Shepherd’s Way Saves the Farm

A year ago this week, we profiled Stephen Read of Shepherd’s Way Farms. It had been five years since an arsonist had burned down the Reads’ livestock housing and feed, and most devastatingly, killed more than 500 of their East Friesian-cross ewes and lambs. Without the barns, no lambs; without the lambs, no milk. Read and partner Jodi Ohlsen Read had been unable to return to national production and the farm was, in fact, in foreclosure.

Yesterday, Read announced in an open letter to members of the farm’s CSA that Shepherd’s Way is no longer in foreclosure: “After a long and arduous path, on New Year’s Eve, with the help of Farm Haven members, we secured our real estate! It has been a long time coming, so thanks to Farm Haven and thanks to you all, your support has sustained us through some dark days and held us firm on some rough roads. We are also going to finally be able to finish our historic Big Woods Barn! While approval wasn’t gained before we were overwhelmed with newborns, we look forward to future years with a safe and warm home for lambing.”

Construction on the Big Woods barn, a dairy barn rescued from the nearby Big Woods State Park, is set to commence at the beginning of February.