Vermont Agriculture & Food System Plan 2021-2030 Vermont Food System Product Brief: Sheep
Sheep and their products – meat, milk, and fiber — were Vermont’s first agricultural commodity and still have a significant role to play in the state’s landscape. These small ruminants can take full advantage of Vermont’s unruly topography and mixed vegetation in a way larger animals cannot. Currently, raw sheep products are imported into the state to meet demand for value-added processing, a sure signal that there is room for growth. Slaughterhouses import lamb for retail, cheese makers import milk for unique artisanal blend cheeses, fine western fiber is blended with coarser local fiber in production manufacturing of soft yarns. With comparatively low capital investment requirements, starting up a sheep operation can be an attractive agricultural endeavor.