Santa Cruz Island sheep sheep sheep wool wool wool

Post date: Nov 17, 2015 3:44:18 PM

So, Friday before last - November 6 - I drove up to Santa Rosa, California, for The Livestock Conservancy annual national meetings. I was honored to have been asked to give a talk about Santa Cruz Island sheep. I included a short history of sheep ranching on the island, the adaptations and characteristics of the sheep that makes them ideal for California and the arid and semi-arid western U.S. That talk seemed to go OK and I got some good questions, hopefully people found it interesting. The afternoon before my talk, I heard a good panel discussion on the ins and outs of breed associations, and a talk in the evening about mutton - and the breeds of sheep common in the UK. The morning before my talk, heard another panel discussion on innovative ways of using and marketing "parts" of animals that ordinarily don't get sold or used.

Right after that, I high-tailed it to the Bay (as in San Francisco Bay) area Fibershed for their annual Wool Symposium in Pt. Reyes Station. I had been asked to give a similar talk there, yes, about Santa Cruz Island sheep - a little shorter, though, as I was sharing the time with the great Debby Bradford who raises Navajo-Churro sheep. She was so interesting! That was very fun, seemed to go well with some good questions and much interest in the wool. At this symposium I met up with a wonderful friend and, now, sheep-in-law Sandra, who with her husband Rob bought 4 of our lovely young ewes to start their own Santa Cruz Island sheep flock. Not only that, they let me stay overnight at their beautiful place, in Stinson Beach.

Sandra and Rob, of Black Rock Ranch, picked up their sheep this past Thursday, and installed the young ewes (2 yearlings and 2 six-month-old lambs) in their new home later that afternoon. I'm so grateful and happy that our Emmy, Smudge, May, and Swallow have good homes.