2016 Recipient: Cordell Farms

Carolyn and Joe Cordell, Cordell Farms

$3,000 — Sheep and Goat Turn Table Corral System

Codell (8)Responding to the demand for lamb and goat meat in the region, Carolyn is expanding her sheep and goat venture, increasing efficiencies with the purchase of a Turn Table Coral System. She can now administer vaccinations, deworm and trim feet properly and safely as the sheep stay in one area with minimum stress. She has cut her labor for caring for 20 sheep from 15 hours a week to five hours, so that she can expand her herd without adding to her workload.

“If I continue working my livestock without a goat and sheep handling system, I would continue to be challenged overall, especially physically, and I would need to reconsider the operation of the farm,” Carolyn said.

The animals move into a corral area, then to a drop gate, and then finally to the turn table. The equipment restrains the animals, so she can more easily work on pregnant ewes or older rams by herself without the help of additional hired help. With a better health environment, the number of animals with foot disease decreases, so the size of the herd increases.

In the last eight years, the region has experienced an influx of new culturally diverse residents who prefer lamb and goat meat. Carolyn markets her animals as “grass-fed,” selling at sale barns and local meat processing plants. She also plans to market Cordell Farms to those who want to raise their own meat, providing other sheep farms with “healthy, vibrant sheep for breeding purposes.”

With this project, Carolyn is keeping alive a fourth generation farm, which has been in vegetables, pasture or hay since 1945. In 1982, her husband’s father had to sell the 99 acres he farmed due to health issues, but her husband Joe bought back 21 acres in 1995 and eventually added another three acres. Now her husband’s health is declining and he is no longer able to work.

“My son, Patrick, is the fourth generation on this farm and is currently in the military,” Carolyn said. “I am able to work the family business and would like to continue making it prosper. My goal is to have a thriving agricultural business and provide a job for my son when he returns home.” Since 1965, at least one person on the property has farmed full-time.

 

 

 

Cherokee County

 

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