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Sheffield will hold your horses, cows or whatever else is on your hobby farm.

Farm-sitting is nowhere near as relaxing as it sounds. - ALEXA CUDE
  • Farm-sitting is nowhere near as relaxing as it sounds.
  • Alexa Cude

Asking someone to check in on your cat while you're away is one thing. Cows, horses and goats are another story. That's why Kylynne Sheffield started her business: Sheffield House and Farm Sitting.

"I kind of like the freedom," says Sheffield. "I get to farm without having a farm."

click to enlarge ALEXA CUDE
  • Alexa Cude

Sheffield grew up on farms—her mother's and her father's—so she was no stranger to the kind of work required when she first started farm-sitting in high school. It was "basically the same as being home," explains Sheffield. She'd do chores in the morning, go to class, then come back and do additional chores in the evening.

Sheffield later earned a business management diploma from Dalhousie's faculty of Agriculture, and had to put together a business plan as part of her studies. From there, she turned her farm-sitting into a full-time venture.

"This is solely my income right now and I hope to stay with it as long as possible."

click to enlarge ALEXA CUDE
  • Alexa Cude

Sheffield's been farm-sitting professionally since February and has had no shortage of clients—looking after livestock and filling a need for folks who don't usually get to go away. She recently spoke to a prospective client who hadn't had a vacation with his wife since they'd been married.

"Everybody kind of has a different way of doing things," Sheffield says of her clients. "Some people are really relaxed and other people have it [scheduled] right down to the minute—what needs to be done."

  • Alexa Cude

Sheffield is still figuring out how to adjust her rates so she's getting adequately paid and her services remain affordable. She's in high demand, with only 10 days off between now and Christmas. She even has four clients already booked for 2018.

click to enlarge ALEXA CUDE
  • Alexa Cude

Though she's looked after a multitude of animals, including house pets, farm animals are her favourite, and her experience allows people to feel comfortable leaving those animals in her care.

"To care for animals and know what's going on, and know the difference between a horse sleeping and it colicing or something like that is kind of important."

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Vol 26, No 43
March 21, 2019

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