Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County
Sheepish? Definitely not. Inspiring? Absolutely.
Sandi and her husband Mark, along with their children, operate Shepherd Creek Farms in Ontario, Canada. Both are influential in advocating for agriculture. While Mark serves in a more traditional role, working with commodity groups and politicians to elicit just representation of agriculture, Sandi caters to the consumers and producers of today through her vlogs.
This is not your typical “mommy blog.” This is nitty gritty, get the work done, feed the family, run the farm, pray for rain, laugh, cry, try, succeed, fail, try again life of agriculture, out in the open for the whole internet to see. Sandi uses this platform to build consumer trust in modern agricultural systems, a look into the family farms of today, and enforcing the truth that you are not alone when life is hard on the farm.
With a flock of 500 ewes in an accelerated lambing and completely housed system, Sandi has plenty to share with her viewers, followers, and friends. Her videos are nearing six million views on YouTube and she posts new content each week, but the internet is not the only place to find Sandi.
The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association will welcome Sandi Brock to the 2019 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium in Wooster, Ohio as a keynote speaker on Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14 at the OARDC Shisler Conference Center in Wooster, OH. There she will share about her adventures in sheep farming, vlogging, and implementing a management intensive and rewarding sheep enterprise.
Additional guests at the symposium include: Cameron Lauwers, a first generation sheep producer and fourth generation farmer from Capac, Michigan who runs 600 ewes in a mostly housed accelerated lambing system; Dr. Luciana da Costa, DVM and Assistant Professor of the OSU Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicines who will be sharing her expertise on mammary health and mastitis and passion for small ruminants; Dr. John Foltz, OSU Animal Science Department Chair; and Lee Fitzsimmons, a farm financial officer for Wayne Savings Community Bank.
The symposium will also offer special events for shepherds ages 18 to 40 through the Young Shepherd’s Assembly on Friday evening, December 13 at Jakes Steakhouse and for shepherds ages 6-18 through the youth program on Saturday, December 14 at the Shisler Conference Center.
This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. Shepherds of all ages, sectors, and regions are invited to attend the symposium to celebrate, connect with other shepherds, and to continue learning together.