Help Farmer Frog Hire Fergus
Meet Fergus - Livestock Guarding Dog-in-training. Farmer Frog is hiring Fergus and his goats to work at Paradise Farm in Woodinville, Washington, the recent beneficiary of the NAIOP Community Enhancement Project seen in the video.
Fergus is a nine-month old Kangal, a breed of livestock guarding dog originating from the Sivas province of Turkey. When he is fully grown he will weigh in around 140+ pounds, twice the size pictured here, and be capable of defending his flock against black bears, coyotes, and cougars - oh my!
And meet Sirius - Livestock Guarding Dog-fully trained, Pyrenees Mix who will be Fergus's mentor. Sirius comes from Eastern Washington where he worked as the guard dog for a large sheep farm. His owners are changing their practices and rehomed Sirius with Farmer Frog. He will be teaching Fergus the ropes of being a good LGD.
Sirius and Fergus are bonding well and working together. Fergus listens to Sirius who guides him with good care.
Why is this project important?
Woodinville is home to one of the highest numbers of black bear conflicts in the Puget Sound region primarily due to human provided food resources - garbage cans, compost piles, and fruit trees top the list. Farmer Frog programs teach farming practices that are integrated with and support natural ecosystems using wild farming methods and conservation agriculture practices.
Three things are key to peaceful existence when managing livestock in close proximity to wildlife:
Livestock Guarding Dogs (Fergus & Sirius)
Human Presence (The Caretakers)
The LGDs, the fences, and the presence of the caretakers will encourage wildlife to keep to their corridors and natural foods.
People can learn how to produce food without displacing their wildlife neighbors or harming the habitats they live in.
Farmer Frog's long term goal is to create an education center where we can demonstrate and teach sustainable, innovative, and intensive food-producing and ecosystem-friendly land management.
How will your donation help?
Your donations will support the Bear With Me Wildlife Friendly Farming project at Paradise Farm through its second year.
Fergus the Kangal - food/vet $ 6,000
Sirius the Pyrenees - food/vet $5,000
Seven Goats - food/vet $2,000
Electric Bear Fencing - $5,000
Solar Fox Lights - $2,000
Fundraising Goal $20,000 by April 30th, 2018
Who is Farmer Frog?
The Foundation for Sustainable Community does business as Farmer Frog, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered at Paradise Farm in Woodinville, Washington.
Farmer Frog programs support people of all ages from diverse cultures, backgrounds, needs and living conditions by providing equal access to healthy, nutritious, safe and affordable food produced within their own communities while natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats are protected.
Sprouting Simple Change - Farmer Frog cultivates programs, school gardens, and hands-on learning to nurture communities one seed at a time.
Contacts: Lorna Smith, Executive Director, Western Wildlife Outreach, (360) 344-2008, email@example.com
Zsofia Pasztor, Executive Director, Farmer Frog, (206) 210-5541, firstname.lastname@example.org
Farmer Frog awarded “Wildlife Wise” Certification
“Bear With Me” Wildlife Friendly Agriculture Program launches in Woodinville, WA
WOODINVILLE - Western Wildlife Outreach (WWO) is pleased to announce certification of Farmer Frog’s Paradise Farm “Bear With Me” Wildlife Friendly Agriculture Program as “Wildlife Wise” according to the standards set out by the BC Ministry, Canada’s Bear Smart protocol established in 2002 with the assistance of WWO’s founder Chris Morgan.
“This partnership between Western Wildlife Outreach and Farmer Frog is a place to start providing outreach and education in eastern King and Snohomish counties regarding agriculture practices that will lead to better protection for wildlife and livestock across Washington state,” said Lorna Smith, Executive Director of Western Wildlife Outreach.
According to data received by Western Wildlife Outreach from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Woodinville is one of the highest areas in Washington state for enforcement officers to be called out to scenes of human-black bear conflict. These encounters are usually the result of bears being attracted by human provided food sources such as garbage cans, bird feeders, and fruit trees.
Farmer Frog’s “Bear With Me” Program seeks to educate Washington residents about how to manage their farm or family garden without attracting unwanted wildlife visitors.
“While it is important to attract some wildlife to your garden or farm -such as birds, bees, and beneficial insects,” states Zsofia Pasztor, co-Executive Director Farmer Frog, “We need to keep those animals out who could become a danger to people and themselves. If a bear gets used to ransacking farms for food, the bear is much more likely to be shot and killed than those bears who are deterred from farms and learn to stay in their own habitat spaces.”
Over a two-year period (2016-2018), Farmer Frog staff and volunteers used citizen-science methods to identify wildlife corridors and attractants on the farm that could lead to conflict with humans, livestock or domestic animals. Volunteers placed camera traps, identified wildlife sign, interviewed individuals with local knowledge, and developed a plan of action.
This Spring, Farmer Frog completed the electric fencing around interior pastures, moved in the Caretakers (human presence), and hired the livestock guardian dogs Fergus and Sirius to protect the small livestock by deterring wildlife through their presence as a second line of defense.
Since 2002, first as the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project and then as Western Wildlife Outreach, WWO has been active in Washington & Idaho communities promoting a science-based, understanding of the four large carnivores native to the Pacific Northwest - black bear, grizzly bear, gray wolf and cougar. WWO provides information regarding the ecology and behavior of these species as well as the facts on the low level of risk associated with living and recreating in the same landscapes where large carnivores exist.
Since 2009, Farmer Frog has provided programs that support people of all ages from diverse cultures, backgrounds, needs and living conditions by providing equal access to healthy, nutritious, safe and affordable food produced within their own communities while natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats are protected.
Thank you for all your support for this project.
It has been awhile since the last campaign update and now we find the time is drawing near. Since the campaign launch, the Farmer Frog team has been busy getting the Caretakers ready to move onto the Paradise Farm site, searching for Fergus' LGD partner, and building the fences needed to create a secure living space for the livestock and guardian dogs who will be relocating from their training pasture at Hidden Meadow Ranch later this month.
FF has accomplished a lot of this through donations of materials and time by many wonderful people. As a result we have reduced our fundraising request to the final $20,000. Help us make Paradise Farm ready for Fergus and Sirius' arrival!
All money raised goes straight into the Foundation for Sustainable Communities Charity Account with Paypal and will be used towards the following:
Fergus the Kangal - food/vet $ 6,000
Sirius the Great Pyrenees Mix - food/vet $5,000
Seven Goats - food/vet $2,000
Electrical Components for fencing - $5,000
Solar Fox Lights for fencing - $2,000
Farmer Frog programs teach farming practices that are integrated with and support natural ecosystems using wild farming methods and conservation agriculture practices. Farmer Frog also trains other professionals, including urban farmer educators, community organizers, and project managers, to successfully create, maintain, and run school gardens and urban community farms.
Farmer Frog's livestock guarding dog consultant, Laura Faley, stresses the importance of having two dogs on site:
"Fergus will not survive his first year on the Farm without a partner. He will either be killed taking on something too experienced or too big for him as just an adolescent dog, or end up with a behavioral issue from lack of sleep or stress. A partner needs to be in the plan."
Farmer Frog has found Localani, a Great Pyrenees, for Laura to assess and we will have further news about her in later updates.
As far as the fence line, there is a lot of work to be done before March 24, 2018 - the "Bear With Me" kick-off event where we will be celebrating the dogs, livestock, and caretaker coming home to Paradise Farm.
Snohomish County Parks & Recreation has already purchased the poles and fencing mesh and they are on site now. Thanks to the NAIOP Community Enhancement event this past September (see video) most of the poles have been set. Farmer Frog is coordinating with Western Wildlife Outreach for the electrical components needed to make sure it is bear proof.
We'll keep posting pictures and updates as the project unfolds. As always, Thank You for your support.