5 Questions for Shawn and Beth Dougherty

Reader Contribution by Shawn And Beth Dougherty
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What’s the one thing that’s a must in this world?

A determined and unwavering faith in the essential goodness of Creation!

What is the best purchase you’ve ever made?

Shawn loves his Stihl chainsaws, and Beth is a big fan of her Hoss wheelhoe.

What brings you the greatest joy?

Shawn:  Playing basketball with my kids (some of whom aren’t kids anymore!)  Beth:  well, today it was blue speedwell along the path to the barn at six a.m. under a limpid sunrise.

What’s your favorite smell in the whole world?

Fresh whole wheat bread just out of the oven, and new-grazed clover under a hot summer sun.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Have courage, this too shall pass . . .”  It applies to everything, from a dry spell of weather or an infestation of bean beetles to a bad case of poison ivy or a bout of discouragement.


Shawn and Beth Dougherty farm 45 acres of steep, rocky land in eastern Ohio, where they raise beef and dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, and various poultry, and run a small community dairy, Two Sisters Creamery. They write and teach on the topic of small-scale intensive grass-based farming and sustainable food production. Their farming practices develop from the conviction that truly sustainable farming is not dependent on purchased, off-farm inputs, but builds its fertility and productivity through good management of sunlight, soil, precipitation, plants, and animals. For more on Shawn and Beth check out MotherEarthNewsFair.com!