2017-04-07 / Business

Carolina Bay Farms now Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World

Contributed by Animal Welfare Approved

The pigs and flock of laying hens at Carolina Bay Farms 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.

Carolina Bay Farms joins Mother Cluckin’ Chickens in Hopkins as the second farm in Richland County to achieve this highly acclaimed certification.

Like other Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) farmers across the country, James Hopkins Helms and Sharon Ray 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.

Helms and Ray began farming five years ago, but the family’s connection to agriculture dates back to the 1700s. “Our family settled in Hopkins, South Carolina, in 1764 as part of a land grant from the King of England and has been farming several hundred acres ever since,” says Helms.


Sharon Ray and James Hopkins Helms began farming five years ago, but the family’s connection dates back to the 1700s. Sharon Ray and James Hopkins Helms began farming five years ago, but the family’s connection dates back to the 1700s. “We took six acres of this original grant and began our sustainable farm to bring back traditional animal breeds that were common during the 1800s. We want to help preserve traditional breeds and allow our animals to roam and forage as nature intended.”

Helms and Ray raise AWA pigs and laying hens outdoors on pasture and range. “The American Guinea Hogs we raise on the farm are excellent foragers on pasture and have a gentle disposition and produce an excellent, flavorful meat. Raising chickens on pasture result in a better tasting egg with a rich yellow yolk,” says Helms.

AWA certification was important for Helms and Ray because they wanted independent verification on their high-welfare, sustainable farming practices: “ We wanted to show our customers that we provide the utmost care for our animals. Animal Welfare Approved is the leader in independent certification, and we are humbled and proud to carry this certification. We know it will help our customers understand and appreciate where their food comes from.”

AWA Program Director Andrew Gunther says, “ The accountability and integrity offered by Animal Welfare Approved farmers like James and Sharon are unmatched in food production. We’re glad to have Carolina Bay Farms in the AWA family.”

Carolina Bay Farms’ AWA pork and chicken eggs are available directly from the farm (by appointment) and through multiple outlets in South Carolina. Check the AWA directory for details. For more information, visit www.carolinabayfarms.com and the farm’s Facebook page. Contact Carolina Bay Farms at carolinabayfarms5301@gmail.com or 803-422-4929.

About Animal Welfare Approved

Animal Welfare Approved certifies and supports farmers raising their animals according to the highest welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range.

Consumer Reports has acknowledged Animal Welfare Approved as the only “ highly meaningful” label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access, and sustainability. All standards, policies, and procedures are available on the AWA website, which along with AWA’s ISO 17065 accreditation demonstrates the highest level of transparency and accountability.

Animal Welfare Approved is a program of A Greener World, the nonprofit home of America’s leading food labels. AGW's Online Directory of farms, restaurants, and products enables the public to search for certified farms, restaurants, and products by zip code, keywords, products, and type of establishment. For more information visit animalwelfareapproved.us and agreenerworld.org.

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