ballyhoo (bal·ly·hoo \ ˈba-lē-ˌhü): a noise, outcry, or clamor; flamboyant or sensational; excited commotion
At Ballyhoo Farm, we pride ourselves on our stewardship of history, tradition, land, and animals. Our primary focus is producing high quality wool from primitive (unimproved), heritage breeds of sheep: Shetlands, Icelandics, Welsh Mountain, and a couple of Finn/Cormo crosses. Other heritage animals on our farm include Sebastopol geese, several breeds of chickens, and the oldest domesticated animal in the Americas, the Muscovy duck. Our dedication to raising heritage breeds stems from our belief that tradition, history, and conservation matters. Our animals teach us, provide for us, entertain us, and help us educate others. Everyone at Ballyhoo has a name, and Madeline can identify them by voice. Our products have a story, and YOU are part of it.
We believe in the best
Although there are often more tasks than we have time or energy for, and we definitely don't have unlimited resources, we believe in and strive for the best. What does that mean?
We believe in best practices: We raise our livestock in the best way we can, doing what is best for each individual. Sometimes this means putting our own comfort aside or stretching our budget. Sometimes it means delaying our plans. Sometimes it requires us to tell people no. We are committed to creating a whole farm ecology that benefits the people and animals that live here, promotes local wildlife, and results in healthy land and products for our happy customers.
We believe in doing our best: Even when it takes longer, even when the weather sucks, even when we're spread thin. As a musician, Madeline often heard the saying "perfect practice promotes perfect performance". Our daily practices on the farm and in our lives make sure that we are aligned with our goals, our philosophy, and our transparency. When you buy from Ballyhoo, you can be sure that every item was raised, grown, and made with integrity, dignity, and love.
Madeline Rosenberg, Shepherdess
Madeline Rosenberg has been raising wool sheep for ten years. She practices traditional methods of blade shearing, fiber processing, and handspinning. Madeline studied sustainability and is an advocate for holistic farming, a message she shares through hands-on educational experiences both on and off the farm. In addition to hosting a weekly fiber-related podcast, Madeline is a mentor for the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Small Ruminant for Profit School. She teaches workshops at conferences and festivals throughout the Midwest. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers and is the state representative to the American Sheep Industry.
Alex Rosenberg, Shearer and Farm Engineer
Alex joined the Ballyhoo team in 2016 when he and Madeline moved to the current farm. Originally intending to be her assistant, Alex is now on his way to becoming a Certified Master Shearer. For the past 20 years, Alex has owned his own civil engineering firm in Louisville Kentucky. Those skills have certainly been invaluable in tackling the renovation and transformation of the farm! Alex serves with Madeline on the Shelby County Horticultural and Agricultural Advisory Council.