As a fourth generation sheep producer, my SAE is raising, showing, and growing registered Shropshire sheep. As a child, I spent many winter days hosting new born lambs in my play room, rehabilitating them to a healthy status to
be returned to the barn one day. I always enjoyed this, as well as being an extra hand doing chores with mom and dad feeding the sheep and cattle on our farm. As an eighth grader enrolled in Ag Ed, I realized an SAE was my opportunity to choose my own pathway as a young sheep producer, and was motivated to start my own flock away from the commercial sheep my parents were raising. I spent a lot of time researching breeds, trends, and youth opportunities in the industry and landed on the Shropshire breed. The Ohio Shropshire Association had a grant program for youth interested in pursuing Shropshires and in 2018, I received the grant and purchased my first 2 Shropshire ewes at the Big Ohio Sale in May. I found the experience with them on the summer show circuit very rewarding and as a result, I knew I made the right choice and purchased 3 bred ewes that fall to lamb in January of 2019. I currently run 22 mature ewes, 10 replacements and 2 rams utilizing artificial insemination and embryo transfer in order to utilize the most current genetics to raise and market offspring. All feed, maintenance and facility use are non- cash labor exchange expenses in exchange for labor in my parents commercial flock, contract hog operation or grain and hay farm.