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Back Creek – Mount Ulla, NC

Robin and Joe Hampton are first generation farmers and started farming at Back Creek in Mount Ulla in Rowan County in 1981. Building their farming business from the ground up, they have slowly expanded their livestock operation and now raise a flock of Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) sheep on 125 acres of mixed pasture and woodland. They also raise Black Angus beef cattle.

The flock of sheep at Back Creek are rotationally managed, grazing one section of pasture before being moved to fresh fields. This management approach allows grass to recover before sheep return to graze again; it also keeps the soil properly fertilized and minimizes the build-up of internal parasites, thereby avoiding reliance on chemical treatments.

In pasture-based farming systems such as Back Creek, the sheep have constant access to pasture and range and eat a diet of grass and forage throughout their lives. This type of management positively benefits the health of the animals, humans, and the environment. To encourage a greater diversity of plant species in the pastures and ensure the animals have access to a range of plant-based minerals and nutrients in their diet, the Hamptons integrate multiple species into their rotational management system to mimic natural grazing processes. Robin and Joe graze their sheep behind the cattle so they graze off any the plants the cattle leave behind. This not only controls weeds and ensures species diversity, but that grass and forage growth is at its most nutritious when the animals return to the pastures to graze again.

For more information about the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW sheep at Back Creek, contact Robin and Joe Hampton at and 704-278-9347.

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