Fiber Farm Grows Thanks to Technical and Financial Assistance

Thanks to Savannah Halleaux, Michigan FSA Public Affairs & Outreach Coordinator for sharing this article with us. “It was always my desire to have a sheep farm,” said Bridget Kavanagh, owner and shepherdess of Happy Goat Lucky Ewe Fiber Farm in Mason, Michigan. Kavanagh bought the property in 1987 when her children were little. It wasn’t until her children grew up and started moving out on their own that Kavanagh was able to turn the homestead into a business. “I didn’t go through the empty nest syndrome because I kept buying sheep,” Kavanagh joked. Kavanagh saw the need to expand her sheep and goat herd to meet customer demand for her merino and angora goat fiber. Much of her prospective pasture land was covered in dense scrub brush, so Kavanagh first had to turn “the jungle” of thorny, overgrown brush into quality pasture for livestock. “You had to have a machete to get through it,” she recalled. Kavanagh visited her local USDA Service Center and learned her farm was eligible for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). EQIP provides agricultural producers with financial resources, along with one-on-one help to plan and implement conservation practices. “The NRCS and county conservati

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