Grazing the bar: how a musician created her own sustainable sheep farm


Caroline Reese Nelson had what might have been considered by other creatives to be a good career. By 2013, she had released two country-folk solo albums, ‘Indian River’ in 2010 and ‘Slow Code’ in 2013, and was an active touring musician. Still, life on the road took a heavy toll and Caroline knew something had to change.

Then, four years ago, she left Philadelphia and moved to Townsend, MT for a break. But what started as a short summer getaway turned into a lifestyle change in its own right, when Caroline acquired four Icelandic sheep from Facebook Marketplace and slowly began building her own ranch.

She now has around 50 sheep and in this video gives us an overview of her daily chores and routine, to share what it has really been like to start a sheep farm with no previous experience.

“Breeding is not a typical job – there is no real beginning or end to your day,” Caroline explains. “It’s just a long list of tasks and it’s hard to leave. So you have to know that is what you want to do.

“Sometimes I joke with my husband saying that’s why I wanted to have the sheep – so I could never leave because I like it here.”

Ultimately, Caroline’s goal is to build a sustainable and regenerative grazing operation, emphasizing native grass and forage. Working in partnership with her husband, the couple recently started a direct sales business of pasture-raised beef and grass-fed lamb, shipped to customers across the country.

See the original video here.

Good Living is Cyprus Mail’s web-based content portal, showcasing local and global ideas, cultural highlights, and scientific and technological developments to inspire sustainable living.


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