Rob and Michelle Stokes raise Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) goats, hogs, laying hens and laying ducks at Circle O Livestock LLC in Vale, Oregon. Rob and Michelle believe in working closely with their animals and the environment to create a sustainable enterprise. Handling animals with respect and compassion, while using a poly culture approach in their ranching practices, is the model they feel makes the most sense. By running a diversified operation and practicing rotational grazing, they make the best use of their land while maintaining and improving soil health.
Rob and Michelle met at California State University in Chico. They were both animal science majors and had a shared interest of the outdoors and a dream of owning a ranch. After working for many years helping other ranch businesses grow, they bought Circle O Livestock Ranch in 2002 and started raising their Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW goat herd in 2007. Their current herd of goats consists predominantly of commercial and full blood Boer goats with a cross of Savanna and Spanish genetics. Their Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW hogs are Duroc and Large Black breeds, which Rob and Michelle explain are a great fit for their environment as the red and black hair with dark skin won’t sunburn under the eastern Oregon skies.
The Stokes love being able to let their young daughters, Rylie and Teagan, help on the farm. Rylie remembers their nanny goats by sight and can sort and bring you a nanny out of a group of many. She is such a great help because she really enjoys what she is doing. “We are proud of the fact we can give our daughters this opportunity to learn, love agriculture, love the outdoors and respect the animals,” says Michelle.
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW chicken and duck eggs, goat meat and pork from Circle O Livestock are available under the Malheur River Meats brand name at restaurants, Farmers’ Markets and retail outlets in Idaho and Oregon. For more information, contact the Stokes at 208-573-1058 and firstname.lastname@example.org.