Imagine looking out the windows of your home and seeing sheep grazing. That’s exactly what’s happening at Tesoro Viejo. For two weeks this spring, 800 sheep from Indart Group, Inc. grazed nearly 20 acres with huge benefits not only for the land, but for the sheep.
“It’s a win-win for the land and for the animals,” says Brent McCaffrey, president of Tesoro Viejo Development. “Not only does the soil get rejuvenated naturally, but the sheep get huge benefits, too.”
As part of its sustainability efforts, Tesoro Viejo enlisted the help of nature – specifically grazing sheep – to take care of overgrowth, nourish wildlife by encouraging the growth of healthy forage, and recycle vital nutrients back into the soil.
Things are a little different for sheep rancher Ryan Indart today than they were for his grandfather in 1937 when his family’s sheep ranching business began. Back then, sheep ranchers had to seek out opportunities for the sheep to graze land – now the sheep are being sought out to graze land.
“Sheep grazing is beneficial to the environment,” Indart says. “It adds carbon back into the soil; it enhances the soil profile with organic matter; sheep are very efficient converters of cellulose and sunlight into animal protein – not only are we taking care of your habitat, we are also providing food and fiber to our country.”
And let’s not forget about the benefits to the sheep. According to Indart, the sheep are being well nourished because they need four pounds of dry matter a day.
“The natural, native pasture that grows in these Sierra Nevadas foothills are some of the best in the world,” Indart says. “It’s like a cobb salad for the sheep.”
For third-generation sheep rancher Indart, he’s seeing a big demand for his sheep to graze solar farms because sheep are grazers who work well with the solar panels – cows are too tall and goats just climb.
Grazing sheep is just one of the many sustainability efforts at Tesoro Viejo. At Tesoro Viejo, it is all about the land. The breathtaking site of about 1,600 acres of gently rolling hills and vistas has an unprecedented 400 acres of open space, parks, trails and recreational amenities. The community received the Outstanding Planning Award in Innovation and Green Community Planning by the American Planning Association for continued efforts in creating a vibrant, healthy, and green place to live. In addition, Tesoro Viejo recently received the 2019 San Joaquin Valley Blueprint award for its sustainability efforts.
These adorable sheep give new meaning to “being a good neighbor” and because of their grazing efforts, the Tesoro Viejo community and surrounding environment are well taken care of.