Back in 2009, I was lucky enough to be in a position to giveaway a flock of Angora Goats.  It was- without question- one of the highlights of my life as a shepherd.

When I had the idea for a Flock Giveaway, I thought that we might get 5 or 6 applicants. Nothing in the world could have prepared me for the more than 60 essays we received! Or the overwhelming number of people who came to the website to vote for the finalists. The traffic was so crazy high that the whole website got really shaky and crashed a couple of times. It was madness!

The winner back then was Kristen Judkins, an absolutely lovely person who I am proud to now call a friend. Kristen has become a kick-ass shepherd in her own right and you can read all about her adventures on her blog, Gilead Goats.

Here we are in 2011, and I am once again feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for this amazing life I get to live and with the urge to pay some of that forward. To that end, Juniper Moon Farm is having another mighty big giveaway. We will be giving away TWO flocks of Cormo sheep and Angora Goats!

Here’s how it works:
Anyone interested in entering this giveaway will need make a SHORT video- 3 minutes or less- telling me why you’d like to have a small flock of sheep. You can use your three minutes to show me around your property, introduce me to your family, whatever you want but mostly I want to hear why you’d like to be a shepherd. Have you always wanted sheep or goats of your own? Do you yearn to set up your spinning wheel in the pasture amongst the goats? Tell me all about it.

Once you’ve made your video and posted in on YouTube or Vimeo, email it’s link to susie AT fiberfarm DOT com with Flock Giveaway Video in the subject line. Please be sure that your video is “embed” -able, so that we can post it on the website. All videos must be received by midnight, January 23, 2011. Videos received afterwards will not be screened or considered. When the videos are ready to be posted here on the blog, we’ll let you know when the voting period will begin and end.

All videos will be screened by the Juniper Moon Farm staff. If I think you have the acreage, dedication and heart to care for these animals, I will post your video here on the blog. Then all of our readers will have the chance to vote of which essay they like best.  Once y’all have narrowed the field to the top four, we might even invite the finalists to come to the farm for a weekend to get to know them better. I will personally select the winners.

UPDATE: Due to the fact that some people are unable to make and upload a video, we will be accepting short essays as well. Details here.

The fine print: You don’t need to be a shareholder to enter. You don’t necessarily need experience with fiber animals to enter- everyone has to start somewhere- but you do need to understand the work involved in raising livestock. Do a little research into raising sheep and goats.before entering. [Research doesn’t mean emailing me and asking me how to raise sheep. There’s a great big internet out there; google is your friend.] Once we have chosen a winner, he/she and I will work together to put together a small flock that makes sense for the winner’s level of expertise. Beginning farmers should probably start with five wethered males; a shepherd with a working knowledge of sheep might  receive one or two ewes. We’ll figure out what works best together and won’t let you leave with more than I know you can handle. I will also be available by email and phone while you learn the ropes.

The final decision on the winners will be made by me and my decision is final and non-negotiable. I reserve the right to select no winners if I am not comfortable with any of the candidates or if it just doesn’t feel right. These animals are precious, sentient beings.I am responsible for them and I will never let them go to a new home that I am not completely comfortable with.

All videos become property of Juniper Moon Farm and can be used in promotion of the farm, the website or in any way we see fit.

If you know anyone who has shepherding dreams, please let them know about this giveaway. We want to cast the net as wide as possible, so your tweets, facebook postings and blog posting are much appreciated!

*It took ever ounce of strength I had not to call this giveaway “A Mighty Big Giveaway II; Electric Bugaloo”. Every. Single. Ounce.