Livestock

Blackbranch Farm

Owner: Christopher Hench

Address:
122 Jack Straw Rd
Julian, PA 16844
Centre County

daytime phone: (717) 543-8490
evening phone: (717) 543-8490
Web site: http://blackbranchfarm.com

Application Date: 2021-11-15

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We love everything the the CNG program stands for and truly believe it is the way forward for farming. We're a new farm in our area and want to offer a certification on our crops that we believe in and can educate our community on higher standards for produce. The farmers market we are joining for 2022 is struggling a bit and we will be the only veggie vendor there. We want to offer the best, most healthy and cleanest produce we possibly can.
Are you currently third party Certified for your livestock operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
no
Have you ever been certified in the past? *
no
Have you ever been denied certification? *
no
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Through the many many other farms we follow and look up to.
Your application will be reviewed AFTER we receive a valid Feed Declaration for your farm. We ask you to submit the Feed Declaration within ONE MONTH to ensure your application isn't denied. Check this box to indicate you understand this. *
How did you learn to farm, and for how long have you been farming for market? What has prepared you to farm successfully according to CNG standards? *
My fiance and I are both self taught as well as some online learning. We have been growing food for a long time now according to the CNG standards on a very small scale and homestead scale. 2022 will be our first year really farming for profit.

General Farm Information

Farm Acreage you want listed as Certified Naturally GrownTM:
Total farm acreage to be used for pasture and feed crops *
1
Number of above acres that you own: *
3
Number of above acres that you lease: *
0
Do you have other acreage in "conventional" agricultural systems? *
no
General Listed Acreage Breakdown
Pasture:
100%
Hay:
Grains:
Other (please specify below):
If indicated, please specify how 'other' acres are used
Please check all items you grow and would like to market as Certified Naturally GrownTM (to certify produce, please complete the separate produce application) *



















Please Specify Any Other Items:
Please check all markets you grow for (this will be displayed on your farm profile to help potential buyers find you). *











Please Specify Other Markets:

Farmland Management and Practices

Primary Tillage System: *
We are no-till. We use silage tarps when necessary and cover crops.
Do you use Cover Crops? *
yes
If yes, please list: *
Field peas.
Do you use Compost? *
yes
Please note general sources (on farm,purchased complete, local grass clippings, local dairy, etc.): *
We purchase from the local college, Penn State.
Please list application rates. Give a specific amount or range (for example: one to two tons per acre, ten wheelbarrow loads per 1,000 square feet, or 1-2 inches deep). Do not answer "varies". *
1cu yard a bed
Do you use Manure? *
yes
Please note general sources of manure: *
Nothing other than from the flock of laying hens.
Please list application rates. Give a specific amount or range (for example: one to two tons per acre, ten wheelbarrow loads per 1,000 square feet, or 1-2 inches deep). Do not answer "varies". *
Same as our produce application.
Please list any other brought in fertility sources that you use (specific rock powders, lime, soybean / alfalfa meal, specific purchased pre-mixes, etc)and how often it's used. If you indicate a name brand product, please also specify the ingredient/s.
Have any chemical fertilizers been applied to the fields you are seeking Certification for in the last three years (36 months)? *
no
Have any non-acceptable pesticides and/or herbicides been applied to these fields in the last 3 years? *
no
Describe your primary weed problems and methods of control. If you indicate a name brand product, please also specify the ingredient(s), what kind of product it is (a soap, microbial, oil, a botanical...), and how often it's used. *
Same as our produce application.
Describe your primary plant pest problems and methods of control. If you indicate a name brand product, please also specify the ingredient/s, what kind of product it is (a soap, microbial, oil, a botanical...), and how often it's used. *
Same as our produce application.
Please list the water source you use for crop irrigation. If source is public river, pond or lake, please note the name: *
From a well.
Are there any known contaminants in the irrigation water? *
no

Livestock Management and Practices

Please list all livestock for which you seek certification by type/breed, and indicate how many of each are on the farm today (for example: belted galloways - 20, nubian goats - 5, orpington chickens - 7, frizzle chickens - 3) For animals that have not yet been stocked for the season (e.g. poultry or piglets) please estimate how many you expect to have on farm during the upcoming season. Only list livestock that are (or will be) managed according to CNG standards. *
24 chickens. (1 rooster and 23 laying hens)
I affirm that all livestock listed on this application are raised according to Certified Naturally Grown standards. I further affirm that I will not represent ANY livestock products as Certified Naturally Grown if they have not been raised according to the standards required by Certified Naturally Grown. Any livestock treated with antibiotics or other prohibited substances will be quarantined and sold separately. All livestock are fed feed grown according to CNG standards - without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, and free of any genetically modified grains (GMOs). *
Have all the livestock been raised according to CNG standards since the last third of gestation or since hatching? *
yes
Give brief details of your rotation practice for each type and/or group of livestock. (E.g. heifers strip grazing behind electric fence moved daily, 28 day rotation, poultry rotated weekly - 3 pens.) *
We rotate the chickens bi-weekly or as needed depending on the condition of their current paddock. We use electric fence netting and a chickshaw type coop design.
Do the animals listed above include cows, goats, sheep or other ruminants? *
no
Do the animals listed above include poultry? *
yes
Do your poultry either (a) have a minimum of five square feet per bird of natural, grassy outdoor space or (b) do they have at least two square feet per bird and get moved at least one time per day to fresh new pasture? *
yes
Do your livestock spend most of their time on pasture during the growing season? *
yes
Is all feed grown according to Certified Naturally Grown standards (without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or post-harvest fungal treatments)? *
yes
For all livestock you seek to certify, please provide more information about the feed. Is it grown locally for you? Purchased in bulk at a mill? Bagged at the feed store? Is it Certified Organic? What brand, if any? *
We purchase organic feed from tractor supply in 40 pound bags.
Do you buy in some feed? *
yes
Will you be sure to submit a Feed Supplier Declaration within two weeks? (download it at naturallygrown.org/feed) Please note: when the big name brand companies say their feed is "Natural" that does not mean that they are grown according to CNG standards. It probably means they do not add antibiotics, which is a good start, but very likely the feed was grown with synthetic fertilizers and using genetically modified seeds. *
yes
Describe your primary livestock pest problems AND methods of control. Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate either actual pest challenges and/or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage (or would manage) them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
There is always a chance of a hawk or arial pest as well as foxes etc however we keep our chickens in electric netting paddocks and close them in at night.
Describe your primary livestock disease problems AND methods of control. Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate either actual disease challenges and/or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage (or would manage) them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used. *
We have never experienced any pests in our many many years raising chickens but would address with organic minerals etc if needed.
Provide details of all livestock owned by you, or grazed on your land, that are treated and quarantined on your property *
Chickens only.

Seeds and Buffers

Do you purchase or grow using any Genetically Modified seeds? *
no
Do you use any chemically treated seeds in your operation? *
no
Chemical/Spray Drift and Buffers:
Is there any likelihood of Chemical/Spray drift contamination of your fields? *
no
Do you have an adequate buffer to protect yourself from potential contamination? *
yes
Please describe your buffer. Be specific. On all sides, how far is it from your livestock pasture to the next closest use (i.e. road, conventional crop, residential yard)? Specify what is grown on neighboring land in agricultural use. For example: To the north and east, a wooded area of at least 100 yards separates us from the neighbor's corn fields, to the south is a fallow field at least 100 yards deep separating us from a blueberry farm, and to the west about 60 feet separates our crops from a field where conventional corn and soybeans are grown. *
Same as our produce application.

Agreements

Please indicate your agreement with the following statements by checking the boxes.
I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that livestock not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally GrownTM. *
I understand that I have to complete at least one (and hopefully more) Certification Inspection(s) of another ranch or farm in my area each year, and that the inspection will NOT be of the same rancher or farmer that inspected me. *
I have reviewed the Certified Naturally Grown livestock certification standards, I understand them, and I will abide by them. I understand that if I have any questions I may contact CNG for clarification. *
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm: