Tydeman Farm sits at the heart of the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. When Lindsay and Brian Shea purchased the 250-acre property it had been abandoned for 50 years and the orchards were dead and the land needed extensive renovation work. The couple cleared the orchards, planted 50 acres of hay fields, as well as peach trees and other fruits. Today, the farm is home to a small flock of Certified AWA sheep who graze the abundant pastures and new orchards.
The Tydeman Farm flock consists of a Tunis-Dorper mix and Lincolns, breeds known for their tolerance of both warm and cold climates. Elizabeth Douglas, shepherd at Tydeman Farm, spends her days caring for the sheep, moving them regularly to fresh pasture. “There’s no comparison to pasture-based management,” Elizabeth explains. “Sheep are created to eat this way.” Letting their animals range free on pasture and constant observation are the most important aspects of the animal husbandry practices at Tydeman Farm, where the sheep are raised according to the highest welfare standards in the U.S. “Frequent interaction with the animals is key,” Elizabeth points out. “We are with them so many times a day because their wellbeing is so important to us.”
Tydeman Farm decided to pursue certification with AWA because they were interested in selling their lamb to the Grazin’ Diner restaurant, situated in nearby Hudson. Grazin’ Diner opened in October 2011 as the first Certified AWA restaurant in the U.S., sourcing all its meat, milk and eggs from other local AWA farms. “The animals were raised here, graze here, and now we are also able to supply a local restaurant just a few miles away,” says Elizabeth.
The team at Tydeman Farm hopes to grow the farming side of their business in the years to come, expanding their flock and continuing to use the landscape in a way that benefits both people and animals. Email Lindsay at email@example.com for more information about the farm.