“We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
-Jim Wylie to his Great-Grandson James
-Captain Glen Fraser
-Julie Borlaug, Global Anti-hunger Advocate
As the single largest domestic buyer of American wool, it is important that the United States Military understands all that wool has to offer when it comes to outfitting American soldiers, airmen and women and sailors.
The American Sheep Industry (ASI) Wool Council hosted a joint tour with military decision makers through Chargeurs Wool, Burlington Worldwide and Nester Hosiery (Farm to Feet) this past October.
ASI wanted to remind the U.S. Military why they use wool, “This isn’t your grandma’s wool sweater. Wool is naturally fire resistant, which protects our soldiers when they are exposed to fire hazards. Wool is comfortable in that it breathes. There are so many properties that make it an ideal fabric for our soldiers to wear,” said Ken Wixom, Wool Council Chair (Ken is from Idaho).
The ASI knew that they would have a wonderful opportunity to explain that the USA has a good supply of wool which is adequate to meet the military’s specifications. October’s tour was the perfect way to show this to our military first-hand.
-Sheep Industry News, December, 2017
–John Chandler, Farmer
Howdy folks! How’s it out there in humanland? I know, I know, it’s been months since I wrote a post. M’Lady’s been after me daily to “get on it, Pinto!” but I h’aint had no inspiration! Till now that is.
Wait’ll ya hear.
She has all these ewes, see. Sheep, well, they have minds of their own. They will NOT go where ya ask ’em to; they’re prey animals, and on the range, they’re always bein’ attacked by wolves see, they are ‘feared of everythin’ that looks predatory! M’Lady can’t just call ’em, “Here girlies, girlies, girlies,” and they’ll come. She can’t lead ’em on a line (well, she could train one of ’em to the halter and lead, and the rest would follow, but does she take the time to do that? Nooooooo!)
So they must be moved. And the thing they’re most respectful of is a sheep dog, ’cause they naturally think that we’re a wolf. So they run away from YoursTruly if I give them the what fer.
Now, M’Lady, she figgers, since she has a BorderCollieSheepDog, (YoursTruly) that I oughta be able to help her. Now lemme just say, I’m a smart dog, and know what needs to be done. She’s just untrained. Some folks, they say that sheepdogs naturally know what to do, and they only need to learn the “cues” from their human in order to move sheep where they need to go. This is true. But, o’course, the human needs to know those cues. Well, lemme tellya, M’Lady does not know those cues attall!
So, she bought this video, “How to Train Your Border Collie Sheepdog.” It says that the dog needs to be trained before it’s 18 months of age. Well, YoursTruly is on the downhill side o’ 10 years! Ya think she’s gonna run out ‘n’ buy a new dog? Nay! Nay! I’m her dog, and I’m what she has to work with. M’Lady knows I’m so smart, I can learn anything that a puppy can learn, so no problemo!
Good luck with that, M’Lady!
The video is about 30 hours long, and M’Lady only watched the first 45 minutes of it, thinkin’ she could train me.
So she puts me in this round corral with some of our ewes. Tells me “Away,” pointing with her left hand, and “Come By,” pointing with her right hand. I’m a’lookin’ at her sayin’, “Speak English, Woman! Left or Right, say what you mean ‘n’ mean what you say!” Good grief! Needless to say, what with all her nonsensical-talkie-talkie, we got nowhere in a hurry, and the ewes got all riled up, bustin’ down fences, racin’ away fast.
If’n she’d just lemme attem, I could move ’em quick ‘n’ simple like. Yes, M’Lady, lemme helpya! I’ll just run ’em ’round, hither ‘n’ yon for ya! She reminds me that the last time we did that, I “helped” her move the sheep from the corrals out to the east pasture, and just as we got ’em through the gate, I rushed ’em a little fast, scattered ’em and they ran back to the corrals. I got ’em so they were completely scattered all over the farm! She didna say much, but the veins on her face were so big and pulsing, and she was so mad, I thought she was gonna have a coronary right then ‘n’ there! Boy Howdy, did I stay outa her way fer an hour or two!
So now, when the sheep need to come in or go out, M’Lady just says, “Pinto, Dear, will you be an angel and please bring the ewes to me?” or “Pinto, Dear, would you please take the ewes out to the front pasture?” I say, “Sure, M’Lady, it’s about time! You just stay outamyway, OK?” And she replies, “Yes, Pinto, Dear, whatever you say. Just please bring me my ewes.”
Happy to, M’Lady!
Well, gotta go move some ewes, Keep your tail waggin’!
–Gretchen Hyde, Idaho Rangeland Commission