JSBA AGM – Part 2

After all the planning and anticipation that went into the AGM it was just so short–Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. I shared some Friday photos here. One of these days when I find Dona’s flashdrive in all the clutter around here (a remodel project going on) I’ll share hers because I think she has some great ones. For now I’ll share the ones that I took Saturday.DSC_3016People arrived for breakfast before the day’s program started.AGM Robin Presentation2First up was “Pass or Fail” a talk presented by Royal and me, the two JSBA inspectors who were present. We started by looking at slides…AGM Inspection4…and then went outside to look at sheep. I hadn’t sold any of my cull rams yet so that we’d have plenty of examples of potential horn problems. IMG_9099 We also looked at some of the other sheep present.

Next up was Dave Pratt, who owns Ranch Management Consultants and teaches Ranching for Profit schools (described as a business school for ranchers) all over the country (and happens to be my brother). We started with his charts and slides and then moved to the pasture to finish up.DSC_3037Jade is always willing to greet a visitor to the farm.DSC_3040Dr. Joan Rowe from UC Davis talked about Lambing and Sheep Obstetrics. Helpful hint: Another use for a feeding tube and syringe is to get lube around a lamb when you need to reach in to rearrange or pull it.

This was all before lunch.IMG_9127Afterwards Susan Gandy, one of the Farm Club members, demonstrated preparation and analysis of fecal samples using a method that can be used on the farm to stay on top of parasite levels in our sheep.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the background in these photos, we used G-1 (the garage) for PowerPoint presentations because that was the place that was the most dark, the best for viewing slides.

Martin Dally’s talk was next. Martin is well-known as a wool and sheep judge and for his business, Super Sires, Ltd. and we were lucky that he consented to come from Oregon to talk with us. He presented two topics relating to wool–biology and development of wool and the effects of genetics on wool characteristics.

Showing these photos and writing a few paragraphs doesn’t begin to get across the depth of information that was presented in these talks. You should also know that the afternoon temperature was in the high 90’s and the skies had been smoke-filled for days due to the wildfires burning in California. By the time Martin’s presentations were over at 3:45 I was on information overload. But we weren’t finished yet!DSC_3055 AGM stands for Annual General Meeting and that is a required element of our gathering. So it was meeting time. Gary Anderson from Michigan led the meeting and brought people up to date on JSBA goings-on, recognition of individuals, and announcements. I was given a much appreciated gift card to my favorite local store, Higby’s Country Feed!DSC_3079Royal and others presented reports…

…while members and friends listened. It was late on a hot afternoon and we still had one more topic scheduled. I had planned a Breeders’ Roundtable where selected members from around the country would offer their expertise on various management topics. At this point I wondered if it was just too much and if people would rather not focus on another presentation. I was actually glad when one of the attendees said that she spent a lot of money to get here and wanted all the info she could get. All right–let’s do it! However, I didn’t orchestrate it as much as I had the other talks–I was tired of being the time-keeper and making sure people were where they were supposed to be. This was informal but very informative and friendly as we sat in the tent and talked about a variety of Jacob sheep topics. DSC_3099Did I share the things to look at in the tent? Dona put together a display of the unshorn Pope Valley sheep that we recently acquired.IMG_9083Having just finished the State Fair the week before we put up part of our Marketing (award winning by the way) display.DSC_3100A couple of people had farm displays and sales.DSC_3096  And there were sheep to buy.IMG_9182I find that my photos kind of stopped here at dinner. (But I will still find Dona’s eventually.) After dinner we held the annual raffle and I don’t have photos of that. There were fantastic prizes and we are grateful to everyone who provided them (you can see them here).

Sunday morning people met back here for breakfast and I caught some sheep so we could talk about condition scoring and how that applies to our Jacob flocks.  Then is was time for most people to wrap things up and leave.IMG_9197I enjoyed have Karen and Doug from Oregon here all weekend as Dan got a chance to meet them and spend some evening hours together. This is Karen’s new look!IMG_E9200It was over all too soon. The tent was taken down, everything put away and we’re back to normal. Or is it ever normal? Two days after this event and the months of getting the place fixed up Dan said something like “maybe we should work on the house now.” That will be another story.



I wrote blog posts about getting ready for AGM but was overwhelmed with too many photos to sort (and other parts of life) to do more until now.

DSC_2991               The handwoven Jacob wool goodie bags were ready, filled with locally made or grown products.DSC_2995The friendly parking attendant was ready.DSC_3004 Sheep were given last minute instructions about behavior. (Karen Lobb from bide a wee Farm in Oregon)IMG_9059Guest were arriving.DSC_3001Our first gathering was a welcome by me and then a talk/book reading by Farm Club member Stephany Wilkes.  IMG_9044She read passages from her book, Raw Material, Working Wool in the West, to be published in October. This introduced the attendees to the concept of Fibershed and to Farm Club all at once.IMG_9052Next it was time for dinner. Farm Club member, Kim, provided background music throughout dinner and we were told how much people enjoyed listening to her.

The after-dinner entertainment was Project Runway, Jacob Style where we modeled garments made of Jacob wool.DSC_0119crewMost participants led sheep (some willing and some not so much) down the barn aisle…IMG_9062 …but Dona led Rick…DSC_0053crew…willingly?DSC_0077crewDSC_0071crewDSC_0068crew




IMG_9080 Doris was the recipient of the People’s Choice award.

This was only the start to a full weekend of sheepy fun!

Getting Ready for AGM – Part 2

The day after the tent was set up  (photos in this post) Farm Club members returned for more work.

DSC_2976                 Tables were set up and arranged.DSC_2977              Trish borrowed sheep panels and we combined those with some I had to make pens.DSC_2978

DSC_0047crew               The barn was ready for Project Runway.

On Monday I had made a final decision about which ram lambs to keep. I wanted to separate those from the lambs that were for sale. FC member Doris was here then and as we were leading them to the big ram pen I diverted them to the barn. I figured that I should use the 4 days before AGM to get them halter broken. If I turned them out in the ram pen without doing at least a little of that then I may never get to it.


So in between doing the other work we had been working with these rams. On Thursday we put them in with the big rams. There was a bit of drama while the big rams chased them around, but eventually they all settled down.IMG_9032                Mary and Dona stuffed the goodie bags that were to be given to the registrants. FC member, Kathleen wove 30 bags using Jacob wool and we had gathered locally produced items to put in them.

IMG_9033                                                 The special items included cooling neckties made by Mary using sheep-themed fabric. I can attest to how good these feel when it’s 100 degrees out. IMG_9034                      After another day of work we were ready for Friday when we’d be putting up displays and raffle items and greeting the registrants.IMG_9036

Getting Ready for AGM

I just looked back to see where I left off in my blog. Wow! July 16 when we were shearing the Pope Valley Sheep. So much has happened since then but I’ve been way too busy to sort photos and share them. State Fair was a big one and there are sheep stories to write, but now that the major deadlines have come and gone I’ll be working backwards in these events.

Getting ready for JSBA AGM. (What’s AGM? Jacob Sheep Breeders Annual General Meeting, which, about a year ago, I offered to host.) The preparation really started long ago. Farm Club and a few others were on the committee and we met monthly. Around here we started thinking about everything we could do to spruce up the place. Painting the barn led to fixing the barn, etc. But those are photos for another post.


AGM was Friday through Sunday, August 3-5. On Wednesday the 30 x 40 foot tent was delivered.

While the tent guys were working a flurry of other activity was going on.

IMG_9002              Mary and Russ organized Project Runway, Jacob Style, our Friday evening entertainment, to be held in the barn.IMG_9004                  There was strategy involved in figuring out how to arrange lighting behind the drape for the desired effect.

Lights were hung.

IMG_9029                     The extra porta-potty arrived.DSC_2975                  Dan scraped behind the barn to create more space for parking.DSC_2985

DSC_2983                    Then he mowed the most recently grazed pasture. Note hat that matches tractor. That was a belated Father’s Day gift from Chris. It includes the MJ logo on top.DSC_2989                  He also trimmed branches in the front so people could see our sign.IMG_9021                 Here is the tent all set up. Note to self–when measuring for a tent remember to look up and not just measure the ground.



Summer Shearing

I’ve written two blog posts about acquiring 12 Jacob sheep in what became something of a rescue operation. The sheep were healthy and well-fed, but had not been shorn for three years we think.

This was shearing day for these sheep. The photos in this blog post were all taken by Farm Club members, Dona and Gynna. Thanks!!

IMG_8196                 John is the Rock Star.

DSC_8295                                                 We checked teeth to try and figure out the ages of the sheep.DSC_8346                   This sheep had a 13 pound fleece. The average for Jacob sheep is 3-6 pounds.DSC_8178                   It was a multi-person operation to stuff some of these fleeces into plastic bags.DSC_8267              The usual suspects were there to watch and cheer John on.DSC_8400                            Not a bad looking group of ewes after shearing.DSC_8451                            The two rams.DSC_8505                       After shearing we looked at all the fleeces. The longer fleeces have a break about 4″ in from the outside, but the rest of the fleece seems sound.DSC_8513                                                                  It will take some time to work through it all.

DSC_8536                                                                As we pulled out staples from some of the fleeces I thought it would be a good idea to get a photo. Susan and Gynna worked on this while we opened up and re-rolled the fleeces.IMG_8221                       Note the measurements marked on the sides and down the middles. Weights are below. IMG_8205                                                  This was a fun day for all of us and a good day for these sheep.


Sheep Adventure Follow-up

Monday’s  Sheep Adventure started because someone had asked for help in selling Jacob sheep that his parents couldn’t take care of. I didn’t consider it a rescue operation although I didn’t know this person and I don’t need anymore sheep, at least sheep of unknown background, and I didn’t really have a plan for what to do with them other than try to sell them. When he called again last week things were a bit more desperate because his mom was in the hospital and the family had no clue of what to do with the sheep…other than to get someone else to deal with them. That’s when I said I’d get them.

Dona and Rick were up for the adventure but we didn’t know what to expect. What we found: Sheep that really are Jacob sheep–there are a lot out there that people think are Jacob because of horns or spots, but they are not; Sheep in relatively good health EXCEPT for in desperate need of shearing. So the Sheep Adventure turned into a Sheep Rescue of sorts.

Yesterday I took time to look at each sheep more closely. Now that I’m spending time with them, the group is kind of growing on me. “I don’t need more sheep. I don’t need more sheep. I don’t need more sheep….”Ewe 2-2                  This is a ewe they called Athena.Ewe 2-1Ewe 2-4                                                      I think that this is at least a 3-year fleece.Ewe 4-1                   I love the markings on this ewe’s body. I don’t have any information about her.Ewe 5-2                 This is a ewe they called Caliope. She is pretty wild.

A ewe called Dimitria. The wool is very pretty, but its as long as my elbow to my thumb.

Ewe 9-1                Markela, one of the original ewes purchased by this family.Ewe 10-1                    No idea about this ewe…Ewe-4-4                 …or this one. Don’t you love her horns?Ewe 11-1              Paniota…

Ewe 11-2            …and her fleece.Ewe-8-lamb                 The lamb named Easter because that is when she was born.IMG_8440                New temporary quarters.IMG_8445            Stay tuned for a Shearing Day post.Rams              Let’s not forget the rams. Tikes on the left and Costa on the right. I think they are yearlings.