Uhrig: A well-deserved honor
A very dear friend of mine from Newell, SD, recently shared some very good news with me which I would like to share with Tri-State Livestock News readers.
Barb Uhrig’s fleece received two first and two seconds and the Grand Champion Commercial Fleece at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, South Dakota. Barb entered her Cheviot sheep fleece at the at the invite from Patty DeZeeuw, Elkton, South Dakota.
There were around 40 fleece at the South Dakota state fair. When Patty gave her the news, it was quite the compliment.
Two fleece were entered in the purebred cheviot class and two were entered in the commercial fleece class.
The Champion Fleece was off her ram, Festus.
Barb uses her processed fleece for her needlefelting projects which can be seen in the Make it with Wool contests, Christmas Fairs and SD Sheep Growers auctions and the Art in the Barn Fleece and Fiber Festival which Barb started to get people involved in the sheep industry especially the wool end of it. It’s been a long time since western South Dakota has taken such an honor and Barb was happy one of her little Cheviots got it.
Barb has been raising the Cheviot breed of sheep for about 30 years, starting with the whites and then adding the natural-colored blacks and silvers.
Being an artist, Barb was and still is in love with these small, clean faced sheep with a very alert look to them. Not only does this shepherdess lamb, vaccinate, sort and select breeding pairs, she also shears each and every head she raises.
Barb still shears the way she was taught 30 years ago by the man she bought her first ewes from – by hand. No electricity, just blades or huge shears. This way she knows just which fleece she wants to show, which she wants to keep for spinning and needlefelting and which she can sell.
Over the years through selective breeding and culling, the fleece on her sheep have become finer and more gorgeous than when she started.
Her work paid off.
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