Dan Macon

A life-long resident of the Sierra foothills, I've been farming full-time for the last 5 years. We raise sheep, goats and beef cattle, and we also sustainably harvest a wide range of local forest products.

Web Site: http://flyingmule.blogspot.com


Drought and Dormancy

Nov 30, 2016
Drought and Dormancy

I read in yesterday's paper that we've experienced the wettest October and November in northern California in the last 30 years (for more on my direct observations of our autumn precipitation, go to "An October Like No Other"). This autumn has also bee...

Disappointed in Stormy Kromer

Nov 29, 2016

Note: this story has a happy ending! See the comment below! Stormy Kromer has restored my faith in their commitment to quality and customer service!

As a follicly challenged (that is, bald) sheepherder who works outside at least part of every day (regardless of the weather), I rely on hats to shade my face, protect...

A Foothill Shepherd’s Year in Photographs

Nov 26, 2016
A Foothill Shepherd’s Year in Photographs

Note: Auburn Arts Association has extended my Shepherd's Year in Photographs exhibition at Auburn City Hall through the end of the year! In case you aren't in Auburn, here are the photos I chose for the exhibit - enjoy!

A Shepherd’s Year in Photographs

My wife and I have raised sheep at...

Renewing Community

Nov 19, 2016
Renewing Community

This has been a week of travel and of meetings for me. It's also been a week of talking about predators and ranching. On Thursday, I participated in a meeting of the UC Ag and Natural Resources Wildlife Work Group at Davis. On Friday, I traveled to Qui...

Earning their keep: More on livestock guardian animals

Oct 31, 2016
Earning their keep: More on livestock guardian animals

Over the last 12 months, I've posted several essays about our commitment to - and experience with - nonlethal predator protection tools. Livestock guardian animals (mostly dogs, but also llamas) has been the cornerstone of our system. Several recent lo...

Sheep, Stockmanship and Shopping Centers

Oct 27, 2016

The title of this blog post seems incongruous, but I hope you'll bear with me. Sometimes, seemingly disjointed  and unrelated ideas rattle around in my head for a bit until something I see - or read or do - brings them together. In this case, a Yo...

Year of the Sheep (Photos)

Oct 5, 2016
Year of the Sheep (Photos)

A year later, I can't really remember where the idea originated. Sometime in late September 2015, I decided to start a project I called #Sheep365. Using my iPhone, I intended on taking at least one photo of my family's sheep operation every day for a year - beginning on October 1 when we turned...

Further Reflections on Non-lethal Predator Protection

Sep 12, 2016
Further Reflections on Non-lethal Predator Protection

Reno at work.From my earlier writing in this space, you may know that we're committed to using non-lethal livestock protection tools in our sheep operation (see Big Dogs, Hot Fences and Fast Sheep - A Few Thoughts on Predators and Sheep-raising&nb...

The Food Tank Summit: A Part-time Shepherd’s Perspective

Sep 8, 2016
The Food Tank Summit: A Part-time Shepherd’s Perspective

Several friends recently invited me to attend the 1st annual Farm Tank Conference in Sacramento later this month. According to their website:
"This two-day event will feature more than 35 different speakers from the food and agriculture field, interactive panels moderated by top food journalists, networking, and delicious food, followed...

Benchmarks

Aug 31, 2016
Benchmarks

Even though our sheep operation is very small scale, we try to take it seriously as a business.  To me, this is important for a number of reasons.  First, we don't view it as a hobby - the business should cover its expenses, pay us for our ti...

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