Dale and Linda were looking for a retirement venture in 2001 and ended up with a ranch full of animals and a business based on nature. They now raise AWA sheep in coastal North Carolina, and sell lamb to loyal customers throughout the area.
“It’s like any business. You start with one thing and get that on its feet and start another,” says Dale. Between building barns, helping birth baby animals and making the most of the ranch’s natural surroundings, Dale and Linda, who operate the entire farm by themselves, say their marriage of 42 years and counting is based on teamwork. “It’s seven days a week. We joke that we only work in half-days, and half a day is 12 hours,” says Dale. “You learn to rely on each other.”
Now, their 13-acre homestead is a fully-working ranch. Dale and Linda are dedicated to breeding and developing animals that are managed in open pastures as close to their natural state as possible, free of added hormones and antibiotics. Their reason for joining AWA was to contribute to the effort and support the AWA standards while providing customers with heart-healthy, local gourmet lamb and other ranch products. “It is small scale compared to commercial farms,” said Dale. “We do not intend to expand beyond the boundaries of having full control of our own operation.”
For information on purchasing AWA lamb from Whispering Dove Goat Ranch and Apiary, visit http://www.ncagr.gov/ncproducts/Showsite.asp?ID=2014.