Marvin and Holly have lived on a family farm for most of our married life. Marvin is a network engineer who works from home from NTS and presently manages our farm full time. I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist that works at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. We have been married 37 years this September 2021 and are definitely living our dream with raising Dexter Cattle. We are both close to retirement age and wanted to do something to keep us “busy” after we retired. Little did we know how much work it was going to take to get started and how much we would learn as we went along. It has been an amazing journey so far!
Our farm name is Apafia Farm which is an acrostic for A Place Apart From It All, (see what we did there) simply because we feel it is! There is such a peace here on our farm. Almost always there is a breeze blowing…birds singing and yes cows mooing about something! We enjoy visitors so please feel free to contact us to make arrangements for you to come visit us.
We are not fancy but just a basic small family farm.
The family farm is divided up between 3 brothers. We have lived out here for almost the entire time we have been married. Our part of the farm is about 19 acres. The fenced in pastures are about 12 acres. We did pasture boarding for horses for years before we closed that down in 2016 after we purchased our first Dexter Herd. I thought I would miss our horses but to be honest I have not missed them. I enjoyed the time we had horses but also realized that we needed to change.
The next three years was a roller coaster ride of learning so many new things! I cannot believe it has been 3 years already coming up this August! Cows are very different from horses in ALL aspects! I have found I really enjoy working with them. All have such different personalities that come out when you walk through the herd to see how they are doing! Also love the babies!
THOMASVILLE, GA (DECEMBER 17, 2020)—The beef cattle at Apafia Farm are now Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW)—North America’s most trusted and transparent farm certifier.
One of a portfolio of leading farm certifications offered by A Greener World, 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 “highly meaningful” label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainability—and the only animal welfare certification in which they have confidence.
Marvin and Holly Golden’s 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.
Marvin and Holly Golden of Apafia Farm raise Irish Dexter Cattle, a traditional livestock breed well suited to pasture-based management and known for their docile temperament and high-quality meat. The couple 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.
Marvin Golden of Apafia Farm says,
“We wanted to have a certification that carried some weight. AGW provides that by carefully screening everything involved in raising our animals and visiting the farm to see the operation up close and in-depth. Our AGW certifications are important ways that we verify our practices and demonstrate our commitments to high-welfare management and sustainability to our customers.”
AGW Director of Communications and Outreach Emily Moose says,
“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. We’re proud to work with farmers and ranchers like Apafia Farm to promote their high-quality products and sustainable farming practices.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW beef from Apafia Farm is available for reservation and purchase by the halves. Once purchased, the beef requires local pickup at the processor in Monticello, Florida. For more information, please visit apafiafarm.com, follow the farm on Facebook and get in touch with the Goldens at (229) 228-1682 through the contact page on their website. ABOUT A GREENER WORLDA Greener World (AGW) identifies, audits, certifies and promotes practical, sustainable farming systems by supporting farmers and ranchers and informing consumers. AGW's growing family of trusted certifications includes Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Salmon Welfare Certified by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW, Certified Regenerative by AGW, and Certified Non-GMO by AGW. Each program is designed to have positive and measurable impacts on the environment, society and animals, and to encourage truly sustainable farming practices. AGW's standards and procedures are robust, transparent and achievable. A nonprofit funded by public donations, AGW offers a range of resources to help people make informed food choices, including an Online Directory of certified farms and products and Food Labels Exposed--a definitive guide to food label claims (available in print and online). For more information visit agreenerworld.org.
ABOUT CERTIFIED GRASSFED BY AGWAGW's respected Certified Grassfed label is the only grassfed animal welfare label in North America. Unique among food labels it guarantees:
According to market-research firm Nielsen, recent sales of grassfed beef rose nearly 40%, over six times the rate of conventional beef. But while demand for grassfed meat is sky-rocketing, not all grassfed certifications are meeting consumer expectations—and some continue to permit highly questionable practices. Some meat currently marketed as grassfed could come from animals confined on dirt feedlots for long periods outside the growing season, or where growth hormones and subtherapeutic antibiotics are used—just as long as they were fed cut grass or forage. For more information visit agreenerworld.org/certifications/certified-grass-fed/.
Our first cow is from our previous herd we purchased not understanding what we needed to look for. Her name is Curly and is turning 9 years old this year. She has been an excellent mother and has gorgeous HORNS. She is also lead cow or better nickname would be BOSS cow. She rules the herd with her horns basically but has been extremely good with us. She has never purposefully horned us and we have enjoyed each baby she has given us. Curly was not registered and was the result of backyard breeding establishment. Even though she has not been registered she has taught us so much over the past 3 years. We plan to allow her to have one more calf and then she will be retired, or not, depends on how she does. She has not done well with pregnancy with that last calf she had. We are watching her closely with this one. Curly is the smartest cow you may ever meet. There are certain battles you decide whether to fight and others you do not. Curly does not like to be confined or sent through a chute. She is clever, smart and quick even for an old cow. Because she is boss cow (and she is!!!) she watches over the herd carefully with great care. She does not hesitate to use her horns with anyone in the herd except Dillon the bull. I have seen her move babies with her horns. The babies learn early to MOVE quickly when she is close. This is all part of herd dynamics. However, even with all of this her purpose is clear. To lead the herd and to protect the herd and she gets first pick of any food or snacks given by her humans. We have actually gotten her to accept putting her in a stall. Not her greatest desire but we can work with her and worm her although we have not been able to do shots at this time. Running her through a chute is something that requires great care and lots of people. We have only done it once, It is not worth the effort and the chaos it causes for us or her. She can get down on her knees quicker than a young cow would even blink and throw any panel over her back and neck with little effort. Cattle panels she will attempt to dislodge in an effort to get away from being trapped. Again, not worth addressing. So we worm her and that is it. I think Marvin and I have grown to respect her for who she is period. She in turn, accepts us and understands her role 100%.
We met Lesa and Hayden Reid who are from Rutledge, TN who God decided that we needed to meet and learn a bunch of things from Lesa who loves teaching anyone about Dexter cows in any area! They own a beautiful farm called Kirkhaven Farm that if you ever get the opportunity to visit, we would recommend you do so! We never dreamed we would be purchasing a young bull from this couple later on the next year. We met Cabernet who was Lesa’s prized Red Polled bull who was the PERFECT bull in ALL aspects! Cabernet has won every award a bull can win in showing. We told Lesa that we would one day love to purchase a bull calf from them related to Cabernet. We fell in love with her bull. He was respectful, kind, took care of his herd and just absolutely the prettiest bull we had ever seen. The stories that she told us about him were amazing. That next year Lesa called us to say she had a bull calf that was EXACTLY built like Cabernet. We were so excited we didn’t even ask how much! His name is Dillon and he has been the best thing since sliced bread! This bull calf has been amazing to say the least! EXACTLY the carbon copy of his daddy!
Dixie is a 4 year old Dun Registered Polled Dexter that has been a GREAT mom and loves to eat snacks from out of your hands. She is a bit shy with people but her favorite thing is eating and having an apple snack. Her baby is called ONO (Oh No!) and he will be moved to the teenager pasture in August along with Brodie.
April is also a young 4 year old Dun Registered Polled Dexter. She too, has been a great mom and enjoys getting treats but like Dixie loves to EAT. She is pregnant due to deliver late this year or maybe early January of 2020. We will see.
Ellie is a black registered Polled Heifer who just got old enough to be placed in the herd with the bull. She has been extremely sweet but misses her buddies in the teenager field. We hope to have a nice calf out of this sweet girl next year.
Midnight Rain is also a registered polled black Dexter girl who must wait some time yet before being placed in the herd with the bull. She is beautifully built and her udder is almost perfect. Midnight Rain will be going into the regular herd in November of 2019.
A beautiful black Dexter calf called Emmie. We were hoping we could register Emmie but were unable to find out who her sire was. Emmie has been a good Dexter cow to have. She had her first baby this year and has been a fantastic mom! No complaints.
Emmie has her second calf by her side presently. He will be weaned this spring probably in May of 2021. We will be selling Emmie also once we wean her calf she has now. She has been rebred by our wonderful bull Dillon. If you are interested in Emmie please private message me for more information. Thank you!
Sela was our first one born out here. We have found a special home for Sela who now resides at Mini Moo Farms in Florida. We appreciate Amanda taking Sela and giving him a good home!