RIVER FRIENDLY FARM CERTIFIED IN
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
Headquarters Farm was established by John Opdyke in 1735. We follow traditional and sustainable farming practices to support our sheep, lambs, bees, vegetables and wildflowers – much as it was done in the 18C. We offer lamb and mutton and our value-added products include sheepskins, sheepskin products, sauces and dried herbs.
"I joined the [River-Friendly Farm] program to do what is right for the farm and the environment," Byrom said. "I learned so much about stream health and management from [NJ RC&D]. The experience has been wonderful, and I am grateful to be a part of this select group of farmers and land managers."
Headquarters Farm is a stunning historic property with the Neshanic River running through it. The farm, built in the mid-1700's, is home to a flock of sheep cross-bred over the years to create the Headquarters Farm Romney/Romeldale/Jacob breed which are raised for meat production and sheepskin byproducts. Byrom raises and finishes his sheep and lambs on grass, as was customary during the time the farm was founded in the 18th century. He also rents out his flock to solar farms to provide a sustainable mowing service and for invasive plant species control. Roger sells his meats and sheep skin byproducts directly to the consumer at several local markets.
In 2012, Byrom installed streambank and shoreline stabilization practices, planting a riparian buffer and erecting livestock access control fencing near some sheep pastures with the support of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Byrom independently fenced out the remainder of the riparian areas around the farm in 2017 in an effort to increase protection of the stream and keep the waters clean.
Some other examples of the best management practices that River-Friendly Farm managers have done on their land include improving manure storage, composting and spreading techniques; installing vegetated filter strips to slow and absorb farm runoff; and reducing bare-soil areas on the farm through by utilizing cover crops or attentive pasture management.