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Agriculture

Pasture walk at Graze-N-Grow

SHEFFIELD — The University of Illinois Extension — Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit will host a Pasture Walk at the Graze-N-Grow Sheep Farm of Jim and Ruth Draper from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 15. The featured presenter will be Dean Oswald, forage/grazing specialist at Midwest Grass and Forage in Macomb. Admission is free, but event-goers should call to reserve a spot on the tour.  

This is an opportunity for those who want to hear about the grass-fed operations at Graze-N-Grow Farm. 

“Jim has raised sheep all of his life. About six years ago, we switched to Katahdin sheep because there wasn't a good market for wool, and these sheep just shed their hair in the field, so we didn't have to hire a shearer. It costs a lot to have them shorn, and we couldn't get a good price for the wool," said Ruth Draper. 

The Drapers sell lambs "on the hoof" and deliver them to be slaughtered for their customers. They don't use hormones or antibiotics, which is something their customers like. 

"We have a very ethnically diverse customer base. We sell a lot of our lamb to the Hispanic, Muslim and Greek population. We're on Interstate 80, and people see our sheep and turn off the road to find us," she said. 

The Graze-N-Grow Sheep Farm is located at 15722 645 East Street in Sheffield.

Register by Sept. 7 with the Bureau County Extension Office at 815-875-2878 to reserve your spot on the tour.

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