Matthew Dowden

Farming Status and Plans

Farming status:

Part time

Description of farming status, plans, and practices:

I am partners with my brother and father who head day to day operations caring for a flock of 30+ sheep and a handfull of goats. We currently have a small number of meat sales and would like to transition into wool and milk. Currently our flock is on it's way to surpassing the capabilities of the land they occupy. We are fairly new to the business and are looking for the right space for the flock as well as establishing a greater foothold in the Hudson Valley agricultural community. We are also interested in potential partnerships and caring after another flock in return for offering land use. We have connections to local markets, local weavers & dyers, and goat milk soap makers.

Description of marketing method:

Grass fed and free range sheep/goat products. Including but not limited to meat, wool, sheep/goat milk soap, and grazing operations. We would prefer to not raise sheep primarily for meat.

Does this farmer have a business plan?

In progress

Farm Characteristics

Preferred location:

Southeast, Columbia, Dutchess

Infrastructure required:

Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Farm equipment, Water access, Fencing, Electrical Access

Description of buildings required:

suitable shelter for sheep and goats

Description of farm equipment required:

tractor, livestock tailer, potentially a vehicle

Description of water access required:

a nearby spigot for watering livestock

Description of fencing required:

preferably moveable electrical fencing as well as a solid perimeter fencing.

Crops and Livestock

Primary Livestock:

Goats/Sheep

Description of livestock/crops:

Open to a polyculture and permaculture model for other crops and/or livestock including sheep and goats

Farmland Tenure

Tenure options desired:

For Lease, Partnership, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement

Description of tenure options desired:

Ideally we are looking for a partnership with anyone who has an existing infastructure for livestock. We have several volunteers who are ready work on promotions and social media.

Additional Information

Experience & education:

Farm employee, Farm internship/apprenticeship

Experience description:

Several years caring for livestock at a local farm formerly based in Dutchess County with a focus in sheep and goats. Well versed in operation with farm machinery.