I am a 64 year old shepherd too young to retire! After 13 years on a farm in Iowa, I returned to Oregon to rehab the house that I rented out while I was gone. OK, that’s mostly done. I’ve learned that my dog and I prefer the country, miss sheep like crazy, and I have a bone-deep calling to be on a farm again. I think it’s great to be humble, but we’re also here to shine our light where it is needed, and I think I need to share the skills I learned through hard lessons and hard work. I have my Social Security and my ability to be useful, and I’m hoping you have a farm that needs me.
I would require 10 - 20 acres with good exterior fencing, water source for sheep, a shelter for sheep, and some shaded areas. If pastures are well established and regrowth is adequate, perhaps less acreage. I can provide electric netting for making rotational paddocks.
I have 10+ years experience as a shepherd and farm manager. My sheep operation was 40+ ewes and I lambed 70 - 100 lambs each year at a 170%+ lambing rate.
Chief income from this operation came from selling feeder lambs when the lambs were weaned. I have successfully rehabbed pastures overgrown with unwanted vegetation without toxic chemicals and improved tilth of soil and health of pasture through reseeding, rotational grazing, applying composted manure, and mowing.
I have also successfully raised chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and highland cattle.
I would like to help a land owner in a mutually beneficial arrangement for adding value to their property through the use of small ruminant to rebuild tilth. I've seen what improvements can be made by a well-managed flock, and I would like to continue with this work.
I have interest in hedgerow fencing, permaculture, and new crops being developed and would like to learn more and gain new skills. I also would like to plant a small orchard. I see many benefits in furthering the understanding of rural life and farming among 'city folk' and could see a farming operation that included farm stay vacationing.
I can also help with animal, orchard, and some gardening chores, as I realize that farming is a "no vacation" occupation, and it is very hard to find experienced and dependable help when you need to get away from the farm.
Long-term goals include breeding for the best possible sheep and selling breeding stock. I would also like to be creating pastures that are healthy, polycultural, good for bees, wildlife, and sheep. I would like to be harvesting fruit from an orchard as well.
I would like a habitable dwelling, but nothing large or fancy OR a place with hook-ups where I can park an RV. I would prefer to stay in a 2 hour radius of Eugene, but am open to other locations for an ideal situation.
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