I’ll openly admit to first purchasing sheep for my cardigan welsh corgi to practice herding on. I had never had sheep growing up on a cattle farm. Shetlands were my first breed. Never one to do something substandard, I worked tirelessly to breed sheep that fit their standard. All the while improving the wool to match what I saw in the flocks of shetlands in the U.K. and in Shetland.
After several years of doing AI, and traveling the country looking for animals I thought could bring me closer to the ideal, I felt like the sheep were looking more and more like the sheep I saw photos and videos of. Fast forward to 2013 and I had an unforgettable trip to the U.K. and the Shetland islands. I’ve had half a dozen judges from the U.K. inspect my entire flock, and say I have sheep that would fit in with their flocks back home.
We’ve been fortunate to have kind guidance from many friends across the pond, a core group of committed breeders in the USA and Canada within the Fine fleece Shetland sheep association to learn with and help mentor new breeders, and the backing of both organizations in the U.K. that support our cause.
Our flock has been awarded recognition in several venues in both sheep and their fleeces. We’ve sold breed stock to over 30 states and sold fiber to a handful of counties as well as half of the states.
We have more recently brought in Leicester Longwool for a very different reason: to offer something very opposite to Shetland. They have a high luster, strong fiber and have a long history of helping to create many other breeds. Unfortunately in the USA and worldwide they are quite endangered. Having a few of these gems helps to keep bloodlines available.
Fall of 2017 we added Romeldale/Cvm to our flock for pure breeding. In past years we used a Cvm ram for cross breeding to our shetlands and loved the crosses. 2018 marked our first year breeding them pure to help conserve an American breed with one of the most diversely colored fleeces, next to skin soft wool with high yield, great length, and low 20s micron.
We are encouraged further by a recent program called the Shave Em to Save Em which promotes use of rare sheep breed fiber. All three breeds we have can be a part of this program.
Thank you for reading this, and for supporting a small producer who is trying to help preserve, promote and protect these rare breeds.