Blog

Meet Nancy: Livestock Expert & Owner of Lightning Ridge Farm

Meet Nancy: Livestock Expert & Owner of Lightning Ridge Farm
February 11, 2020

Nancy is a veterinary technician at Main Street Veterinary Hospital.

Although I live in Massachusetts now, I grew up in Saunderstown, Rhode Island. I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with an associate’s degree in animal science. Throughout my career, I’ve worked on both beef and dairy farms but, when my children were young, I eventually settled into a small animal practice. 

I’ve always been drawn to working with animals and I’ve been doing it ever since I graduated from college. My favorite part of this job is interacting with clients and their pets. I really do love being a vet tech at Main Street but my first love has always been agriculture. 

What a lot of people might not know is that I own and operate Lightning Ridge Farm, a small sheep farm where we raise purebred Corriedale sheep. I enjoy educating members of my community about the sheep industry when I sell sheep products at the local farmer’s market. In addition to raising sheep, I also conduct a variety of animal health inspections at the Eastern States Exposition every September.

Right now, it’s lambing season and recently, I was in the barn from 1:00 am - 4:00 am assisting with a birth. It’s an extremely busy time of year, and as I write this, I’m on my way to western New York to give pregnancy ultrasounds to 1,700 sheep. 

As someone who’s passionate about volunteering, I volunteer at the All American Junior Sheep Show and the Northeast Youth Sheep Show. The All American Junior Sheep Show is 100% volunteer run and it travels across the country. It involves over 2,000 sheep, 400 kids, and their families. These events are great for connecting with people and making new friends. Every time I attend one, I meet someone new.

Lots of sheep owners, including me, own guard animals that prevent predator attacks. That’s why, in addition to our 40 sheep, my husband and I have three dogs, Rico, Moco, and Kip, and two guard llamas, Rainy and Sadie. Rainy and Sadie make excellent guards because they don’t require extra care and they eat the same feed as our sheep. Like Rainy and Sadie, Kip helps us out with the sheep by herding them whenever we need to coax them into a smaller area.

Although I’ve definitely been able to apply what I’ve learned at the hospital to my work at the barn, the work itself is very different. Medicine is much more hands on for livestock owners and we require regular phone time with our veterinarian to help us through emergencies. Personally, I work very closely with our veterinarian to promote herd health and proper nutrition. In the event that I’m able to find free time, I enjoy photography and hiking.