About SkyLines Farm





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Just starting out with livestock, or still dreaming?

Want your hobby animals to finally
start making money for you?

Looking to expand your existing farm
to new species or new markets?

I've been successfully & happily raising livestock
using organic & sustainable methods for 20+ years
(& helping new & existing farmers for over 10 years).
Let's see if I can help you bring your small farm dreams to life!


What SkyLines Farm is About

I've been raising sheep for a living
using sustainable and organic methods since 1992, growing the flock to as many as 100 vibrantly healthy breeding ewes and their lambs. Each year I sold all their products to consumers locally and nationally, directly from the farm website, selling out every year. At the same time, I slowly built what is now a successful grassfed beef and pastured pig operation, marketing all their products from the website too, still selling out every year.

In 2013, after 21 wonderful years, I retired the year-round sheep & premium wool operation and expanded my summer-only business of finishing grassfed beef and pastured pigs.

Now, instead of keeping breeding animals year-round I purchase young steers and pigs each spring from trusted breeders whose organic & sustainable practices mirror mine. I feed and finish them over the summer on the farm's lush green pastures, using time-tested organic & sustainable management practices, and in the fall direct-market the meats to discriminating families in the region.

Since 2005 I've been teaching small farming adult-ed classes, workshops, webinars, hosting on-farm workshops, season-long apprenticeships, and offering intensive Farm Immersions...all with the express purpose of sharing the knowledge and insights I've gained from nearly 25 years of successful (& profitable) small livestock farming. I'd love to help you make your sustainable farm dreams come true! Melisssa Lines

General Topics I Can Help You With

- Developing a farm plan. As with any new venture, it's critical to think through your vision in a logical fashion before you do anything. Lay out your plan on paper, work the numbers, decide if your farm dreams are actually in line with the reality of...your physical, mental & emotional skills, your farm, financial and personal resources, and your venture's profit potential if making money is one of your farm goals.

- Purchasing the right piece of land to fit your farming dreams. Before I purchased this 65-acre farm back in the 90's, I spent two years looking at 53 different properties before I finally found the right one. Yep, that's 53 properties that I visited, tromped through, and painstakingly evaluated against the long list of criteria that I'd generated through developing my farm plan. We all have our own unique farm goals, but if you're looking to build a sustainable livestock operation I may well be able to help you evaluate properties and find your perfect dream farm.

- Evaluating your current land and resources for starting up or adding sustainable livestock enterprises.

- Choosing the best animal species to fit your temperament, your goals, your skills, your resources, and your dreams.

- Planning your sustainable farm practices starting from scratch, or adopting your existing methods to reduce or eliminate drugs and chemicals.

- Planning for a smooth, natural evolution of your farm enterprises to adapt to life changes (i.e. easing your workload as you approach retirement age, whenever that is:)

- Breeding & raising sheep for three products - High-dollar premium wool for spinners, grassfed sustainably raised meat, superior breeding stock
- Growing, evaluating, and marketing premium wool for handspinners
- Raising and finishing heritage-breed pastured feeder pigs
- Finishing feeder steers on well-managed, rotationally grazed pasture

- Managing pastures for optimal productivity and parasite control
- Planning and using a rotational grazing system for multiple species
- Building & maintaining a variety of livestock fencing styles, including electric
- Planning winter rations & options for getting hay in

- Using garlic/molasses/DE/pasture rotation for organic control of internal parasites
- Housing, water, feed requirements for sheep, cattle, pigs
- Low-stress livestock handling

- Direct marketing breeding stock and/or freezer lamb, beef, or pork to consumers
- Living with, working with, and training livestock guardian animals
- OR?? Suggest other topics of interest and I'll be frank about whether I can help you.


Whether you're an aspiring small farmer, have a small farm already in operation, or been farming for years and have a question...this is the quickest, simplest way to get help fast. We schedule a phone call to pick my brain about one or more topics relating to sustainable livestock. See the above list of possible topics. If you don't see your topic listed email me. To get the most benefit from our call, please prepare your questions in advance, and if you think you'll need more than one call consider one of the Mentoring Packages below to save some money.

Rate for Help Line Phone Call - $1.00/minute, $25 minimum

This is a great way to get your small farm experience off to the best start or to improve what you're already doing with your farm. I visit your farm (or a property you're considering purchasing) and tour the property with you. We discuss your resources, your experience, your farm goals and dreams.

During the tour I share my initial observations about the property and how it can help you reach your goals, or how you might want to refine your goals based on the resources the property offers. Within two weeks of the visit I provide a detailed written report with a property evaluation and my recommendations for you, including a list of contacts and resources for further investigation.

Rate for Site Visit & Evaluation
- $350 for half-day site visit & detailed written report
- $600 for full-day site visit & detailed written report
* Rates are plus travel expenses from & to my farm: $25/ time; $.50/mile for round-trip driving; airfare & lodging if applicable.

This is a more long-term approach that gives you ongoing support and encouragement to help you meet your farm goals. First, we schedule a one-hour call to discuss your goals and outline what it will take to reach them. Together we'll lay out a Plan of Action for you, steps you commit to taking to propel yourself toward your stated goal.

Then we schedule a one-hour call every 1, 2 or 4 weeks to check in on your progress. (We can schedule half-hour calls if that works better for you.)

During these calls I'll brainstorm with you to answer questions that have come up, help you get unstuck if necessary, and make sure you're still on the right track. As you move forward you'll likely encounter some problems, or you may find you want to tweak or revise your original plan. Our regularly-scheduled calls can help you get past these hurdles and keep you moving toward your goals.

1 hour mentoring every month for...
- 3 months - $150
- 6 months - $300
- 12 months - $600

2 hours mentoring every month for...
- 3 months - $300
- 6 months - $600
- 12 months - $1200

4 hours mentoring every month for...
- 3 months - $600
- 6 months - $1200
- 12 months - $2400

(Other arrangements for mentoring may be possible on an individual basis.)

** BONUS **

A site visit and detailed evaluation is a great foundation for mentoring. Add this to any of the Mentoring Packages and take $50 off the total price.

Consulting options are payable in advance by check or PayPal (easily & securely fund the payment with your credit card, bank account or PayPal account).

If you aren't sure which of these options would be best for you, or if you want to discuss an alternative consulting option, feel free to write me.
Or if you'd like to get an idea of what a consult with me is like, we can schedule a Phone/Skype Help Line call to discuss your situation.

or to schedule consulting services
contact me at
or 208/875-8747

* Special Work Trade Mentoring Option for local person *
This replaces my former season-long full-scale apprenticeship program. Each year I arrange with 1 or 2 individuals living in the Moscow ID area for a work trade, in which we trade a few days per month of farm labor for education. This is generally scheduled between the months of April and October. We spend half the day learning what you want and need to learn about raising livestock by organic & sustainable methods, and half the day you'll work with me on a current farm labor project. You need to be healthy, fit, love working outdoors and not mind getting dirty:) If this sounds like a good match for you, drop me a note to begin the discussion.

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About SkyLines Farm - Handspinning Fleeces - Prepared Fibers - SkyLines Philosophy -
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SkyLines Farm 4551 Highway 6 Harvard, ID 83834 208.875.8747
Purebred Romney & Romney-Cross Sheep