For Ann and Ron Fay, lambing season is not for the faint of muscle

Rising Meadow Farm

“Abilene”, a pride-of-the herd Corriedale sheep at Rising Meadow Farm, has her first lamb ever. Yet unnamed, the lamb is only a day old.

For Ann and Ron Fay at Rising Meadow Farm, spring is the most awaited time of the year with the daily arrival of new born lambs.  It is also the time of the year that is most demanding physically.

Ann and Ron have set the bar high as their credo is “only the best will do” which applies to the quality of food sources, environment, and mode of harvest.

They believe that this level of care generates the best products of wool and meat, the foremost which is generated  on the farm’s February Shearing Day by master shearer Kevin Ford. Meat to market occurs during the other months of the year.

Hard work has paid off for this couple as the end of each day brings comfort, satisfaction, and joy in a unique pastoral setting which has been preserved in perpetuity for future generations.

The Piedmont Land Conservancy is a partner in the Fay’s vision as benefactor of a conservation easement placed in 2011 .

Rising Meadow Farm
Rising Meadow Farm
Rising Meadow Farm
Rising Meadow Farm
Rising Meadow Farm
Rising Meadow Farm
Rising Meadow Farm
Rising Meadow Farm

A division of labor between Ann and Ron makes each morning possible. Ann tackles the cleanup which reduces incidences of infection and hoof diseases.

Ron takes on the feeding after the sheep have been turned outside the barn. "They will knock you down," Ron says, "if they were in here with you."

The farm's best hay, according to Ron, is a blend of timothy and alfalfa. "It is expensive; it can break the bank!"

The barn lots are particularly soft and deep after a rain and the only way to get the hay out is by wheelbarrow through the ankle deep mud.

Hay is now much more compact (and heavier) than a couple of years ago because transporters figured out they could get more bales on a truck if each bale was "super compressed" by hydraulic balers.

"Ouchless!"

Each new lamb gets an ear tag; no flinch; and there for life.

Meticulous heritage records are kept for each animal so as to insure diversification of the existing gene pool.

"We recycle everything."

The Fay's compost pile is the envy of the county.

The happiest (and one of the most satisfying) moment is when the newborns are turned out with mom ewe after an overnight or two in "the jug" - the confined newborn nursery for ewe and lamb. "They are happy to have their freedom ... they belong outside!"

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