At our sustainable sheep farm, we are reminded every day that an ounce of prevention is far better than a pound of cure.
After over five decades of sheep farming, we have learned more than a few things.
To oversimplify, if we take care of our farm and its soil, the farm will take care of us.
If we take care of our sheep, our sheep will take care of us.
And in the process our healthy farms with healthy soils will take care of our sheep.
And our sheep, with their composted manure that is spread annually across our hay fields and pastures, will take care of our farm.
It is a cycle of life right here on our small acreage.
Our sheep do very well for us and our customers. Why?
I attribute it first and foremost to genetics, as we have sheep that we have carefully selected and managed for over 50 years.
Plus it is the preventative care that we provide for our sheep: we go to great lengths to feed our sheep a balanced diet, to maintain them in a healthy environment, and to vaccinate them against any known illnesses.
You can’t raise sheep for as long as we have without encountering a few sick sheep.
We have had the vet out more than a few times over the decades.
In this process we have learned a great deal about how to maintain the health and productivity of our sheep flocks.
It is really to the point where, now, when we encounter a health problem it is either because we kept a sheep that we should have sold or we failed to do our homework, failed to follow the practices that we have developed to maintain our sheep and prevent health problems.
It occurs to me that on our sheep farm, as in life, prevention is so much better than the cure.
Which is not to say that all problems, all challenges, can be prevented. They can’t be.
But from most problems and challenges, we can learn how to prevent the problems and challenges in the future.
And it is this continuing process of learning, and in particular of learning how to address – or better yet prevent – any and all problems and challenges, that encourages us to plow forward!
Happy holidays from Shady Hill Farms!