Here is a list of people that you should consider looking into and/or following their work. These are folks I love and frequently check up on what they have going on, or look to them for ideas and inspiration.
Emma Naluyima, Ugandan veterinarian and farmer
Emma Naluyima is a mom, a wife, a veterinarian and one acre pig, cattle, fish and vegetable farmer in Uganda, she’s truly inspirational.
Here is a link to an article where she explains all of the things she has growing on her one acre farm in Uganda, it’s impressive.
If you feel constrained by your available space to raise your food or livestock or just want to see what a motivated and creative thinker can make happen, take some time to read about Emma and what all she has put together.
Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms
If you haven’t heard of Polyface, stop now and look them up-Polyface Farms. Joel is an author, a speaker and an internationally known farmer. I have read nearly all of his books and always enjoy them-and more importantly, they give me lots of ideas!
He also has a blog, The Lunatic Farmer, that is updated a few times a week. Another good read, sometimes writing about his farming operation and other times about agricultural happenings and ideas, nation and world wide.
Greg Judy, Green Pastures Farm
Greg Judy is mob grazing cattle and sheep year round in Missouri. He has a YouTube channel where he shows what he’s doing for the day and how exactly he has the farms set up, fencing, watering, etc. He also is a speaker, author and hosts a grazing school to teach his methods of all grass, all year cattle and sheep. Here’s a link to his website GreenPastures.net
Cameron Wilson, The Sheep Game
Cammy is a sheep farmer and shearer in Scotland. He’s fun to watch and shows all of the ins and outs of sheep farming in the UK.
His YouTube channel is The Sheep Game (the link is to one of his videos). Check it out, we learn new things all of the time from his videos! Plus the scenery is amazing!
Gabe Brown, Brown’s Ranch
Gabe Brown is a grain farmer and livestock rancher in the North Dakota. Look him up on YouTube, read his book or check out the website at Brown’s Ranch.
Gabe is a huge believer in no till crops and has greatly improved the organic matter of his soils using no till combined with livestock.
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Tennessee Meat Goats
Suzanne has spent years, since the 1990’s, developing a meat goat breed that she has named the Tennessee Meat Goat. Look at the pictures on her site TennesseeMeatGoats.com they are impressive!
She also has a huge list of articles she has written going over various aspects of raising goats and goat care. The articles are the true gold on her site, there is an amazing amount of information.
Walter Jefferies, Sugar Mountain Farm
Walter and his family raise pigs for a living in Vermont, without grain. They also recently built an on farm slaughter facility. The pigs are on pasture and I don’t think he has a barn, (but I thought I read on his site that the pigs do have small shelters). Check it out at Sugar Mountain Farm
Tim Young, Small Farm Nation
Small Farm Nation is a site and podcast by Tim that focuses on the marketing aspect of making a living as a small farmer. If you are direct selling to customers, check into this one. Even if you aren’t direct marketing the podcasts are interesting to listen to and give you some things to think about.
John Suscovich, Farm Marketing Solutions
John has a podcast, YouTube channel and is an author all centering around raising and selling products from your farm. Farm Marketing Solutions is his site. Check out his YouTube videos, especially where he breaks down the cost of raising broilers for his customers, and when he speaks of how they chose to set up their operation in this area of Connecticut.
Gerald Fry, Bovine Engineering
If you are interested in beef cattle, this is a must read!
Gerald Fry developed a way to measure the cattle right in front of you, using a tape measure and some basic math, to determine the likely traits of those cattle, like easy or hard keeper, meat production on grass, reproductive efficiency, etc. It is fascinating reading!
Sadly, Gerald passed away in 2018. Thankfully, his work is available on the website Bovine Engineering, check it out. It really is an eye opener and helps you to objectively think about form and function of your livestock. This is a link directly to the linear measurement page.
National Sheep Improvement Program, is working to help producers put together a data backed, breeding stock sheep selection. If you are familiar with cattle, this is like the data cattle raisers have available.
The reason I mention NSIP is most sheep information is about show stock. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t help the producer looking to raise commercial sheep.
Here is a link to the site NSIP. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of government programs. However, this is currently the best source of performance data on commercial flocks of sheep. The shepherds that we have talked to in the program are truly committed to improving the commercially valuable traits of sheep, like parasite resistance and carcass traits.