Nathan Martin and his family raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW)…
Jodi Grever, along with her husband and partner, Tom Grever, raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) sheep at Sheepless Nights in Cameron, Missouri. “I grew up in the country on very small acreage,” says Jodi. “One year, my parents let me have two ewes that I quickly fell in love with, but since we did not have proper winter facilities, I only had them for one season. It was an experience I never forgot.” After a few downsizings in the corporate world, Jodi and Tom decided they needed to enjoy a less stressful life, and she returned to her roots and her love for sheep husbandry.
The farm consists of gently rolling hills and valleys for her flock of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW Shetland sheep to graze. “While the pasture was never used for crop production, it was an active horse farm at one time and had suffered from overgrazing,” says Jodi. “As our flock of Shetland sheep graze various pastures, they eat the weeds and add their rich manure to increase the organic matter in the soil. I do not believe in confinement raised livestock, so I wanted to raise the Shetlands on pasture where they can turn grass into fine wool.”
Jodi maintains a flock of around 50-60 Shetland sheep at Sheepless Nights. “Shetland sheep have naturally short tails, fine wool in eleven main whole colors of wool with as many as 30 different markings. They are an unimproved sheep breed, hardy, great mothers, easy to handle and have sweet flavored meat. They’re just perfect for our farm and business.”
The most important part of Jodi’s animal husbandry practices includes focus on the welfare of the sheep. “Ensuring that they always have access to clean water, pasture, and shade is incredibly important for our operation. They are shorn once a year by a skilled shearer—which is another key aspect of our management practices and farm principles.”
Jodi chose to pursue AGW certification because of the verification it provides to her customers. “There is a lot of bad press about livestock practices and animal agriculture. Why should people that don’t know me believe in my shepherding if I don’t have an independent organization verifying my practices? AGW certification provides the trusted, third-party verification I’m looking for.”
Wool from Jodi’s flock of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW sheep is available through her Etsy shop and directly from the farm, and lamb will be available for sale in the future. Visit AGW’s online directory for more details. For more information about Sheepless Nights, visit sheeplessnights.com, follow the farm on Facebook and Instagram or contact Jodi Grever at Sheepless@hqllc.com and (816) 632-1604.