Our family consists of:
The head farmer - (myself) Dana
The head of off-farm income - (my husband) Sean
Occasional farm hands - (the twins) Kate and Maura
And the chief chicken girl - Brigid
We started farming in Boerne, Texas, with two cows, 40 chickens and a couple of Jacob sheep. When our twins started school, I wanted a job that would allow me to be a full time mom. We were fortunate enough that Sean’s job allowed me to do that. Texas has laws that favor keeping land in agricultural use, so even though the farm never got big enough to make a profit, it more than paid the taxes on the property.
We moved to Europe in 2009 and spent three years sight-seeing and reading about farming, from rotational grazing to fencing options to breed selection. We travelled to see many European models and learn about what the farmers in Europe are doing.
In 2012 we moved to Franklin County, Virginia where we currently run the Lazy Pigg Farm. We moved here with the intention of farming full-time when Sean retires. I have been getting the farm up and running with the help of our daughters, Kate, Maura, and Brigid. The name of the farm is taken from the Pigg River which makes up 3/4 of our property line.
When we returned to the United States, we decided to continue raising Dexter cattle. They are a small breed of cattle that are easier on the hills in our area of Virginia. They are "easy keepers", known for their high fertility rate, low rate of calving difficulties, and even temperament. As a general rule of thumb, you can have two cow/calf pairs of Dexters per animal unit as opposed to one cow/calf pair of the larger breeds such as Angus. They are considered a dual purpose breed, used for both milk and beef. They are also trained as oxen.
Katahdin sheep have a lot going for them. They are hair sheep and do not need to be shorn every year. They lose their hair like a dog when the weather turns warm in the spring. They are very resistant to internal parasites. The ewes have very little difficulty with birthing and have a great maternal instinct. They are even tempered and easy to work with.