2016 Candidate Bios

Ballots will be mailed out by 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:

Margaret VanCamp

I’m Margaret Van Camp, and I am running for re-election President of the BLU board. I have been a partner in Pitchfork Ranch in Swartz Creek, Michigan since 1996, where Cindy Cieciwa and I have a flock of 40 ewes, one third of which are BFLs.

I have served as President for the last two years, and am well acquainted the operations of the board. The policies and practices we have implemented have the BLU on a solid financial footing, with and excellent outlook. I helped organize the 2016 National BFL Show in Allegan, MI in August. Most importantly, I have enjoyed the company of many and varied BFL breeders, both established and brand new, while cussing and discussing the many and varied attributes of BFLs.

Few would dispute that ours is a breed on the rise. Judges are more familiar with them, more breed shows are including them, shepherds of other breeds are more interested in them, and most BFL breeders I know of are getting more calls for breeding stock, fiber animals, and fleece. We need to take advantage of this moment while continuing to ensure that American BFLs retain their breed character and value as mothers, fiber producers, and crossing sires. I continue to view the Registry a “big tent” under which we all can gather and share our enthusiasm for the breed, no matter which aspect of it most appeals to people.

I would like to work on capitalizing on the growing visibility of our breed by pushing for more breed shows, familiarizing more judges with our breed standard, and try to coordinate more joint advertising opportunities for our members with breeding stock and fiber products to sell. I would also continue to in encouraging two-way communication between the board and the membership.

I would appreciate your vote.


I would like to be considered for a position on the board as a representative of the BFL Union of North America. I feel that I would be a good candidate for this position because of my passion for education, my experience with being a board member and my love for the BFL breed.
Brief Bio: Located in Days Creek Oregon, Terra Mia farm began in 2010 with two bottle lambs and a couple of goats. My daughters wanted to be in 4H so I volunteered to become a co-leader with a local sheep breeder. It was a whirlwind introduction into the world of showing livestock at local fairs and regional events.I was hooked. I was fortunate to meet some great mentors along the way who taught me the basics of raising quality and healthy sheep. After the kids grew on to other projects I started working on my own flock of registered Bluefaced Leicesters. Terra Mia farm is currently home to a small flock of 18 consisting mostly of BFL’s and a few crosses. My goals for the flock include breeding for hardy stock which can thrive on grass pasture, have good temperaments and excellent fleeces. I feel that it is important for the BFL breed to be recognized locally and regionally for their value in breeding programs. This can only be done with an increased presence at livestock shows and wool breed events.
Related Experience: 2010-2016 4H Sheep and Dairy Goat leader in Douglas County, Oregon. Previous board experience: 6 years on the Days Creek Charter School Board and 2 years Days Creek Charter Fundraising Advisory Committee.
Became a member of Bluefaced Leicesters Union in 2014.
Education: Master Degree in Special Education UofP; Cross Categorical. BS in Liberal Arts, OSU
Employment: 2008-2016 Teaching in Special Education
Currently employed as the Special Programs Director at Insight of Oregon-Painted Hills.

Cedar Fen Farm, Baldwin, Wisconsin
I have been breeding BFL’s and have been a member of the BLU since 2006-7 when I was 15. I started with two ewes and a ram, my 4H project for the year and plan to establish a commercial herd based on BFLs and mule ewes bred from Xs with Icelandics which have been performing very well for us. I graduate from UWRF with an animal science degree with an emphasis on large animal breeding. I am presently working with a herd of almost 100 ewes, 60 of which are BFLs. Last year we AIed with 3 UK rams we imported and I am working with a number of very promising rams this year that resulted from that breeding. My primary goal is to combine the meatiness of the UK lines with the structural soundness, heavier fleece, and cold weather resistance of the US lines. We market both locker lambs and fleece.
I have been a board member for the past two years and would like to continue on to assist with the national show next year and help promote the Bluefaced Leicester breed as a member of the BLU board.

I own and operate Liongate Farm located in Rogue River,Oregon with my husband Jon Updegraff. I am a shepherdess, fiberpreneur and maker of fiber crafts (as well as head barn cleaner) and would like to be considered for a board position with BLU. I have an “official” degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design and we both work FT outside of the Farm. I own an Etsy shop (Liongate.etsy.com) that features my fiber products and art and participate in 3 fiber shows and 4 craft shows throughout the year.
It all started with a quest for curly wool Santa beards. Wandering the aisles at the Black Sheep Gathering..Touching, feeling, talking about what would be the right breed to add to my small flock of Navajo Churro Sheep. Then I met the Blues. Perfect curls, perfect size, perfect personalities. Love!!!!
Our farm has been in operation since 1997, and I obtained my first blues in 2010 and it was instant joy. Since then I have almost finished converting my entire small flock (15 ewes and 3 rams) to a nicely diversified genetic pool of Bluefaced Leicesters (Thank you Kelly, Robina and Jared). Our mission is to produce exemplary quality fiber, wool products and crafts and outstanding healthy breeding stock as well as a marketable meat lamb using a terminal sire.
We also employ 6 Tibetan Mastiff livestock guardian dogs to protect our sheep and are involved in promoting this passive form of predator deterrent. Our farm forest interface is negligible and we border a main water source which results in a large predator problem (cougar, bear, coyote, fox). Having the working dogs reduces our probability of predator kills. We are very active in preserving this great breed in the world wide. I served as the final rare breed registrar for the breed, submitting our registry to the AKC which resulted in obtaining AKC recognition for our Tibetan Mastiffs. We are current active members in ATMA .
We host Fiber on the Farm each August at the farm, promoting local fiber farm and providing an educational opportunity for the public to experience the farm, meet the animals and learn the processes of fiber production. I also have a large knowledge in ovine health based on experience love to assist others in this category.
I have been a board member for the past two years and want to continue serving the breed. I plan to serve as hostess of the BFL National Show at Black Sheep Gathering in 2018 and make it a fabulous show for all that attends. Currently my goal is to educate the public and put the BFL breed prominently on the map on the west coast. We had our own class this year at BSG and with the new breeders that have been started and flocks that are growing this should be a solid class for the breed at the BSG. Most importantly I am trying to develop an interest in the breed in young shepherds. So far I have two young shepherd flocks started (under age 20) and a third will be joining the show ring soon! It is very exciting.
Thank you for your consideration!

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