Lambs make their debut at Owens Farm

Lambs make their debut at Owens Farm

One of the over 200 Coopworth lambs born at Owens Farm at 2611 Mile Post Road between Sunbury and Danville on Thursday March 30, 2017. KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

One of the over 200 Coopworth lambs born at Owens Farm at 2611 Mile Post Road between Sunbury and Danville on Thursday March 30, 2017. KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

SUNBURY — The Owens’ 112-acre farm, 2611 Mile Post Road, has spent the last few months welcoming lambs, lots and lots of lambs. The farm between Sunbury and Riverside, which is home to 130 ewes (female sheep), has seen the birth of over 209 Coopworth lambs this year. The sounds of the ewes and lams bleating in the pasture could be heard during a visit in March. This is the first year the number of lambs born in a year has surpassed 200 according to co-owner, Caroline Owens.

Caroline and her husband, David Owens, originally called New Hampshire home for their farm, but the search for a larger farm led them to the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania in 2008.

The family, which includes their now-grown children, Kyle, Kevin and Melissa, raised livestock for their own needs in New Hampshire but soon began a business catering to people seeking pasture-raised meats for their families.

The farm has since expanded to include pasture-raised chicken, turkey and pork as well as lamb. David Owens also manages honeybee hives with traditional methods that do not rely on modern chemicals.

The Owenses embrace the pasture-raised method of meat animals for many reasons including that the creatures are healthier and less stressed and that there is greater sustainability of the land.

Allowing the animals to spend time outside and be in a pasture setting greatly reduces sickness as well as the need for preventative antibiotics, according to Caroline Owens.

School-age children are frequent visitors to the farm and the many programs offering hands-on experiences. Caroline Owens calls on her former vocation as a teacher when the groups visit.

“I love to teach,” she said. “Their interest in our farm keeps it fresh for us.”

The farm offers sheep camps in June and July to give children the opportunity to learn about animal and plant science, perform hands-on work with the sheep and learn about the animals the sheep share the farm with such as chickens, horses and honeybees.

Other activities at the farm include a lambing clinic, overnight farm stays, group farm tours, lambing slumber parties, and an adoption program.

Adopt-A-Sheep allows anyone to follow the life of an “adopted” Coopworth sheep through the seasons with visits to the farm, newsletters, adoption certificates as well as the picture and life story of a sheep. The sheep’s fleece is belongs to the adoptive owner, but the sheep itself stays on the farm.

Caroline Owens is a former vocational agriculture teacher who worked in marketing communications and an equestrian travel business before starting her family. She holds a degree in animal science/agricultural education from Cornell University and a master’s in business administration from Boston University.

David Owens is an engineer now running his own database and software consulting business. He has a degree in engineering from the University of Lowell and a master’s in biomedical engineering from Boston University.

The farmers may be reached at 570-286-5309 or 570-898-6060 or via their website at www.owensfarm.com.

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