Animal Husbandry

Six Part Series – April through September, 2022
With Emily Hartnett and Local Livestock Farmers

Animal Husbandry

Join us for 6 classes on raising livestock and animal husbandry taught at local farms throughout the North Fork Valley – in Paonia and Hotchkiss.

Wednesdays from 10am – 3pm with lunch included.

Register for the whole series or for individual classes: $200 for all 6, $50 per individual class.

More information on each class and instructors coming soon!

If you have questions or need more information, contact Valley Organic Growers Association.

Animal Husbandry Classes

Class 1: Animal Husbandry Basics

with Emily Hartnett & Suanne & Dave Miller
Wednesday, April 27th
10am – 3pm
at Western Culture Farmstead
39883 Mathews Lane, Paonia
& at The Hearth
138 Grand Ave, Paonia

Animal Husbandry

Join us for a class on the basic principles and management techniques of raising and feeding livestock. We will discuss different types of livestock that do well in this climate and their care and feed requirements. This class includes a visit to Western Culture Farmstead, a local goat farm, where we will learn about pregnancy care, kidding, bottle feeding, husbandry skills, dairying, and a look into what it takes to have a successful, local, farm business.

Suanne & Dave Miller are the owners of Western Culture Farmstead in Paonia – they are committed to producing the highest quality goat cheese from their farm. Suanne is the cheese maker, specializing in small batch, hand crafted goat cheese. David manages the farm, keeps health records, runs the milking operation, and shares a special bond with each goat.

Class 2: Sheep, Wool and Family Farm Business

With Emily Hartnett, Oogie McGuire and Lynn Gillespie
Wednesday, May 25th
10am – 3pm
at Desert Weyr
16870 Garvin Mesa Rd, Paonia
& at The Living Farm
39776 Green Tractor Rd, Paonia

Sheep Wool Family Farm

Learn about raising sheep for wool, meat, milk and breeding stock. We will focus on the care and maintenance of the flock, value added products, feeding and grazing practices and more!

Class 3: Rotational Grazing & Pasture Management

with Emily Hartnett, Michelle Livingston & Benjamin Capron
Wednesday, June 22nd
10am – 3pm
at Sunshine Mesa Farm
12347 3600 Rd, Hotchkiss

Rotational Grazing

Join us for class on livestock grazing management systems that improve the soil and the health of the animals. We will visit Sunshine Mesa Farm to learn about pastured poultry, housing, electric fencing, poultry predators, and raising laying hens from chicks to egg production in a regenerative system. We will also focus on intensive grazing systems for sheep, water systems for animals on pasture, and regenerative meat production.

Michelle Livingston is the owner and farmer at Sunshine Mesa Farm where she raises chickens, turkeys, and quail. The farm’s goal is to produce humanely raised, environmentally sustainable food and provide resources for aspiring mid-size chicken farmers. Sunshine Mesa Farm is Animal Welfare Approved.

Benjamin Capron is the owner and farmer of Farmhands Harvest. He runs a small flock of mixed breed, pasture raised sheep and lambs that get rotated daily to ensure the freshest forage for the sheep and least amount of stress on the soil and pastures.

Class 4: Animals in the Permaculture System

with Emily Hartnett, Pat Frazier & Mark Waltermire
Wednesday July 13th
10am – 3pm
at Thistle Whistle Farm
10872 3500 Rd, Hotchkiss

Animals in Permaculture

Join us for a class on how animals function in the ecosystem of the farm and garden. We will look at the ways in which livestock control vegetation and pests while completing the nutrient cycle of the farm and providing products to the farmer. We will focus on pollinators, animal forage systems for self feeding, utilizing livestock for pasture improvement and fire control, and designing a system that supports beneficial and symbiotic interactions.

Pat Frazier has been a teacher of Permaculture and Biodynamics for over 20 years. She has a small, off-grid biodynamic, permaculture homestead and diversified farm outside of Hotchkiss, growing numerous useful perennial medicinal herbs, natives, fruit orchards, annual and perennial food crops, pastures, and preserving wild pinyon-juniper-sage habitats in a high desert environment. Within this system, she has raised cows, goats, and chickens and she grows plants to attract pollinators to her farm.

Mark Waltermire is the owner and farmer at Thistle Whistle Farm and has been keeping bees and supporting pollinators for over 15 years on his farm. He grows many different varieties of produce, flowers and herbs that provide food for the bees all season long.

Class 5: Cheesemaking and Dairying

August 13th at The Hearth
138 Grand Ave, Paonia

Class 6: Raising Animals for Meat & Processing

with Emily Hartnett & Jacob Gray
Wednesday, September 14th
10am – 3pm
at Gray Acres
12273 Crawford Rd, Paonia

Raising Animals

Join us for a class on raising livestock for meat and processing animals on a small and large scale. We will discuss best practices for raising healthy and nutritious meat products, housing for poultry, goats, sheep, and cows, feeding systems, and which breeds are best. This is a hands-on learning experience and we will be processing live animals during this class.

Jacob Gray is the owner and farmer at Gray Acres where he raises pastured meat birds, dairy goats, and Scottish Highland cattle for beef in Paonia on a rotational grazing system. He built a CO State Certified chicken processing facility on his farm where he processes over 4,000 chickens per year.