC Choices improves the local, niche, and pasture-based meat supply chain in North Carolina. NC Choices, which is an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, provides information, technical assistance, educational programming, and networking opportunities for farmers, extension agents, meat processors, buyers, distributors, and consumers.


The Sustainable Poultry Network develops local networks of farmers who are committed to providing outdoor pasture to heritage breeds of chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. The farmers allow their birds the opportunity to perform natural and instinctive behaviors essential to their health and well-being.



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Farm marketing tools and networks

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association sign NC Agritourism Network Association sign

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is a farmer-driven, organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods. They advocate for fair farm and food policies, build the systems family farms need to thrive, and educate communities about local, organic agriculture.


Farmzie provides free marketing and business tools for farmers. With this mobile application, farmers are able to conduct full inventory controls and online web site marketing, and process credit cards without fees.


The Growing Farmers Podcast interviews farmers from across the country to discuss farm business strategies. The host, farm manager John Suscovich, created the Farm Marketing Solutions to provide resources for those who are looking to expand their farm business as well as those who are wanting to start a farm. His content is humorous, honest, and expresses his true desire to share his hard-won knowledge with fellow farmers.


The NC Agritourism Network Association is comprised of farmers in North Carolina who share best practices in agritourism.


The Piedmont Grown organization certifies and promotes farm products grown, raised, and made in the North Carolina Piedmont Region. This region has 37 counties and covers the central part of North Carolina. The cities of Hickory, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, High Point, Greensboro, Pinehurst, Sandhills, Durham, Raleigh, and Fayetteville all are in the Piedmont.


The Rural Advancement Foundation International Just Foods Program develops and expands production, marketing and research opportunities for sustainable and organic farmers. The program also promotes federal policies that support and strengthen sustainable agriculture.



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Avian influenza guidance for NC farmers who raise chickens and turkeys for meat and eggs

If you want to brush up on the words used to refer to avian influenza and the difference between low pathogenic and highly pathogenic, read the "What is bird flu? highly pathogenic avian influenza?” article. I wrote this blog post in plain language during the 2015 outbreak of avian influenza in the mid-western part of the United States.


What are the signs of Avian Influenza in your flock? If your chickens and turkeys have avian influenza how would you know? Check your flocks for the warning signs described on this USDA APHIS webpage.


If your birds are sick or dying in North Carolina, contact one of the following:


How do you protect your birds from avian influenza? Read this USDA Backyard Biosecurity for birds guide to learn 6 ways to prevent poultry diseases. This first page is written in English, the second page is written in Spanish.
Por la información en Español, Lee la segunda página de este USDA Guía, biosecuridad para aves domésticas. El tiene 6 maneras de prevenir las enfermedades de aves.


Are your meat and egg customers concerned about the risk of getting avian influenza from what they eat? Perhaps your customers have heard about the avian influenza (bird flu) and are concerned about getting the bird flu from eating eggs, or meat from chickens and turkeys. Here’s how you, as a farmer who raises your birds on pasture and processes the birds on your farm, can address their concerns:

Thanks for sharing your concern with me. As your farmer who raises my birds on pasture, I watch my birds for symptoms of pathogenic avian influenza. If I saw symptoms, I would report the situation to “___”. I do not harvest the meat or collect eggs from sick birds.


Farmer safety and health

The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute promotes safe and healthy workplaces for farmers, loggers and fishers. The institute conducts research and educates in order to reduce illness and injury.


The Keeping Backyard Poultry CDC website provides health information to people who raise chickens in their backyards. There is information about how to lower the chances of people getting infected with the bacteria Salmonella, which can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain.


The Student Action with Farmworkers works with farmworkers, students, and advocates in the Southeast and nationwide to create a more just agricultural system.



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Directories for consumers who buy meat, dairy and eggs

The certified Animal Welfare Approved(AWA) by A Greener World (AGW) seal is the most highly regarded food label when it comes to animal welfare, pasture-based farming and sustainability. Search AGW's online directory for AWA certified farms and products across the U.S. and Canada.


The Buy Better Dairy website has a database for customers to find Animal Welfare Approved® dairy products as well as Certified Humane® dairy products.


Certified Humane Raised and Handled® labeled products, that meet the standards for laying hens, chickens, turkeys (including poultry slaughter), pigs, beef cattle, dairy cows, sheep, goats and young dairy beef, can be found using their Certified Humane map directory.


The Ethical Meat Book: Complete Home Butchery, Charcuterie & Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore is a book with thought-provoking ideas of how to eat and cook quality meat. The author is a farmer, a butcher, an educator. Check out Meredith Leigh’s event schedule for upcoming demos and workshops.


Firsthand Foods sells pasture-raised beef, pork, and lamb sourced from a network of remarkable North Carolina farmers who raise their animals humanely, on pasture, without using sub-therapeutic antibiotics, added hormones or animal by-products.



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For news about sustainable food and farmers

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is a farmer-driven, organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods. They advocate for fair farm and food policies, build the systems family farms need to thrive, and educate communities about local, organic agriculture.


Civil Eats is a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system. Civil Eats publishes stories that shift the conversation around sustainable agriculture in an effort to build economically and socially just communities.


The Color of Food is a photographic storytelling project that honors Black, Native, Asian and Latina farmers and food activists across the United States. Learn more about the book and presentation schedule of author, Natasha Bowens.


The Earth Eats Real Food Green Living is a weekly podcast, radio program and blog. It has news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.


The Say Yes to the Chef is an excellent weekly food talk radio show. It covers the local food scene including chefs, food activists, farmers, and cookbook authors.



For food consumers interested in large-scale farming operations

The Vital Awareness supports and promotes farmers who produce food humanely and sustainably.


The Whole Hog uses human stories, videos, motion graphics, and well-written articles to describes the impacts of the hog industry in North Carolina.

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