Predator Friendly: Thirteen Mile Lamb & Wool Co.

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Up against the Bridger Mountains in Montana, sheep ranchers Becky Weed and Dave Tyler raise tender, grassfed organic lamb. They attribute the meat's exceptional quality to the grazing/haying rotations, diverse forage plants, and high-calcium soils of the Gallatin Valley. 

The health of Thirteen Mile Farm's rangelands are reflected not only in its livestock and forage, but also in the existing wildlife populations of predators-coyotes, bears, mountain lions, eagles, and their natural prey: mice, rabbits, gophers, and deer. Weed and Tyler rely on a guard dog (a maremma-pyrennees-anatolian cross), bonded to the sheep at an early age, to protect the flock from coyotes, foxes, mountain lions and bears. Guard animals are not a cure-all, but by using common sense practices, Tyler and Weed coexist and thrive with the biological diversity of their ranch. They have also been operating a wool processing mill in their barn since 2003, using a solar thermal system to heat water for wool scouring, a photovoltaic system to help power the carding and spinning machinery, and plant-based dyes.

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