Sunday, January 15, 2017

Presentation Pieces

Last January I was sitting on a producer panel at a sheep symposium. We were asked questions about our farms/ranches. In an answer to one question I mentioned that Allen and I were working to pay off our land mortgage and would so in the spring (of 2016).

That comment resulted in an invite to share our story at this years symposium. That’s what I was speaking on this weekend - how a grass based sheep operation helped pay for the land.   I know some of you have followed this blog for some time and might be curious about that story as well.  It is a 40 minute presentation; here are a few snippets of what it contained (I must admit the presentation had some great photos to help it along :-)  and it was better received by the human audience than by the Kelpies).

This place used to be a crop farm until we turned it into the grass based sheep operation it is today.




“The ewes are what we spend 365 days a year with so we focus on keeping ewes in great condition year round, not just at breeding time and lambing time. The input we put into our animals is in keeping them out grazing and moving across the land. Our priority is a flock who thrive in the grassland environment we’re in - if the ewes do that the rest will be there too.”

“It is an approach that holds relevance for Allen and I and how we view farming and our role in the environment.”

“We are spending more dollars in keeping the flock healthy than we are in treatment of animals. I would hazard a guess that is not the case on a lot of farms.”

“Keeping your ewes, and your land, healthy and content is the biggest time and money saving effort you can do.”

“Approaching your farm in this manner takes a rearrangement of the pieces of your thinking.” 


“…. examining what the land and animal offer and what we offer in return - what’s our potential in this game? The closer to the natural value of a thing we can stay the simpler it seems to be. As soon as we push for the animals, the land or ourselves to be un-naturally valuable, we seem to lose our way.”

“There has also been a lot of letting go - letting go of what we can not control. There is a lot of trust in Mother Nature and a belief that those of us who are fortunate enough to be on a piece of land, no matter what size, have everything we need to make this work, no matter what scale.”




6 comments:

  1. It is evident from your sample that it was a great presentation! In looking at your books, I see a couple of Gene Logsdon books. I have read seven of them since Christmas!

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    1. Holy, that's a lot of reading. You've surpassed me on his books. Love his writing and his way of making a point.

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  2. Your word choices were wonderful....the land, the sheep, the natural way to run a ranch, to protect the grasses, etc, was soothing.

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    1. Thank you, the presentation hit home for few people.

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  3. I wish I had your knowledge and experience. I plan to read your books. Our biggest expense has been fencing. It is super expensive and a lot of labor for the two of us. If we can get past this hurdle I hope we will be on our way to follow in your footsteps. I envy those who were able to make your presentation.

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    1. You have your own which is all you need! Planning to read my books is about the biggest compliment a wannabe writer can get - thank you. I feel your pain on the expense and time and effort of fencing, one of the biggest tasks on a place.

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