From the time I visited my first farm as a 4 year old I knew that’s where I’d end up. On my own farm surrounded by animals. It took a while to make it happen…growing up moving to a new town every 3 years as a military kid, a successful career as a technical writer in Chicago, a few years in the west skiing, bartending, goofing off. A decade publishing a technical journal from a small town in Idaho.
I’d been having a great life, but when 40 stared me in the face I started to get nervous. Yikes – if I don’t start living my dream farm life now, when will I?
So I got busy learning about sustainable agriculture and how to make a living at it, starting from ground zero (city girl, remember?) And kept on learning.
In 1992 I purchased 5 breeding sheep and a ram. Found this gorgeous 65-acre property, named it SkyLines Farm, and started turning a conventional cattle/hay farm into a sustainable grass farm. Grew the flock to 100 grassfed ewes and their lambs. And kept on learning. Became a direct marketer and sold all their products every year – premium wool, grassfed lamb, top breeding stock. Started sharing with new & aspiring farmers – via apprenticeships, workshops, webinars, speaking & presenting, consulting & mentoring. And continued learning. Added grassfed beef steers. Pastured pigs.
After 21 years I retired the sheep portion of the farm business to focus on growing even more grassfed beef, pastured pigs, and new farmers.
For going on 25 years I’ve been living the dream every single day! Surrounded by happy healthy livestock being raised with love by organic & sustainable methods. And making a modest but steady living at it.
This forum is where I share some of the dumb, smart, painful, and unbelievably glorious experiences that comprise this farming life. And hopefully some bits of wisdom acquired along the way.
Lest it appear I’ve learned it all and am now a closed book, I also use this forum to share ideas and approaches I continually glean from other sources that inspire or move me. Never stop learning!
Enjoy … and please let me know when these postings move you. Melissa