Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sheep and shearing

Last week we finished number branding Ryan's heifers.  The weather has been really nice for January.  It is cold for a couple of days then warms up into the fifty degrees.  The day we did these heifers it was nice but a little windy.  Here some of the heifers await their turn in the chute.

The one day it snowed all day with light fluffy snow.  By the end of the day we had almost 4 inches of snow and by morning it had settled down to about an inch.

Then our attention turned to the governmental scene.  Last summer our Congressional delegation visited the Belle Fouche area and we were there to help tell the story of the unexplained drop in the sheep market.  When the staffers got back to Washington the Senators and Congresswoman called for an investigation into the drop in the sheep market.  They along with other Senators and Congressmen from the region were able to have GIPSA (Grain Inspection/Packers and Stockyard Administration) start and investigation.

The GIPSA people from Denver came to Ft. Pierre to have a hearing.  They gave those in attendance an overview of what they could do and could not do.  They told of the procedure and what their investigation would entail.

The crowd was not large but the players were prominent in the South Dakota sheep scene.  There were several lamb feeders that sell to the packer and some from the auction barns and several lamb producers.

The testimony was given individually in private, and took most of the afternoon till after five PM.  The meeting was held in the Casey Tibbs Center in Ft. Pierre.  So as we were waiting for our turn to testify we could browse the interesting exhibits.  There is really a lot to look at and would be well worth your time if you are interested in rodeo.

Then Sunday at the Black Hills Stock Show the National Sheep Shearing contest was held.  I believe they said there were over fifty shearers taking part.  There was a junior division and intermediate and professional division.  The winner of the professional division can go on to represent the United States at the world Shearing contest to be held in Ireland next year.

Here they are getting ready to start on of the preliminary heats.  They were shearing 3 to 4 head in early rounds.  The professional division had eight finalists that had to shear 10 head.  I don't remember the fast times but they averaged about 1:15 per head for ten head.

Here is the guy that runs the sheep shearing crew that shears our sheep in the championship round.   He didn't win but was one of the faster times.  There were shearers from New Mexico, Wisconsin, Canada, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.  As well as many from the surrounding states.  They had three shear sheep with the hand blades in a contest.  The guy that won that contest was 67 years old and  had come from Massachusetts.  There were three young ladies in the contest.  One in the beginner and two in the intermediate division.  A nice crowd stayed around for most of the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment