President’s notes on 10-31-15 board meeting

by President on November 5, 2015

The BLU board met by teleconference on the afternoon of Saturday, October 31st .

The treasurers report gave the current balance of $8304.15 with a net loss of $315.69 for the year to date, which is likely attributed to lower than normal registrations, transfers and dues.

The secretary’s report stated that BLU has a membership of 78 members current as of October 1st . A list has been compiled of new members during 2014-2015 in order to send a membership welcome packet to each of the 22 new members. At the end of the year, these and all other members who dropped out in 2014 and 2015 will be sent letters inviting them to consider re-joining BLU .

A request has been received via the website from Kyle Brisendine, asking for the board to distribute a survey on coyote predation to our membership. Ms. Brisendine’s family are members of the association, and the survey is part of a college project. The Secretary/Treasurer has been instructed to send a current membership list to her so that she can send the survey.

The membership app on the BLU website is very cumbersome and so the board gave permission to disable it, and to post two .pdf files of the current membership; one in alphabetic order, and the other arranged by state. These .pdf files will be updated each month with new members . Members are urged to go to the website and check the list to be certain they are on it, and all information given is correct.

President Margaret VanCamp appointed herself to be chair of the national show committee, and Lisa Rodenfels to be the membership committee chair. Still to be filled after the election are Bylaws/Standards, Media, and Youth chairs. The Genetics Taskforce chair, Heather Landin, was not at the meeting, but Margaret was able to fill the board in on the most recent developments in semen importation. The border between the UK and the US has been opened. However, the new protocols that have been agreed upon between USDA and the EU make it difficult and expensive for UK BFL breeders to collect semen that passes these new rules. Now the entire flock must be bloodtested and all test negative on 2 separate occasions before a ram can be sent in for semen collection. Some of the UK breeders are working on possible workarounds to these rules, such as maintaining a small flock just for testing and collection purposes.

The board made the decision to bestow lifetime memberships on LeeAnne Richert, Kristen Barndt, and Robina Koenig.

The site for the 2016 National Show was discussed. The sheep show chairman of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, has stated they are very interested in hosting the event. Because the show catalog has to be printed, the deadline to have the show plans complete is January 1 st For this reason, the board decided to go ahead with plans to have the 2016 National BFL show at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on May 7 & 8 th . More information will be posted on the website and Facebook page and Twitter as plans are made.

The next scheduled meeting of the board is set for 7PM EST on Wednesday, January 6 th . Newly elected board members will be invited to attend this meeting.


Candidate Bios for BLU election

by President on October 26, 2015

Ballots will be mailed out the 1st of November, and are due back to the election chairperson by December 1st. Ballots will be mailed to all active members as of October 1st. Here are the candidates:

Joan R. Chapin – Atlanta, IN
(formerly of CT and Milton, NH)
I would be pleased to serve on the Board of Directors of the Bluefaced Leicester Union of North America.
After 35 years of shepherding, I developed a spinners’ flock of Bluefaced Leicesters (with a few Border Leicester crosses), and my passion for sheep and fiber arts has only grown. In 1984 I was working Federal Crop Insurance field assessments as a summer job, when the Farmer at Connecticut Junior Republic handed me a pair of bottle lambs, gifting me and my children with their first sheep. That started my children participating in 4-H before they were eligible. They attended the Vocational Agriculture supplement in high school, were active in FFA, and in County 4-H. One of my children and his family now keep a flock of Romneys, my granddaughter has a small flock of —wait for it — Bluefaced Leicesters!
I have been a leader in 4-H, a breed secretary for a few years for the New England Youth Show, and clerked the junior show ring. I have been vendor co-chair for the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival, managing approximately 100 vendors, for several years before moving lately to Indiana with 4 Bluefaced ewes and 2 ewe lambs. (Oh, and Great Pyrenees guard dogs – brother and sister.)
I am retired from public education after 30 years as a school psychologist. I have always had a deep commitment to personal development of youth. As with my own children, I believe that sheep ownership is the perfect venue for a growing sense of responsibility, developing work ethic, and for maturing social interactions. The youth community active in raising and showing sheep is a good environment to learn animal husbandry and to learn to help others. And the role models and mentors are not bad either

Carol Densmore – Webberville MI

Greetings! I’m Carol Densmore and together with my husband, Steve, operate Cross Wind Farm. We primarily raise Bluefaced Leicesters and Lincolns. The BFL breed was the first sheep we started with and remains my favorite. Our farm is located in an agricultural community in the central part of Michigan. We raise our sheep for breeding stock and wool.
After growing up in farm country on opposite sides of the state Steve and I continue our life long desire to farm and raise livestock. Steve has many years of livestock experience, having grown up on a dairy farm; and I grew up on a farm that raised pigs and chickens, boarded horses, and chased cattle from the adjacent farm.
After owning a herd of alpacas raising sheep was a natural choice because of my insatiable love of fiber and the fiber arts. As a master spinner (Olds College, Alberta, Canada) I teach all aspects of spinning and working with wool as well as judge for handspun skein competitions and wool shows. I shear all of our sheep myself and stay up close and personal to the wool as it grows.
The approach at Cross Wind Farm is to breed our sheep for wool, conformation, and disposition. They are bred for soundness and manageability, while producing a beautiful, marketable fleece. Ewe lambs that we retain as replacements are not bred until they are yearlings. Our goal is to keep select ewes even after their breeding
career so they can grow fleece without the stress of pregnancy and lambing. Our rams are selected for fleece characteristics and temperament.
If elected, I will diligently work to contribute to the Bluefaced Leicester Union’s mission and its events and activities. I’ve always been a vocal spokesperson for the Bluefaced Leicesters and am passionate about educating others and gaining support for the breed.

Heather Landin – Baldwin, WI
I’m running for my second term on the BLU board. As a board member I have been maintaining the files for imported BFL rams as well as assisting in other activities. My daughter and I have a flock of approximately 80 BFLs on our farm in west central Wisconsin and are working on maintain and collecting for storage a number of different bloodlines. We have been members of BLU since 2007.
I am a fiber artist and working with BFLs to maximize their potential as productive wool sheep that can also deliver an excellent crossing carcass is out flock goal. My other life as an engineer and clinical researcher has led me to focus on sheep health. We have an OPP/CL tested flock and have done a great deal of research into good herd health practices which we try to share as much as possible.
I’ve learned a lot about how the board functions to promote the breed during my first term and would like to take advantage of that to continue to help promoting the BFL breed and making the next national show happen next summer. I hope you’ll agree and vote me in for a second term.


Congratulations Maggie!

October 16, 2015

Maggie Hoffman and her ram, Beechtree Clintburn showed at Bloomsburg Fair and he won reserve champion any other breed wool AOB. Maggie’s little colored spring ewe lamb, Montour’s Inca took reserve champion in AOB in the 4H show at Bloomsburg fair

Read the full article →

2016 National BFL show proposals wanted

September 29, 2015

The BLU National Show Committee is now taking proposals for the 2014 National Bluefaced Leicester Show venue. The deadline to make proposals is JANUARY 1, 2016. Here is the new proposal form. If you are interested, please fill it out and submit to 2016 Show Proposal Form You will also find the proposal form […]

Read the full article →

2015 Election Approaches

September 23, 2015

Deadline to submit resumes to run for Vice-President or 2 board positions is OCTOBER 25th *** Send resume to BLU breed secretary at 44011 County Rd 23, Coshocton, OH 43812, or email to Timeline for Election: October 25th – Last day to receive resumes for candidacies. Resumes will be posted on the BLU website […]

Read the full article →

4-H fun class loads of fun!

August 18, 2015

The Knelly kids, Machaella and Griffin, in the 4-H lead fun class last summer during the Bloomsbur PA fair. This is definitely a class we should add during the BFL national show!

Read the full article →

Fun at the Montour Delong Fair, Danville PA

August 17, 2015

Debbie Schwab Knelly’s family had a great experience at their community fair this past week. Griffin and his BFL, Wicket, took Champion Ewe for the “all other wool breed” division of breeding sheep in a class of 10 ewes, most of which were BFLs. And sister, Machaella, won Junior Showman! Her ewe, Lacey, was a […]

Read the full article →

All American Junior Sheep Show placings

August 12, 2015

Shown at the All American Junior Sheep Show, held in west Springfield, MA this year are Iris LaRochelle and Ellora Chapin. Iris placed 5th with Stillmeadow 103 Quince and Ellora placed 4th with Stillmeadow 91 Maybelline. Both lambs were in the Feb natural colored ewe lamb class. Ellora is the granddaughter of long time BLU […]

Read the full article →

News from Pennsylvania

July 15, 2015

BLU member Kyle McCleary of Rock Jim Farm reports a win at the Mason Dixon Fair in Delta PA Had a great weekend at the Mason Dixon Fair with my Bluefaced Leicester’s. We went home with a champion ram lamb as well as champion and reserve champion ewe lambs. (ram is still for sale;) ) […]

Read the full article →

BFL fleeces shown at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

July 4, 2015

Submitted by Margie Smith, BLU member 1st place BFL fleece in 2014 MS&W fleece show The fleeces shown, are from Marlindale Farm in New Oxford, PA. Margie and Lynn Smith have been running Marlindale Farm since 1990 having moved from Emmitsburg, MD to New Oxford in 2004. With support from BFL breeders (giving us our […]

Read the full article →