Farmstay U.S. Blog

Created for and by travelers and the farmers, these posts will cover a variety of topics related to farm stays in the U.S.

Serenity Sheep Farm Stay: a taste of the life of a Montana shepherd

Serenity Sheep Farm is a diverse homestead farm in Montana's Gallatin Valley, with two cozy, antique Sheepherder's wagons restored just for farm stay guests. We recently spoke with shepherdess LaVonne Stucky about her unique farm stay. Here's the scoop:

Serenity Sheep

1. Could you tell us a bit about the setting of your farm?

We are nestled in the heart of the Gallatin Valley, near Bozeman, MT.  Visitors are greeted by mountain ranges on all sides.  We have several well-known rivers in the area and are just a few miles from the Headwaters of the Missouri River.

2. What's your farm's history?

It is part of the original 160 acre homestead my husband's grandfather farmed with horses.  He raised 4 children by himself in a time of no electricity and running water.


3. How did you get the idea for your unusual farm stay lodging: two sheepherder's wagons? Do you know of any other farms where guests sleep in wagons?

I know of other wagons for rent, but not in a farm setting.  Having sheep I was always in love with they lifestyle of the shepherds who tended their flock.  There are still many around to this day and they lead a very solitary life.  Serenity and solitude are just the respite many are seeking today, if only for a day or two.  When I saw an ad in the local classified newspaper for a sheepherder's wagon for sale, I waited.  I gave it a week or two.  The ad was still there, so I called and the rest is history.serenity-sheep-wagon Let's just say the inside of the Winona didn't look a thing like it does now!

4. What is a typical day for your farm stay guests?

The stay can be as private or interactive as they'd like.  Quite often they will do the chores with me in the morning and they love interacting with the animals.

5. Aside from your farm, what else do your guests come to do in the area?

We have so many things available in the area, like the Museum of the Rockies, fishing, hiking, biking, hot springs, caverns and lots of other things to see and do.  We have lots of great places to eat in the area and a lot of them specialize in local foods.

6. What made you want to work with sheep and fiber?

It was sort of a happy accident.  A friend of mine was raising sheep and 2 of them were born on my birthday.  I got to name them.  Thinking back, I am sure she had this in mind all along, but I wound up buying those 2 girls.  Two sheep led to too many, as I like to say, and here we are.  I call it a hobby run amuck!  So what do you do with all of that fiber?  Marketing it has not been an easy road for me.  Twenty years later I long for a "cult following" of spinners and knitters, but that hasn't happened.  I do have a handful of folks who love my wool and I am grateful to them and for them.  When I discovered needle felting about 10 years ago, I felt like I had finally found the reason I have sheep.  It had come full-circle for me.  Now I wish I only had more time to needle felt!


7. You offer lots of options for folks who want enjoy on your farm ... farm stays, birthday parties, kids' day camps, tea parties, classes. Which of these are your favorite ways to interact with visitors?

Being a new business, most of these are ideas and hints for folks.  I have yet to host a tea party or even a birthday party, but my classes, kid's camp and the overnight guests are beginning to take off.  Sometimes it's frustrating, but then I realize I am right where I need to be right now.  Slow growth is good, really it's best.  If I got too busy too fast I may pull my hair out, but there are no worries  there.  I'd just needle felt myself a wig out of my wool!
Teaching folks about the animals is my favorite thing.  It's typically geared more toward the children, but I find that most of the adults who visit learn quite a bit too.  I love having a farm that's loosely based on the old-fashioned homestead farm.  We have a bit of everything here and it's so much fun to share that with children and adults.  I even hosted what I called a "Grandma Camp".  Instead of kids one week I had two retired ladies.  They had a blast.  It was a gift from one friend to the other for her birthday.  She had flown out from NJ, just across the river from NYC.  She'd never experienced anything like it.


8. Anything else you want to add?

In sharing the farm with others, I often hear the adults speak of their Grandparent's farm or their Uncle's farm they went to as a child.  It occurred to me this summer that there's an entire generation, and possibly even two, who will never be able to say those words.  For that I love sharing our farm and keeping it alive.
For more informations about Serenity Sheep Farm Stay, check out their website ( and their Farm Stay U.S. listing. All photos in this blog are from Lavonne also has an Etsy shop where she sells her yarn.

Post a comment