Sheep

AGRICULTURE
6:02 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Colorado Farmer Works To Ensure Diversity In Rare Sheep Breed

Black Welsh Mountain sheep, a rare breed, are being raised at Desert Weyr, a farm near Paonia, Colo.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A rare breed of sheep is being raised in the hills of western Colorado.

Unlike the millions of white sheep found across the country, these animals are completely black and hail from the United Kingdom.

They number fewer than 10,000 worldwide. So one Colorado farmer is working with federal researchers and fellow producers to ensure the breed’s genetic diversity.

It's a sunny morning at Desert Weyr, a 40-acre sheep farm outside of Paonia. 

Oogie McGuire and her husband own this farm.

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ENVIRONMENT
8:01 am
Fri November 14, 2014

With Drought The New Normal, Calif. Farmers Find They Have To Change

California sheep rancher Dan Macon had to sell almost half of his herd because the drought left him without enough feed.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:37 am

Ask Northern California sheep rancher Dan Macon what this drought is doing to his pocketbook and he'll break it down for you real quick.

"It's like if you woke up one morning and lost 40 percent of the equity in your house," he says. "Our primary investment in our ranch is in these sheep and we just sold 40 percent of our stock."

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COMMUNITY
6:22 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Mutton Busting A Rodeo Tradition For Rough And Tumble Kids

Two cowboys lift a mutton busting participant onto a wooly sheep at the Greeley Stampede.

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:19 am

A furry beast, a brave rider and a roaring crowd make up the list of ingredients for the Western rodeo tradition known as “mutton busting.” Think of it as bull-riding, but for 6-year-olds, and the furry beast is actually a wooly sheep.

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COMMUNITY
5:24 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

The Sheep Shearer From Cedaredge

Doug Hamilton has been shearing sheep for 50 years.
Laura Palmisano

For nearly a decade, Doug Hamilton has put on sheep shearing demonstrations at the Sheep Dog Trials in Hotchkiss. 

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NEWS
10:11 am
Tue October 15, 2013

The Long, Slow Decline of the U.S. Sheep Industry

Once a staple part of the American diet, we’re eating a lot less lamb. The U.S. sheep herd today is just one-tenth the size it was in the 1940s.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in this country has been cut in half. In fact, the number has been declining since the late 1940s, when the American sheep industry hit its peak. Today, the domestic sheep herd is one-tenth the size it was during World War II.

The decline is the result of economic and cultural factors coming together. And it has left ranchers to wonder, “When are we going to hit the bottom?”

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NEWS
8:15 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Local Sheep Ranchers Unveil Open-Source, DIY Tracking System

Oogie and Ken McGuire talk sheep tagging with John Bartmann. Ken's hommeade EID reader, built with PVC pipe and LED lights, sits at the bottom right
Travis Bubenik, KVNF

With severe drought continuing to affect agriculture on the Western Slope, KVNF’s Travis Bubenik explores how two tech-savy local sheep farmers found a way to cut costs and manage their animals more efficiently. 

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