The HSUS Michigan Agriculture Advisory Council
Local farmers, producers and other agriculture professionals join with The HSUS to foster better animal welfare and environmental stewardship
Meet the members of the HSUS Michigan Agriculture Advisory Council, part of our growing system of state agriculture councils.
Christina Dewey lives with her family near Alden, Michigan. She and her family operate Rodger's GrassFed, LLC. The 350-acre farming operation in northwestern lower Michigan consists of British white/Angus cross cattle and Romanov-cross ewes and lambs. Rodger's GrassFed is certified by the American Grassfed Association.
The Deweys primarily sell their grass-fed freezer beef and lamb directly to local customers who are seeking a product raised in a manner that gives proper care to the animals, the land and their neighbors.
Delbert Garrett has been a farmer since 2007. A Colorado native, Garrett and his wife Krystyl moved to Michigan, where he had spent summers as a child on the Garrett family farm. Upon taking over the farm, Garrett began the difficult transition into organic animal husbandry, beginning with 100 percent grass-fed beef and branching out into pasture-raised poultry, including chicken, turkey and eggs, and GCC Organics was launched.
Garrett is looking forward to growing the farm by adding pigs. His philosophy is to use the most humane husbandry practices possible. In 2014, the Garretts welcomed their first children, twin boys.
In 2010, Melody Nye and her husband started Melo Farms in Yale, Michigan, focusing on raising purebred heritage hogs and chickens on pasture. A lifelong city girl with zero farming experience, she spent more than 35 years in the corporate world in training and administration. Her journey to learn how farm animals are raised was a life-changing quest. In her 40s, she learned how to care for chickens in a natural environment of grass, bugs, fresh air and sunshine.
Buoyed by three years of success and armed with a deeper understanding of animal stewardship, she turned her attention to pigs. They bought 40 acres in Yale and began creating the farm using natural practices with an emphasis on rotational grazing, grass-based husbandry and humane handling.
The Nyes’ customers share their commitment to well-raised, grass-pastured heritage pork, free-range eggs and seasonally grass-pastured chickens. They mentor other farmers who are either changing their farm practices or taking their first plunge into farm animal husbandry.
Nate and Lou Ann Robinson
For more than 40 years, Nate and Lou Ann Robinson have been farming in Cass County, Michigan, where they operate Jake's Country Meats. A sixth generation farmer, Nate is proud to be from a line of farmers dedicated to preserving agriculture for future generations. The Robinsons believe in sound management practices for the fields and the forest as a foundation for a sustainable farm, one that will be around for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The Robinsons are experienced raising hogs outside on pasture as well as in barns with straw and hay for bedding plus outdoor access. They do not feed or inject their hogs with antibiotics or hormones, and they supply a diet of corn, soybean meal, vitamins and minerals. Their desire is to build relationships with their customers built on honesty and faith.