Farmhouse Vineyards is owned and operated by two pairs of brothers and sisters-in-laws, each member bringing a different personality to the company. The Seaton’s and Furgeson’s are comprised of 8 generations currently farming 7,000 acres of Cotton, Peanuts, Black Eyed Peas, Melons, Pumpkins, Various Grains, Dorper Sheep and Premium Texas Wine Grapes.

2020 saw the conscious decision to reintroduce Livestock back to the Farm. That Fall came the delivery of 800 commercial Dorper ewes. We knew it meant a quick and steep learning curve for that volume of lambing, but it most likely guaranteed snow for the winter too. Isn’t that way farming and ranching works? It did in fact snow, and we were thankful for the moisture. While this hearty breed doesn’t necessarily like it they survived and we forged on.

It it said this breed can live on wind, water, and weeds. All but the water is aplenty in West Texas, and we continued to increase the size of the flock.

With rotational grazing, additional revenue streams, plant & soil health benefits, the Dorpers advantages to the operation is exponential. Aside from introducing a new breed to our county fair /livestock shows, the family time at the barn has become some of our most cherished memories.

2023 finds us running 4000 head, attending our first Breeding Show at Fort Worth and hosting the 2nd Annual “Dorper Days Symposium” n Brownfield, Texas in early March. Much of the Symposium conversation was based on how & why we chose to integrate Dorpers into the brand?

From the Viticulture side… The benefits are lengthy.

The ewes & lambs in the vineyards reduces chemical & herbicide dependency. They are picturesque mobile fertilizers with their urine and feces providing biologically active nutrients for continual improved soil health. It gives us friendly talking points with consumers because people “expect” animals on a farm. Wine is a such a personal experience and it’s a product that the producer takes all the way to the retail shelf – More often than not, with your own family’s name on the label.

We carry the same pride in our other commodities however no one approached us saying “Thanks I love my underwear, or These peanuts taste great at the ballpark today.”

Now in our Tasting Rooms located in both Brownfield & Johnson City, Texas – we ask, “Who’s Your Farmer?” People have the faces to put with the names and it’s incredibly rewarding.

We split the Flocks according to the pastures or circle sets and depending on what crop or clean up assignment the sheep are on. Winter Wheat sure, but if we grow melons or cantaloups you’ll drive by and see a bunch of ewes that look like they robbed a lipstick factory. We pair the lamb as a finished product with Chefs at events or use it for Wine Club parties. Being able to share exactly what the animal has foraged on sends the culinary team into a state of euphoria.

At the end of the day we feel incredibly blessed to look somewhat “progressive” with plain old traditional agriculture. We’re hopeful regarding the diversify and expanding into emerging markets without evolving beyond our current means. We’re in awe of the people Dorpers continue to bring into our lives. There’s no greater honor than spending time with a Shepard.

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