Indianhead Sheep Breeders Association
2015 ISBA Scholarship-Due December 31, 2014
Representing Sheep Producers and Supporting Businesses in the Northwest Wisconsin Counties of
Ashland,  Barron, Burnett,
Bayfield, Buffalo,
Chippewa, Clark, Douglas,
Dunn, Eau Claire, Iron,
Jackson, Pepin, Pierce,
Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer,
St. Croix, Taylor,
Trempealeau, & Washburn
2014 Winter Newsletter
Indianhead Sheep Breeders Association
Shepherd’s Clinic and Trade Show

“More Sheep, More Profit...Growing the Sheep Industry in Wisconsin” is the theme of the 2015 Shepherd’s Clinic and Trade Show to be will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Conference Center in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  This day long workshop features concurrent educational sessions for beginning to experienced shepherds on a wide variety of topics.  Also included in the Shepherd’s is a trade show, silent auction, and youth program, along with a roast lamb and baked chicken luncheon. Something new for this year’s Shepherd’s Clinic is a photo contest.  More details about the photo contest can be found in this newsletter.  The luncheon program includes results of the photo contest, ISBA awards and scholarship presentation. Registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. with continental breakfast served until 9 a.m.

Featured speakers include:

  • Greg Brickner, DVM, Wonewoc, WI, specializing in Small Ruminant Medicine
  • Carol Wagner, Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill, Valders, WI
  • Dave Thomas, Animal Science Professor and Sheep Specialist, University of Wisconsin
  • David Kammel, Agricultural Engineer, University of Wisconsin
  • Justin Luther, Animal Science Professor, University of Wisconsin- River Falls
  • Shawn Erickson, Sheep Producer
  • Brian Johnston, Sheep Producer and Lamb Barbeque Expert, Luck, WI
  • More presenters will be added
Topics presented will focus on profitability, sustainability, sheep health, and nutrition.  Special sessions will be offered for beginning shepherds covering flock management, economics, and sheep health.  A producer panel of experienced shepherds will also share their knowledge during one of the breakout sessions.

An outstanding Youth Program is being planned for young shepherds enrolled in 4-H and FFA.  The Youth Program will feature live sheep where young shepherds can learn some of the basic skills needed in handling and treating sheep and lambing time management.  The Youth Program will wrap up with a hands-on Skillathon.  

Registration costs $30.00 for ISBA members and $40.00 for non-members if registered by January 23rd.  New this year...all Wisconsin Sheep Breeder Coop members will receive $5 off their registration fee.  The youth program fee is $15 per youth.  There is an additional charge of $10 per adult and $5 for each youth not pre-registered by January 23rd.  The registration fee covers  a continental breakfast, lunch, and program expenses.  

Additional information is available on-line at or by contacting Tim Jergenson at 715-537-6250

Would you like to work your way into a Sheep Farm? 

Shepherd Valley Farm is located 8 miles NW of Arcadia, in the rolling hills and valleys of Buffalo County, WI.   We have 110 acres for cropland and grazing with 72 acres of forestland.  Currently, we graze and hay approximately 68 acres and rent to a neighbor another 42 acres.  This neighbor also leases a manure spreader & tractor for manure spreading, sells chicken manure, and  bales approximately 100 large, round bales per year.  We have an IH 574 diesel tractor with loader, Hesston 12’ windrower, and a hay rake.  All border fencing and internal fencing is woven wire.  There are 15 paddocks with water ranging from 1 to 8 acres in size.

Our sheep facilities consist of 50 lambing jugs in a large barn.  There are two(16’ x 96 & 40’ x 50’) lean-tos attached to the barn with concrete floors, and a covered 10’ x 96’ round bale feeder(sheep eat from the south and open to the north to push up bales).  There is a second smaller barn for storing round bales.  All hay is stored inside on concrete.  Land Conservation installed(2004) a concrete barnyard with run-off control and filter strips,  Sheep are wintered in the barnyard from the first deep snow until after each ewe lambs, approximately March 25th to April 10th.  Then, it is grass and grazing until heavy snow.

Our original ewes were a Finn and Rambouillet cross.  However, since 2000, our current ewes are ¾+ Dorset with decreasing Finn and Rambouillet.  We final breed with  pure bred Suffolk.  Currently, we have bred 167 mature ewes and 17 ewe lambs for 2015, with 4 Suffolk rams and 1 Dorset ram.  We privately sell the lambs for meat at 70#, in July or August.  (Prior to 2009 with more ewes, we grazed and hayed the entire farm, fed lambs to 85#-90#, and sold them in Sept. or Oct.)  We sell one of each set of triplets locally within 24 hours after mother’s colostrum.  Our lambing percentage is 1.75%.  We also have a llama for predator control.

There are several options for housing depending upon the initial and future arrangements. 

Contact David and Sonja Johnson for more information on this excellent opportunity to gain experience on a working sheep farm.

Thank You,
David & Sonja Johnson
S1859 Konkel Valley Road
Arcadia, WI  54612                                       

Looking for information on wool?
Download the article: WOULD YOU BUY YOUR WOOL? 
by David Kier, Professional Shearer 

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