From the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association Website. To see their site, click here.
What is Pastured Poultry?
Pastured Poultry relies on raising chickens directly on green pasture. The model has been developed over the last twenty years and allows the birds to receive a significant amount of pasture forage as feed. The birds are kept on fresh pasture, which allows the birds to be raised in a cleaner, healthier environment. Pastured poultry is raised the old fashioned way; on fresh green pasture and wholesome grain. Processing is often done on the farm. Many customers pick-up their freezer-ready poultry orders at the farm, assuring them a truly farm-fresh product and revitalizing the farmer-consumer relationship. For a quick summary of pastured poultry, follow this link.
Why Raise Pastured Poultry?
People have been raising poultry on pasture for centuries. In fact most domesticated poultry was raised out doors until the 1950s when large confinement operations were begun. The vast majority of poultry is now produced in high-density factory farms. A number of growers with no interest in operating factory farms have chosen to raise their poultry with outdoor range instead of indoor confinement to produce a high quality, farm-fresh, all-natural product. The pastured poultry movement has found great support among consumers because of the high quality and unsurpassed flavor of such products. Producers continue to see a growing demand for premium-priced pasture-raised poultry and eggs.
The Beginnings of Pastured Poultry
Enter the new world of pastured poultry production! Early in the 1960s, a pioneer named Joel Salatin of Swope, Virginia, started experimenting with growing chickens outside, so they could live more “normal” poultry lives, eat bugs and grass and enjoy the rain and sun. Salatin is passionate about efficiency, and he knew that to make his poultry dreams work in his farm system, the chicken production needed to be cost effective, efficient, good for the birds and good for the land they were living on. The bonus is that the system produces very high quality food.
After several years of experimentation, Salatin developed a “Pastured Poultry Model” which he captured in his book Pastured Poultry Profit$, first published in 1993. Over the years thousands of people have visited Polyface Farm in Virginia to learn about growing poultry on pasture. In 1997, an organization to bring all of those people together, the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA), was formed, with Joel Salatin as one of the charter board members.
APPPA has thrived over the years, with its keystone being the “APPPA GRIT!,” a now bi-monthly newsletter offering features and innovations from poultry producers from all over the country. Producers have studied the concepts that Joel Salatin pulled together into his pastured poultry model, and developed tangents of their own. Because of this, it is not as easy as it was ten years ago to describe what pastured poultry is. In this introduction we will give you an overview of chicken broiler production. Specific details on laying hen, turkey, goose and duck production can be found in the APPPA book “Raising Poultry on Pasture”.
APPPA Offers $500 Scholarship Each Year
The American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) offers an annual $500 scholarship/gift. The scholarship will be awarded to an individual, farm, or organization that can demonstrate an educational need directly related to pastured poultry.
The scholarship may be used for any educational activity related to pastured poultry, such as expenses related to attending conferences and workshops, trainings, youth education, or on-farm trials. Other ideas that promote pastured poultry will also be considered. To apply, please send a proposal explaining how you intend to use the scholarship. Include the history of your farm or organization, and be sure to talk about your current pastured poultry operation.
Answer the simple question, “How will this scholarship support your pastured poultry educational efforts?” Applications will be evaluated based upon how well the educational opportunity to be funded by the scholarship enhances the individual‘s/group‘s knowledge and how that knowledge will help promote the pastured poultry industry.
Previous scholarship awards have funded community poultry workshops, enabled individual farmers to attend conferences, and assisted college pasture poultry programs with supplies. APPPA membership is not required to apply. Apply no later than October 15 of the year by sending your application to: APPPA, PO Box 85, Hughesville, PA 17737. You may also submit your application via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The scholarship will be awarded on or around December 15, 2013.
As a condition of the scholarship, the awardee will provide a follow-up report for publication in theAPPPA Grit outlining how the educational opportunities furthered their understanding of pastured poultry and how that information is being applied on the farm.
APPPA is a nonprofit educational and networking organization dedicated to encouraging the production, processing, and marketing of poultry raised on pasture. APPPA encourages people to exchange information, techniques, innovations, and advice. To learn more about APPPA, visit www.apppa.org or call Mike Badger, APPPA Director at 888-662-7772.
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