Industrial-scale farming systems enable mass production of cheap animal foods at low cost. However, poorly managed livestock systems have raised various environmental and health concerns. Factory farms, in which 99 percent of farmed animals in the United States are estimated to live, produce tremendous amounts of animal waste that can contain contaminants such as plant nutrients, pathogens, antibiotics, and other chemicals.

But many innovative livestock farmers around the world are driving change by moving away from conventional farming. Instead of raising animals in confinement systems, the farmers provide animals with access to the outdoors and facilities to express their natural behaviors—for pigs to root and for chickens to peck. On pasture-based farms, animals are raised on grassland all year round, and the paddocks are rotated to prevent overgrazing. Farmers who produce 100 percent grass-fed beef raise and finish their cattle on grassland, letting the ruminants eat what they are designed to eat for their entire life.

To celebrate their work, Food Tank highlights 28 innovative livestock farmers who are shaping the future of livestock production.

  • Aloha House (Philippines): Keith Mikkelson  Keith Mikkelson is the Executive Director of Aloha House, a ranch and an organic farm in Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. The food produced on the farm caters to the local community and Aloha Orphanage housed on the farm.
  • Belcampo (United States): Anya Fernald Anya Fernald is the Co-founder and CEO of Belcampo Meat Co, an organic and animal welfare certified farm in Northern California. Belcampo grows cattle, pigs, broilers, and layers, and the farm has built its own alternative meat supply chain from the farm to retail shops and restaurants.

Read the full article about innovative and organic farming by Min Hyun Maeng at Food Tank.