Co-Applicant / Spouse Name
Please describe your past and/or present farming experience
I have been raising sheep for 5 years and have 3 years experience milking and managing 60 dairy goats. I do dairy goat genetics consulting work and have spent years enhancing my knowledge and experience. I like to read veterinary textbooks in my spare time. I am very active with my breed association and with local and national forums on sheep raising. I have experience raising chickens, pigs, ducks and calves. We have 25 sheep currently and are planning a major expansion to 75 ewes in the next two years. We practice rotational grazing and intend to become Animal Welfare Approved as soon as is feasible. Our animals are for meat, and that is not negotiable, nor is the scale of our farm ambition as we would prefer to be primarily supported by our farming labor.
Are you currently farming?
Are you interested in connecting with other farmers to explore collocation or collaborative farm ideas?
Counties being considered
What types of enterprises are you considering?
Total Acres Desired
Acres in Pasture
None- would prefer no equipment and no existing barn.
Which of the following arrangements are you considering?
Are you interested in conserved farms?
Do you have a business plan? Please write an informative description of your vision & goals for your farming future.
We do have a business plan. Our sheep are a prolific breed and we are currently raising more than 200% lamb crops. They also produce a small but desirable fleece. Our current plan is a high-input, high-output operation raising 200%-225% lamb crops using a rotational grazing system of carefully-managed pasture. Currently, I am moving my sheep once or twice daily to optimize their intake of ripe grasses. We intend to do our own haying and will soon be fully equipped to make 4x4 round bales to store and feed out. We have funds to put up a 50x100 clearspan-type structure. I have 6 years experience marketing specialty food, so I plan to use that to do one of several approaches to marketing my lamb. Currently, I have an outlet through a CSA serving the Boston area. One option would be to develop my own CSA-type system. Another would be to develop a large, distributed lamb sausage enterprise. I will be marketing the fleece to local mills as a add-in fiber for other producers. I have an established market selling yarn. We have investment income that will cover our downpayment and mortgage payments, minimizing our financial burdens while we get the business off the ground.