DENNISON, Minn. -- You would think that after working with animals all day, the last thing you’d want to do is continue to work with animals once you get home.
At Harvest Hill Acres farm , the owners do just that. Dean Treangen and Diana Weinhardt-Treangen own the farm that specializes in raising sheep.
When they aren’t home watching over their flock, they’re working at the Minnesota Zoo as curators. Dean oversees the farm exhibit and Diana oversees the Northern Trail, which is home to tigers, bears, bison and other large animals.
Although the farm is more of Diana’s baby, that doesn’t stop Dean from helping as a glorified farmhand. Diana said Dean is “a great husband that goes along with all my crazy ideas.”
The couple have been raising their 50 sheep, two llamas, rescue cats and dogs, and one inherited bunny on the farm for two years.
The idea of owning a yarn shop was always appealing to Diana. An avid knitter who jokes she doesn’t have time to knit any longer because of how much time she spends with her sheep, the couple added a shop on one of the barns of the property. Every month they have knit-night , where anyone who loves knitting can come and hang out.
The reason why Diana wanted to raise sheep in the first place was to take advantage of the fiber. At Harvest Hill Acres, they blend their CVM Romeldale fiber with that of bison, yak, camel, llama and angora rabbits.
They keep the yarn natural, staying away from any dyes. Diana said they’ve considered taking multiple sheep fiber colors and making a yarn twist or trying a special blend of family lineage with a father, mother and lamb.
“I haven’t finished that yet,” Diana said. “It’s just an idea when you’re raking up sheep poo out in the field.”
Harvest Hill Acres is a part of the North Star Farm Tour, which features 20 farms around our area in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The North Star Farm Tour will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28 and 29.
Being able to educate people is a way for Diana and Dean to pay back the many lessons they’ve learned, and continue to learn, to this day. Seeking out educational opportunities, which are fairly frequent in the surrounding area, is key in operating a sheep farm, the couple dsif.
“I think you would need to explore, research everything,” Diana said. “Because if you think it’s like having a dog, it’s not.”
Dean said it doesn’t hurt to win the lottery either.