the flock lambs


My husband and I are transplanted Midwesterners (he originally from Ohio and myself from Nebraska/Kansas). We support my ‘sheep habit’ by being college biology professors. Between Randy growing up loving his grandparents’ small farm, and my spending time at friends’ farms, we were more than ready to acquire our own farm when the opportunity presented itself 6 years ago. And that big change all started with Jacob sheep! I saw adorable Jacob lambs being shown at the Maryland Wool and Sheep Festival and ... That led us to Katrina and Dave Lefever and their Chicory Lane flock. The next thing I know we were buying their farm in Hanover, PA so we could have more sheep. Katrina was an inspiring mentor; and impressive gardener as you can see in the perennial gardens she established here.

My first interest was in preservation of these wonderful sheep. I also was a beginner knitter and spinner/weaver and wanted to get more into the wool development. I actually started with 3 wethers and then acquired a few ewes and …now have two flock sire rams and am learning to try different ewe/ram breeding groups to see what kinds of lambs they produce. I hope to keep my flock around 20-30 ewes. I currently have about 60 Jacobs (8 wethers, 5 rams, and the rest are ewes).

Between learning about sheep farming and teaching, we have also become members of Jacob Sheep Breeders Association, and also have sheep registered with the Jacob Sheep Conservancy. We have been helping out with the JSBA booth at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival. Last year we took over 50 sheep to the festival to be sheared as part of the first Annual Hand-Shearing Competition.

As a parasitology professor, I am also interested in the parasites affecting sheep and how we manage that problem. I am hoping to expand into sheep immunology research this summer. Randy is a pigment cell biologist and is working with students on pigment genes in Jacobs.

We also are interested in sustainability issues. We hope to work with our biology and environmental studies colleagues at McDaniel College to teach our students about small scale farming, and heritage breeds like Jacob sheep, and Brahma chickens and Bourbon Red turkeys.