Dorset Excellence Program
2011 DORSET BREEDER EXCELLENCE WINNER
MAPLE HOLLOW FARM
The 2011 Dorset Breeder Excellence Winner is the Brian & Melanie Barkly & Family of Maple Hollow Farm in Manns Choice, PA. Brian & Melanie have been raising Dorsets for over 30 years on their 230 acre farm in Central Pennsylvania. Brian owns and operates Maple Hollow Fencing, so the farm has top notch electric fencing and in recent years they have erected a hoop type barn that primarily houses the ewes and lambs during lactation. Melanie works full time in the Penn State Extension system and has been the contributing editor for the Dorset Commercial articles in this newsletter for many years.
Maple Hollow is a purebred operation that emphasizes fall lambing as well as productive ewes that can lamb on their own without assistance, raise those lambs without assistance and maintain their body condition on pasture. They made the decision four years ago to make some changes to their flock. After family visits to Australia, they imported their first shipment of semen from there to use in their own flock. The purpose in moving in this direction was to increase muscling, improve performance on pasture and improve breed character. They also wanted to decrease frame size to a more moderate height. Their second shipment of Australian semen arrived last year and they just had the lambs from those genetics this past February. This genetic change has set their flock apart from some of the other flocks because these sheep thrive on forage, produce a high dollar value lamb carcass, and have improved resistance to internal parasites. Maple Hollow Farm is a very active promoter of Dorset sheep. They are heavily involved in the Pennsylvania Dorset Association and all three daughters have been in 4-H and will be FFA members. They have exhibited Dorset breeding stock, market lambs, or carcass lambs at the county fair. Melanie, being an extension agent, is very active in the county 4-H program as well as being involved at the state level in developing curriculum to teach quality animal management practices to youth involved across the state with livestock projects.
In 2011 their farm hosted three tours that discussed Dorsets as well as sheep promotion in general. These tours included students in the Penn State production class, freshman students interested in agriculture through Penn State and agriculture educators as part of the PA Association of County Agricultural Agents Association.
Maple Hollow has been involved in consigning sheep to shows and sales as they have traveled from New England to Reno consigning to National Dorset Sales as well as selling to surrounding states. In addition, they have showed their flock at many state, regional and national events. They are also supporters of many junior Dorset shows as they have sponsored many awards at these shows. The farm is very active in the selling and promotion of “Maple Hollow Lamb Snack Sticks”. The snack sticks are a summer type lamb sausage that are made typically from yearling ewes who don’t meet the criteria to become part of the brood ewe flock. The snack sticks are marketed at two local retail businesses and a number of the sticks are sold at sheep events and have been donated to junior shows to assist in fundraising. Congratulations to Brain & Melanie, Meaghan, Kayla & Heidi! The official presentation of their award will be made at the Dorset Sale Show at the 2012 Midwest Sale, Tuesday, June 26th. Come and give your congratulations on an award very well deserved!
2012 DORSET BREEDER EXCELLENCE WINNER
DORSETS N’ DAYLILIES - KIRSTEN HATFIELD
The 2012 Dorset Breeder Excellence Winner is Dorsets N’ Daylilies owned and operated by Jason & Kirsten Hatfield in Zanesville, Ohio. Kirsten has been in the Dorset business since 1980, formerly operating under the Nutty Acres Farm name. Since they have also been raising high quality daylilies since 1986, Kirsten and Jason combined their farming enterprise under one name last year to Dorset N’ Daylilies. Pictured to the left is Coulter Passwaters, CDC Eastern Director presenting Kirsten, Jason and their daughter Hainsley with their award at the 2013 Ohio Dorset Sale.
The Hatfields run about 150 registered Dorset ewes and 25 head of Dorset cross ewes in Southeastern Ohio on strip mine ground. They produce a Dorset that will work for all types of producers, whether they are commercial, production, frame or wether. They strive to have Dorsets that are full of meat, three dimensional, easy keeping, prolific with a good lambing percentage twice a year, hardy and naturally fall lambing. They run a low input system so the brood ewes must keep themselves and bring in at least 2 lambs a year to the barn or they don’t remain in the flock. They have also utilized the Dorsets in their crossbred flock using them on black face crossbred ewes and Dorper cross ewes to produce lambs for the growing commercial sector. Dorsets N’ Daylilies expect their ewes to breed as lambs and lamb for the first time by the time they are 14-16 months old, They are bred the first time to a full blood dorper ram to produce roaster lambs for the ethnic market. Not only does this produce a quality lamb for this market but also assists the virgin lambers in ease of lambing with reduced birth weights. After the first lambing, then they are exposed to a purebred Dorset. All of their lambs are weaned at 50 - 60 days of age and the ewes, both mature and ewe lambs, are then exposed for either spring or fall lambing. The Dorsets N’ Daylilies flock is promoted by a very nice website www.dorsetsdaylilies.com, and they also have a facebook page. They are also involved in the 4-H program as Kirsten serves as a club advisor. They promote the Dorset breed to anyone who will listen and are strong supporters of new sheep producers and will help out anyone who calls 24/7. The Hatfields are strong supporters of the youth through different events and the junior fair livestock sales. Congratulations to Kirsten and her family on this very well deserved recognition!