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Genetic Progress Southeast Minnesota SIREMAX At Siremax® we know what’s going on inside the sheep ® The Leader in Lean-Growth Genetics

Spruce Shadows Farm

Cindy Wolf and Kelley O'Neill

29182 Hartwood Drive

Rushford MN 55971

507 450-5453.

wolf-oneill@siremax.com

Spruce Shadows Farm is in Bloomngton MN, just on the south side of the metro area. Kelley's grandfather raised turkeys and Guernsey dairy cattle here and it is where Kelley's love for animals and natural ability expanded into raising his own sheep, starting with breeding purebred old style Hampshires in 1975.

Cindy Wolf, DVM started her internship at the University of Minnesota in 1984 and has been employed there since. Cindy's interests were in large animal medicine, specifically dairy cattle.  At the U of M she cultivated her knowledge into specializing in small ruminants and with this has become a strong advocate in the sheep and goat community.

We established our commercial farm in Rushford, MN in 1994 and the Sheep Improvement Company in 1995. We utilize cattle and sheep to graze the land. Lambing is in May and June out on pasture. The lamb is either direct marketed to the customer, sold at the Winona Farmers Market or sold to Dakota Lamb Growers Co-op.  

We still utilize Spruce Shadows Farm to manage our Siremax flock, although urban expansion has surrounded the farm.  We partnered with fellow sheep producers in 1992 at the Iowa Sheep Symposium to create this terminal sire composite. Intensive record keeping and genetic data analysis go into making Siremax a success. We have been working at improving the meat quality genetics of the Siremax flock for 20 years and it is very near and dear to our hearts. We feel that we are improving market lambs for the small and large producers who buy our rams all over the country.

We keep our Siremax flock at Spruce Shadows Farm to maintain separate genetics from our commercial flock and use the goats to browse some of the wooded areas that sheep do not graze. The farm is right up against the Minnesota River valley and Minnesota Valley Wildlife National Refuge, thus coyotes are a constant threat to our animals. We have some livestock guardian dogs and llamas to help protect our animals.     

Our sheep eat a forage-based diet and we keep them on grass as long as the small acreage we have allows.  We increase the usage of our pastures by using intensive rotational grazing practices.  This is where we divide our pastures up into small sections with electric portable fencing and move the animals often.  This also helps with our health management of the flock and health of the grass forage. Our pastures are fertilized by the even distribution of the manure from our grazing system along with the spreading of compost generated on the farm.

Spruce Shadows Farm is also a pick-up location for the items we sell, so check out the rest of our Sheep Improvement Company website to see what interests you.