Newfield, New Jersey
Julie Bishop’s business Solar Sheep, LLC started out as a simple hobby.
A new-found passion
Julie Bishop got started grazing sheep when she acquired her Australian Cattle Dog, Mandy, and along with Mandy came a newfound interest in owning sheep and herding. This quickly turned into more sheep than her property could handle, so she began the search for more pasture area.
A practical solution
Driving by a nearby solar field, Julie noticed the fenced-in area was being mowed. She remembers thinking, “They’re wasting all that grass. I could be grazing my sheep there.” So, she picked up the phone and contacted the property owner to ask if they’d be willing to graze sheep instead of mowing. And as simple as that, Solar Sheep LLC was born and has expanded to three New Jersey locations.
Grazing sheep on solar fields is a win for Julie because it gives her more acres to graze her growing number of sheep. It’s a win for the solar owner because they can have the site’s vegetation maintained more inexpensively than mowing it. And, it’s a win for the sheep because they have more space to graze and less parasite problems.
A helping hand
Julie sought out multiple financing options when looking to build a barn for her herd. It wasn’t until someone told her about Farm Credit, did she think she would finish her first barn by lambing season. With the help of Farm Credit East, Julie was able to build new facilities and begin growing her herd of solar sheep.