Show 1036: Shepherd's Cross
Air date: September 5, 2010
Rob McClendon: Well just outside of Claremore, our next destination is part working farm and part Christian mission, where the two inter-meet to educate the public.
[sounds of sheep]
Alisa Hines: Baa Baa Black Sheep have you any wool?
You do if you’re at Shepherd’s Cross in Claremore where sheep are the heart of this tourist destination. Peter and Diane Dickinson share their calling to be shepherds with those who want to know more about down on the farm.
Diane Dickinson: We are an accredited agritourism facility in the state of Oklahoma. And that means that we offer things in a quality manner to meet the public.
We’re a working farm and a Christian mission, and we raise sheep amongst many other things; but primarily we are shepherds.
Peter Dickinson: Shepherd’s Cross is actually two different companies in one. Shepherd’s Cross, Inc, is a corporation that Diane and I own that is a for-profit farm. And then we have Heart of the Shepherd which is a non-profit organization that does the teaching and the mentoring here on the farm; teaching about sheep, shepherding, and the great shepherd.
Alisa: And with sheep comes wool.
Diane: We are a mini wool mill and we process our own wool. We don’t do that for the public, we only process our own wool which involves washing, drying, felting, carding, spinning, and we also send some wool out to have it processed into blankets and yarns.
Peter: And then we also use the meat from the sheep; and we sell the meat from the sheep. It’s all processed by USDA. And then we take the pelts and get them tanned, then we have them available for purchase here also.
Alisa: Now Diane says that agritourism is a big part of what they do.
Diane: Really the crux of what we do here on the farm is to teach people about agriculture and how it relates to the Bible. And so it is the crux of what we do here on the farm. We are a “teachable moments” agritourism facility; that’s what we do. We want to impart to people, perhaps some of those will learn something just to carry through their life and through their normal work days; others might pick it up and actually become farmers.
Alisa: Just like sheep, Peter and Diane hope to shepherd their guests down the path to greener pastures.
Rob: Now tours of Shepherd’s Cross are by appointment only, but they have developed a full curriculum for school children.