Certified Naturally Grown

We’re certifiable!

We just received our certification for the Naturally Grown program in the mail. This is similar to the Certified Organic program. Frankly, naturally raised is better than organically raised. It means more. You can grow organic chickens by feeding them organic feed but that doesn’t mean the animals got to get out and enjoy catching bugs and grazing on green mountain pastures like ours do.

The whole organic certification system was cooped by the government and big business because they saw that consumers were interested in better quality products. The big players wanted in on the action. They feared losing market share to small farmers who were growing vegetables, fruit and meat organically. So they made it illegal to say you raise things organically, even if you do like we do. They made the ‘organic’ label available to a lot of things that I would not consider to be really organic thus diluting the meaning.

Update 2010: First we can’t say Organic after the government stole that and diluted the meaning. More recently the government stole the term Naturally Raised and banned Certified Naturally Grown from our labels. To put how we do it on our labels we must go through a very extensive and time consuming process with the USDA. Even then they won’t let us use the term “Certified” despite our having certification. Their excuse is the certification is not from the USDA. I work through the whole label process but better yet I simply explain what we do here on my blog, our web site and at NoWeirdStuff.org which is a handy short link to the way we raise our food.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” –C.S. Lewis

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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10 Responses to Certified Naturally Grown

  1. Congratulations on the CNG designation!

  2. Jim says:


    That’s a great C. S. Lewis quote!

    I completely understand your feelings about the governments Certified Organic program.

    Lots of organic growers went under here in Calif. because they couldn’t afford the organic certification process, but big agribusiness always can.

    Yup, Now nowadays you can cram all yer chickens into little wire cages, feed’em organic feed, and they’re organically raised chickens alright, and don’t get me wrong, I love organically raised food, if grown in a natural way, but I’ll eat anything you guys grow Walter, certified organic or not.

    Congrats on the Naturally Grown certification!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have been trying to find out WHAT SHEEP SMELL LIKE, and can find nothing but ‘sheep smell’ on the web. I know, wet wool, but do ewe’s put out a different scent when fearful? Lambs put out a scent different from adults?

  4. Bonnie,

    Yes, fear smells different than not fear. In fact, fear across almost all animals has a similar component.

    Lambs, rams, ewes and pregnant ewes all spell different although I have a harder time telling the last two apart than the dogs and rams do.

    Sheep smell like wool, manure (pleasant), grass, shrubbery and bark.



  5. Patricia says:

    Interesting… My husband did a summer stint working for our local cannery that packages carrots and corn for the Little Green Giant label. He said that all the produce comes in from different sources, gets put all in one big batch. They do NOT seperate it according to which farm it comes from. Then he said some of the produce goes to the Green Giant label packaging, and some of it goes to the “certified organic” packaging. Oh, and they run the food through liquid ammonia in order to flash freeze it, and it’s still on the food, organic and non-organic alike. Interesting…

    • There are many sizes of processors. When they get too big they can’t economically separate batches and you get what your husband describes. I’ve heard of this elsewhere. Our country is losing the small processors who can work with small farmers.

  6. So because you were certified by fellow farmers, not a government sanctioned entity, you’re denied by them the use of your certification on your label? Absolutely asinine, but what else should we expect from our government? So will you continue to maintain the CNG certification? I have contemplated getting a CNG certification, but is makes makes me really question if it is worthwhile. All of our business is on farm and I have a strong belief that consumers should be able to certify their food source.

    • Several years later we let the CNG lapse. We still follow the organic practices we have always done because we do it for ourselves and our children first and foremost. This attention to quality then benefits our customers as well.

      After many discussions with the USDA staff at FSIS we arrived at a packaging solution which is our NoWeirdStuff.org and NaturallyRaised.org logo that they approved for us to put on our label which you can see on this recent post

  7. Hey Walter,

    I did a “No Weird Stuff” page on my website. Would it be ok with you if I developed a label with it, using the No Weird Stuff/Naturally Raised seal?


    • I checked out your page, Daniel. I don’t mind you spreading the word but please add a clickable link that goes to:


      and also a clickable credit link that goes to:


      If you would like to use it on your label I can give you permission but I would ask that you make a donation of $10 per year to help pay the web server costs. You can paypal that to my email address. A number of people have asked for this and that seems like a good way to do it. Please do not modify the artwork. I can give you a higher resolution version for use on print labels so it will look better.

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