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Photo Credit: River and Rail Farms in Hoosick Falls, NY

Hoosick Falls Farm Awarded Animal Welfare Certifications

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HOOSICK FALLS, NY — The beef cattle at River and Rail Farms are now Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW).

The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW label lets consumers know 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 farm. 

Consumer Reports has rated Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW as the only "excellent" food label for animal welfare and verification, according to a press release.

?Siblings Lauren, Erin, and Matt Williams' beef cattle are also Certified Grassfed by AGW. Certified Grassfed by AGW is an optional, additional accreditation for Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW farmers and ranchers raising cattle, sheep, goats or bison according to the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW high-welfare standards and a 100 percent grassfed feeding protocol.

Lauren, Erin and Matt Williams of River and Rail Farms began farming in 2022 when the siblings purchased the farm from the previous owners—a multiple-generation farming family who ran an organic dairy and diversified livestock farm. The Williams raise Red Devon cattle, a traditional livestock breed well suited to pasture-based management and known for their high-quality meat. The family chose to pursue Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW certifications because they felt the programs best mirrored their exemplary animal husbandry practices and commitment to sustainability.

"We utilize managed rotational grazing to ensure both a healthy farm and high-quality traditional breed Red Devon beef, and we are proud to offer the very best products we can to our customers," Erin Williams said.

"In a marketplace crowded with misinformation and greenwashing, trusted third-party certifications like Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW deliver real transparency for farmers and consumers," AGW Executive Director Emily Moose said. "We're proud to work with farmers and ranchers like River and Rail Farms to promote their high-quality products and sustainable farming practices."

Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef from River and Rail Farms is available at area farmers markets along with directly from the farm, with pre-order online and pickup on-site. Check the AGW directory for details. For more information, visit tilldalefarm.com along with the farm's Facebook and Instagram page and contact Lauren, Erin and Matt Williams at riverandrailfarms@gmail.com and (717) 202-5842.


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Pittsfield Firefighters Rescue Woman From Burning Home

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A woman was saved from the second floor of a structure fire on Marlboro Drive on Friday evening. 
 
Two search teams had to work through a hoarding situation inside the single-family home at 1 Marlboro after the blaze was called in at about 6:45 p.m. 
 
The woman was found by the Tower 1 team at the top of the stairs about 15 minutes after the first unit arrived on scene. She was taken to Berkshire Medical Center by County Ambulance. 
 
Neighbors first reported smoke coming from the house with fire alarms sounding. Engine 6 confirmed smoke coming from the house and were met with serious hoarding conditions making access inside the house difficult. Engine 2 was requested to respond as well and eight off-duty firefighters were called in to man an engine and ladder truck at headquarters to cover the city. 
 
Multiple companies worked to overcome the hoarding condition behind the entry door to get inside and locate a spreading fire in the kitchen on the first floor. At this time, neighbors informed firefighters there was a woman still inside the house and that she usually stays on the second floor. T1 crew worked to gain access the second story from the front while Engine 3 went to a rear second-floor window. Both companies were tasked with a "Vent Enter Search" tactic that focuses on getting directly to the victim, which can be extremely dangerous with active fire on the floor below. 
 
E6 located and began extinguishing the majority of the fire in the kitchen while T1 made entry under extreme smoke conditions. Minutes later they located the woman and worked to get her out a rear window to the E3 team. 
 
Once water supply had been established, primary and secondary searches were conducted of all floors of the home and the fire was completely extinguished. 
 
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