Katie Sullivan and Matt Wimmer raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) sheep outdoors on pasture at Cloverworks Farm in Irasburg, Vermont. “After working at a Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW goat dairy in 2011, I got my first sheep the next year,” Katie says. “I love having an intense connection with animals and I love all aspects of the job—and the responsibility that comes with that. I would never want to do anything else.”
Cloverworks Farm consists of 63 acres, 30 of which are currently in pasture. Katie explains that the pastures are a very important component to the farming practices at Cloverworks Farm—and not just for grazing. “Pastures provide carbon sequestration, habitat for wild animals—including several threatened and declining species in our area—sustainable nutrition and mental stimulation for ruminant animals. Feedlots provide none of these things,” she says.
In addition to being Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, the sheep at Cloverworks Farm are Certified Grassfed by AGW, the first—and only—food label in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, and raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range.
The sheep at Cloverworks Farm are registered Bluefaced Leicesters and registered Border Leicesters. “Both breeds are hardy for the climate and able to efficiently convert grass into wool and meat without the need for additional grain-based feed,” Katie says. “I firmly believe that sheep have dual-purpose economic potential and I am maintaining my flock to optimize both wool and meat.” The sheep are moved regularly to fresh ground to give the sheep access to the most nutritious grazing, preventing the buildup of pests and diseases and ensuring the land remains healthy and productive. “We are very proud of our attention to detail in our rotational grazing efforts,” Katie says. “We strive to grow the best grass possible using portable fence, strategic haying and multi-species grazing.”
Katie decided to pursue Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW certification because she is passionate about raising her animals as best as she possibly can: “I know that Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW is the most rigorous, most widely respected animal welfare certification program, and I want my farm operation to meet those strict standards. Our Certified Grassfed by AGW logo will also help to highlight our 100 percent grassfed feeding protocol to customers.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Grassfed by AGW lamb from Cloverworks Farm is available direct from the farm and at Worthy Burger in South Royalton, VT. For more information about Cloverworks Farm, visit cloverworksfarm.com or follow the farm on Facebook at facebook.com/CloverworksFarm and Instagram at @cloverworksfarm. Contact Katie Sullivan at email@example.com or call 802-324-2039.