Touring local producers
Sheep farmers and producers were invited on a tour of county sheep farms throughout Stormont and Glengarry. The tour first took them through Berwick at Therihof Jerseys, to Lunenburg at Sleepy Shepherd Farm and then finishing in Alexandria at Michel Bourcier’s farm. The purpose of the tour was to show the process and tribulations other sheep farms have to face on a daily basis while also teaching participants how to improve their own operation. Glover photo
BERWICK — Ever wonder how other sheep producers are keeping their operation afloat? What their business looks like from the other side?
District 10 of the Ontario Sheep Farmers wanted to answer these questions with a sheep tour across the region, going from Berwick at Therihof Jerseys, to Lunenburg at Sleepy Shepherd Farm and then finishing in Alexandria at Michel Bourcier’s farm.
“The goal of this activity is for producers to meet,” said Brigitte Meunier-Grimes, treasurer of District 10 of Ontario Sheep Farmers. “We have producers from the Quebec side and from all over because our district goes from the Quebec border to slightly east of Ottawa.”
With the district so huge, it can be hard for producers to actually meet each other face-to-face, a trip from Alexandria to Kemptville can be tiring. So, Ontario Sheep Farmers wanted to give them a chance meet each other, while also visiting farms who agreed to open their farms for looking around.
“Basically, we go to different farms so we can learn from the producers and maybe get ideas that can be applied onto our own farms,” said Meunier-Grimes.
While this isn’t the first time for the Ontario Sheep Farmers’ tour, it had been a few years due to efforts to provide different activities, including the upcoming second annual Sheep XPO that offers a mix of educational seminars and vendors, while also giving producers an opportunity to network and discover new products.
“Maybe — and hopefully — producers will go home and learn what another producer’s challenges are and how they dealt with it,” said Meunier-Grimes. “Like, information on barn layout, on what to feed, and on what works and what doesn’t work. Hopefully, they’ll go home with one thing they’ve learned that they can apply to their own farm.”
During the tour, the group of approximately a dozen producers also visited the Glengarry Market to see local farm meats and produce on display.