About Us

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Hopestead Hill Farm has been our home and family farm since 1987, and is located in the small town of Columbus in the Central Leatherstocking area of central New York State. 

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Our sheep operation actually had its beginnings 4 years earlier, when we bought two pregnant registered Dorset ewes (mother and daughter) from the Perry Farm in Whitehouse, NJ. Just a month later, the mother/daughter duo lambed within days of each other, each having twin ewes.

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Over time, our flock grew.

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The ewes in our current flock are rotationally grazed for the majority of the year on the lush hillside meadows and hayfields; and return to the barns in winter to be fed high quality hay and baleage.

 

We began intensive rotational grazing in 1987, moving our herd of dairy cows to fresh grass every 12 hours, and our  flock of sheep every few days. Seeing the direct benefit of rotational grazing on milk production, we tend to treat our sheep as dairy animals, and  manage our quality forages to maximize milk production and weaning weights and reduce parasite exposure.  This ensures healthy and happy animals.

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Our fields are located along both sides of Columbus’ Centre Brook (sometimes called “Mad Pat Brook” due to the force of its currents in the spring), and much of our 250 acres is side hills and fairly sloping. This affords beautiful views and good grazing, but definitely presents some haymaking challenges with round bales.

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Meet the rest of the working members of our “farm family”:

 

 

 


Livestock Guardian Dogs

 


These big white guardian dogs stay with the flock and protect the sheep against coyotes, dogs, hawks, and other intruders. With the growing numbers of coyotes in our area, we could not continue raising sheep without our dogs.

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Star and Cowboy are Great Pyrenees, and like to patrol their territory. They both enjoy their afternoon naps. Read about Cowboy's rescue.

Thor is a Maremma/Tatra. He is usually the first to spot something.

Zeke is the youngest and most exuberant. He has become quite dependable this year.


Border Collies

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Our three Border Collies, Grace, Dan, and Moss help direct the flock to their new pastures, and assist in feeding and handling chores. Each have very different personalities and different specialties.

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Grace is fast and energetic. She can circle the field and bring back every ewe. She is also a real sweetie.

Moss is a bit more laid back in the field, but often is the right pressure when working in the barn.

Dan, the youngest, is developing really well. He has a nice calm attitude, and a lot of endurance. Plus he is a great farm dog and loves to swim!