When Morgan and I first moved to Virginia, we were happy to find chicken feed that was both non-GMO and Soy-Free. Although the chicken feed was not Certified Organic, we were happy because we were told by farms around us that it was, in fact, chemical free. The certification of Organic has its virtues but the practice of being organic is the goal—to be chemical free.
Our happiness was further bolstered by the fact that nearby farmer Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms also supported and used this feed! We were very happy…
About a year later, Morgan and I decided that we wanted a 3rd-party certification on our farm and chose to start the certification process for Certified Naturally Grown (CNG). CNG offers peer-review certifications to farmers producing food for their local communities by working in harmony with nature and without relying on synthetic chemicals or GMOs. It is based on the National Organic Program standards with a few significant modifications.
CNG clarifies and strengthens the Certified Organic standards for living conditions and chemical use. Animals must be raised entirely on pasture and cannot EVER be fed any chemicals. Period. In a strong sense, CNG mandates the highest levels of Biomimicry and Regenerative Land Use.
As our farm’s mission is to regenerate the land and nourish the body (in that order), CNG’s standards were exciting to us! It is our goal to nurture an intensive soil producing, organic matter accumulating, and carbon sequestering system that yields nutrient-dense foods while absorbing as much storm and moving water as possible and filtering and spreading that water into the ground for immediate and long-term usage.
There was one problem …
To be certified, all CNG producers must submit a “Feed Declaration.” To be accepted by CNG, each “Declaration” must be signed by the company that supplies the feed, agreeing that their products are “chemical-free.” CNG does not require the feeds to be Certified Organic, just organic in the true sense … without chemicals.
We called the feed company we were using – the one that everyone in Central Virginia uses – and asked to speak to the owner…
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