Rotational Grazing for Sheep/Lamb Production Expansion
Grant Award: $6,000
Frances and Jeff have improved their sheep pastures and their rotational grazing system with the addition of permanent fencing and a central lambing shed. Their ultimate goal is to sell more end products instead of marketing animals on the hoof. The project also helps them achieve their certifications in Animal Welfare Approved, Humane and Naturally Grown through Food Animal Concern Trust’s Fund-a-Farmer Project.
They have added a fourth pasture to their current three, in which they rotate the animals. Well-managed pastures minimize risk of infection and parasites, promote the rehabilitation of forage material, and potentially minimize feed costs to increase profits.
Frances and Jeff have constructed a central lambing shed, with gates to either pasture, more accessible for them to tend livestock. They can now more easily corral sheep to monitor them during the last three weeks of pregnancy. The shed is a safe place for lambing with creep feeders, a waterer and protection from the elements. Frances hopes that the additions to the farm will allow two lambing seasons.
In addition to sheep, Frances and Jeff have heritage poultry and vegetables, which they sell at their on-farm store and to Community Supported Agriculture members. They also offer farm stays at cabins and camp sites, host weddings and other events, and provide a farm camp for children ages 7 to 13 to gain hands-on experience with organic gardening and livestock care. They established their 33-acre farm in 2012, and welcomed 5,000 visitors in 2016.