Published Apr 28, 2017

Member Spotlight — Kerri and Todd Leach, of West Branch

By Tamsyn Jones

Kerri and Todd Leach
Mammoth Hills Farm
Members since 2011
West Branch, IA

Kerri and Todd Leach raise registered Katahdin hair sheep; geese; chickens; and bees on 60 acres at Mammoth Hills Farm near West Branch. They also have an orchard, hoop house and raise mushrooms seasonally.

The sheep are the centerpiece of their farm, and are sold as meat via locker or on-farm processing, or as breeding stock. Both sheep and geese are 100 percent forage-based.

Kerri and Todd’s farm management philosophies and practices are rooted in permaculture, Holistic Management and biodynamic principles.

Their goal is “to build a food forest silvopasture combined with management-intensive grazing to grow grass-fed meat, forest crops and hoop house offerings to share with the public and feed our family.”

The couple is working towards both certified organic and certified Demeter biodynamic status. They are also involved in the National Sheep Improvement Program and Katahdin Hair Sheep International, as well as with the National Poultry Improvement Program and the Sustainable Poultry Network.

Besides working on the farm, Kerri has a medical degree. She is currently enrolled in “classical homeopathy” studies at the same school holistic veterinarian Susan Beal – who presented at Practical Farmers’ 2017 annual conference – attended.

“As an M.D., I can apply this [homeopathy training] to my people patients, and also practice classical homeopathy with that separate certification on animals,” Kerri says.

For many years, Kerri and Todd also owned the New Strand Theatre in West Liberty. Todd purchased the theater, built in 1910, in 1996 and owned it until 2015.

During their time as owners, the Leaches helped renovate several aspects of the building. Read more in this 2014 article published in the Muscatine Journal.