Carolyn Kelley

In Town:  “I work at Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville, Ark., as an emergency room nurse. I’ve been a nurse for 21 years, but I’ve been in Arkansas for only about a year and a half. Previously I worked with a doctor in Phoenix, Ariz., who went to school here and was familiar with Washington Regional. Then, when I decided I needed to move to best expand my sheep business, I chose here. I really like my job because I never know what’s coming in the front door and I love the challenge of emergency room services. This means I treat people from zero to over 100 for a huge variety of injuries and other medical issues. The diversity is amazing and challenging.”

In the Country:  “I have 81 acres between West Fork and Prairie Grove in a little community called Strickler, Ark. I have 120 momma sheep and one geriatric goat I brought with me from Phoenix when I moved here. I was in 4-H as a kid and showed lambs as did my own children. It’s a peaceful way of life but not so much during lambing season. I’ve had as many as 13 mommas lambing at the same time. This past year I had 12 sets of triplets. Lambing season may not be the most peaceful but it is the most fun. I have my lambs in April rather than year-round because I believe in all natural foods. That way the mommas can have grass for about a month before the babies are born. I sell mostly on the hoof and some that are processed, government inspected and frozen at Bug Scuffle Grass Fed Farm.”

Making the two work together:  “I work in town three days a week for 12 hour shifts which means I have four days off. For me town is just a place to work. I go as little as possible so besides work it’s just Walmart and Tractor Supply. I want to be out with the wildlife and my sheep and in the open air. The long-term goal is to continue working until I can afford to be full-time on the farm and raise all my own food. Maybe I need to win the lottery.”

Story and Photo by Terry Ropp


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here