Old Gjerpen Farm (OGF) is a link to the past and to the future. Named after the Gjerpen Church in Norway where Richard's family farmed for centuries, our farm is dedicated to help conserve rare breeds of Leicester Longwool sheep, American Milking Devon cattle and chickens for future generations to enjoy and cherish.
Adding American Milking Devon to our conservation program in 2006, we follow a line-breeding program that consistently produces calves that are long-bodied, well-muscled, excellent milking capability with outstanding temperaments that are well-suited for small, family oriented homes.
With our sheep, we specialize in offering small starter-flocks of genetically diverse, high quality, white and colored Leicester Longwool breeding stock.
This is our way of introducing the importance of heritage breeds conservation to families and especially youth who can carry on this important genetic conservation mission. When you select OGF breeding stock, you are buying both proven quality and our personal commitment to provide professional support to beginning shepherds and cattlemen. We also offer high quality fleece and roving. We are happy to provide references.
In 1997 we initiated the Youth Conservation Program which awards ewe lambs from over ten rare breeds to qualified youth. Donna is past Vice President of the Leicester Longwool Sheep Breeders Association. Richard has served on the Board of Directors, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. We are members of the Milking Devon Association.
Successful heritage breeds conservation is an ongoing effort, both mutigenerational and a continual search for new breeders. Consistent high quality is a critical component of both of these efforts.
In 2015 our generational transition began with our eight-year old granddaughter, Kadi, showing OGF sheep at the MS&WF. Her debut was a most enjoyable experience with Kadi chatting knowledgably about her ram “Jefferson” with the judge and climaxing with the award of “Best Fleece in Show.”
While there are many facets to finding potential new breeders who are both interested and capable in joining the effort to conserve a heritage breed, clearly getting them started with quality stock is a critical component. The following are expressions of appreciation for OGF’s commitment to quality.
Terry Scoggin, Madison, GA (American Milking Devon)
“In the Spring of 2015, we decided to purchase a registered American Milking Devon (AMD) heifer. After contacting several breeders we decided to purchase our heifer from Mr. Larson. We felt very comfortable working with him as he was very knowledgeable and patient with all our questions.
When we arrived at Old Gjerpen farm, all of the livestock was calm and non-fearful in nature. It was quite pleasing when we saw our heifer for the first time. She was everything Richard said she was and more. Our heifer was gentle, as she was said to be, even to the point that after about three weeks of being on our farm, I put her in the yoke with one of our other heifers and after only 45 minutes of training she was working as expected. We are very pleased with our heifer and would purchase more AMD cattle from Richard.”
Debra Hockaday, Providence Forge, VA (Leicester Longwool)
“After talking to several breeders we decided to work with Richard and Donna Larson. Richard has been both patient and informative. We made several trips to the farm, once to see the ewes and talk sheep, then again when lambs were being born. At the end of June, we arrived at Old Gjerpen Farm, to pick up our flock of ewes. We were very excited to see the group of lambs Richard had picked out for us. We were not disappointed. They were beautiful. Richard's guidance did not stop once we left the farm. He has continued to be a wonderful mentor and teacher. Any time we have had questions or concerns, he has been there to help. Now we are awaiting our first lambs. Thank you Richard for being such a wonderful mentor.”
Barbara Broomfield, Carisbad, NM (fleece)
“The fleeces are stunning! I mean beyond fabulous! I am so very pleased. So much so that I really want two more - a white and a colored, if you still have any to sell.”