Commercial Hair Sheep Production on Pasture

Friday, July 19 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Blakesburg, IA

Bart VerEllenBart and Trish started raising hair sheep four years ago, and now their flock has grown to 420 ewes. Learn how Bart manages spring lambing and rotational grazing with electric netting and the help of five guard dogs. Bart will discuss how he supplements grain and bale-grazes on old crop ground, how parasites are managed and how he’s developed a specific mineral program. We’ll also discuss fattening Easter lambs and marketing through the Kalona Sales Barn and Kirksville Livestock Market. This field day will serve as an introduction to hair sheep for beginning farmers or those who are looking to scale up.

RSVP by July 16

HOST: Bart VerEllen | Apple Creek Farm | (641) 856-9500


Bart raises sheep on 188 acres rented from John and Shirley Waite, whom he met through Practical Farmers of Iowa’s FindAFarmer land-matching website. They are working together to transform the farm from conventional cropland to a forage-based livestock enterprise. Bart and his wife, Trish, live in Centerville and have off-farm jobs, but are working towards farming full-time.


  • Late-spring lambing for the following year’s Easter markets
  • Two-day pasture rotations
  • Personalized mineral program
  • Livestock guardian dogs and coyote coexistence


LOCATION: 19415 15th St. Blakesburg 52536


From Blakesburg: Turn right (south) on Adams Road and go 1.5 miles. Turn right (south) to stay on Adams Road and continue for another 2 miles; Adams Road turns into 30th Street. Go 3.5 miles and make a sharp right (south) on 189th Avenue, then drive 1.5 miles; the road will turn into 15th Street. The farm is in 0.3 mile on the right (north) side of the road. Google Maps works.


Boxed lunches will be catered by Lucile’s, a restaurant located in Centerville’s Continental Hotel. Please RSVP by clicking the blue button below. 

We take RSVP numbers to get an idea of the amount of food that we need to provide for the event. If you RSVP after the deadline but before the event, you are still welcome, but we cannot guarantee a meal.

RSVP by July 16

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