Editor’s Introductory Letter

Welcome! To A Guide to All Things Sheep—the latest addition to Premier’s efforts to provide sheep producers with the very best of products and information to keep their flocks healthy and growing.

We’re hoping that this section of premier1supplies.com will, over time, become a well-used shelf in your reference library—a place to turn to study up on many aspects of sheep production, for research translated into plain English, and for stories about how other sheep operations have tackled the challenges that we all face.

We hope our efforts to expand the offerings on this section of premier1supplies.com will be a team effort. The more shepherds, farm managers, processors, and industry professionals we hear from, the more relevant we can make the articles.

Do you or your neighbor have an unusual approach to some aspect of sheep production that others could benefit by hearing about? Let us know. We will be actively seeking innovative and unusual operations to feature here.

Watch your e-mail inbox for notifications every few weeks as we upload new articles, how-to videos, and other materials. If you don’t have time to read the articles right then, don’t worry. They’ll still be accessible through our search function. We’ll update articles as new information becomes available, but the idea is to keep building a reference library.

On a personal note, I’m very excited about this opportunity to help facilitate the exchange of information among sheep producers large and small, East and West, wool and hair, niche and commodity. The diversity of the sheep industry is a fact of life, and it’s time we learned to use it to our advantage. We can all learn from one another, and it’s only by learning that we can improve our own operations and, in turn, build the sheep industry.

For those who don’t know me, I operate a small diversified farm in southwestern New Hampshire on rented land, raising poultry, swine, and sheep on pasture. I also have a small vegetable operation. My products are sold through local farmers’ markets and to a long-term base of loyal customers.

I started with four sheep in 1990, and have been on a roller-coaster ride ever since then. My flock peaked at 750 ewes in the early 2000s, when I was running a vegetation management business using sheep to control invasive exotic plants on public lands along with producing and marketing 1,400 lambs per year. I have worked as a hired shepherd grazing sheep on power transmission lines tending as many as 1,800 head. I’ve worked as a farm hand on beef, dairy, and vegetable farms, as a daily newspaper reporter, and a warehouse worker and tons of other odd jobs, but through it all I have kept at least a small flock of sheep, and have usually direct marketed my lambs.

I look forward to hearing your ideas and feedback on what this project needs to make it the best it can be. Feel free to contact me via e-mail: bill@edgefieldsheep.com

Enjoy the Guide, and I hope it proves useful to you.