Elly’s Acres Farm boasts ‘well cared for, healthy and happy’ flock

Elly’s Acres Farm in Jamesville is not only a supplier to Clear Path for Veterans, but its owner also provides Veterans with tours of his facility. “It’s really a chance for Veterans to see what farmers are doing before jumping in with both feet,” owner John Lemondes told the American Sheep Industry Association national trade publication.

U.S. Army Col. John Lemondes (ret.), his wife and their two children live on the farm located at 3390 Eager Road, Jamesville. The farm is named after their daughter who died last year from multiple disabilities. Elly’s Acres Farm encompasses more than 400 acres, used for pasture-raised, grass-fed and hormone-free lamb and wool production.

“We recently added goats to the mix for better pasture management as well and will soon be adding maple production,” Lemondes said. The family raises Rambouilleot crossbred sheep “to optimize wool and meat quality,” Lemondes said. Elly’s Acres Farm offers cut-to-order freezer trade and on-farm kill as well as lambskin rugs, plus some additional products coming soon.

Lemondes, a Liverpool native, served in the U.S. Army for nearly 27 years (May 1987 to February 2014) and was deployed during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon retiring he returned to Central New York and in just a few years Elly’s Acres Farm has received local and national attention. As a participating member of the New York State Cattle Health Assurance Program (NYSCHAP), Lemondes said they are proud of the higher husbandry standards they operate under.

“Our flock is well cared for, healthy and happy,” Lemondes said. “Additionally, our farm has been featured in the American Sheep Industry (ASI) Association’s trade magazine and on WCNY, and we are committed to environmental stewardship; we have added a major solar production system to reduce fossil fuel consumption and augment our own energy independence.” Lemondes serves as a wool consultant to ASI.

Elly’s Acres Farm has provided product to Clear Path in the past, and Executive Chef Christopher Griffin said he is excited to prepare lamb from Elly’s Acres for Clear Path’s annual Thanksgiving Day dinner and special events in the future.

As a Veteran, Lemondes has an affinity for the work that Clear Path does. In a 2015 letter to the Syracuse Post-Standard, summed up his experience at Clear Path:

“ … whether to eat, relax and stare out the window from a remarkable vantage point, talk to other warriors or simply be alone to think in solitude in a relaxing environment (Clear Path is a good place to go). It’s about a place that comes from the heart of the owner/operators, directly to yours, in a way that most ‘places,’ ‘services’ or ‘opportunities’ fall short. There are good people there and they have something for all of us, to include our families. Whatever your needs are, from simple to complex, there is someone there that can help you.”

Elly’s Acres Farm sells under the Farmer-Veteran Coalition label and as a part of that coalition he offers tours of his facility to Veterans. These tour dates usually include a morning trip around the farm followed by afternoon presentations by the Farmer-Veteran Coalition. Tour participants range from those who already own farm land to those who are still considering if agriculture is right for them.

For more information about Elly’s Acres Farm, contact Lemondes at ellysacresfarm@gmail.com