The 143rd Real Farmer Care recipient is Anne Choi of Middle Brook Fiberworks @anne.choi in Bedminster, NJ.
Anne writes, “I came to sheep from knitting, so my community was and still is the fiber arts community. Creating the yarn I want to work with, from wool that my sheep grew, is incredibly fulfilling. My work with NJ Fibershed has been focused on bringing together crafters and local fiber producers, so that spinners, crocheters, and knitters can really get to know the fibers they’re working with. As one of only a few Asian sheep raisers in the US, I make an effort to try to be as visible as I’m comfortable. I know I don’t look like anyone’s conception of what a sheep raiser looks like, and I’m doing what I can to change that.
As for self-care and mental health, meeting and talking with other farmers–particularly other farmers of color–is how I feel centered. I love the company of my sheep but it’s nice to have actual conversations about shared experiences too! And out of those conversations, we try to find ways to create opportunities for other people who are farm-curious but lack the network or don't feel welcome in the network that exists.”