An urban grazing project in your community would provide the opportunity to repurpose and manage unproductive lands through sheep grazing to leverage the environmental, economic, and social benefits associated with more productive land.
For the past few years, we have been successfully using sheep graze or mow, fertilize, and re-seed sites in our region. These sheep ultimately serve as a local food source, as well as a source of wool products such as clothing, blankets, and art.
For the landowner, using sheep greatly reduces the cost of land management (mowing, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides) and reduces the environmental impact by replacing typical land management styles with a more natural process.
For the farmers, urban grazing offers the opportunity to extend grazing space and markets by effectively connecting the urban farming movement and consumers.
For the community, grazing provides social benefits through entertainment, education, and outreach. Schools, churches, community groups, and other agritourists “flock” to the sites, transforming unused land into interactive classrooms to educate and promote environmentalism, farming, and sustainable agriculture.
Our staff spends most of our time on educational programming.
One day workshops are given at the beginning of demonstration programs before the sheep arrive. At these initial workshop, at minimum, we expect to cover: Shepherding (what happens when), Conservation grazing (why we graze), Common sheep ailments (what you might spot), Predators and Parasites (how to protect the flock), FAMACHA Training (when to treat your sheep/goat), How to handle a sheep (what you will need to do), and Handling electric sheep netting (for rotational grazing). We will have a webpage dedicated to the project where all materials, including copies of and links to the lamb resource database, can be downloaded.
Then each week before or after assessments during the grassing season, the urban shepherds learn more in depth information in a series of classes so that by the end of the growing season, they will have covered: Where to Find Your Flock, The Shepherd’s Calendar, Reproduction and Lambing, Flock Health and Nutrition, Housing and Handling, Record Keeping and Farm Management, and Direct Marketing Lamb.
While on site, we field questions from the public and the press.