Dr. Geof Ruppert
Your judge for the 2018 Black Sheep Gathering is Dr. Geof Ruppert. His involvement with sheep began in 1976 with a starter flock of Corriedales, chosen in part because of his mother’s interest in the fiber arts. Along the way, he participated in judging livestock through 4-H, where he was on the Maryland State judging team. After completing undergraduate studies and vet school at Virginia Tech, Geof began judging county fairs, mostly in New England. Dr. Ruppert has also judged the National Junior Corriedale show and the New England Sheep sale as well as the National Merino sale, held in conjunction with the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.
Over the years his Corriedale flock has endured, and he has added a separate flock of Cormos to explore the finer end of the wool spectrum. After meeting with Corriedale breeders from around the world at the 2000 World Corriedale Congress, Geof realized that American Corriedale wool quality could be improved by introducing Australian Corriedales to his flock. Since 2001, the Rupperts have been pursuing an artificial insemination program using Australian rams that reach back to the very roots of the breed. In 2014 the American Corriedale Association held its 100th year anniversary celebration. Ruppert’s Corriedales participated in the National Show with just one ram entry; winning Best Fleece overall and best headed Corriedale.
Today, Geof divides his time between his sheep and his companion animal practice, but he sneaks off to Australia every chance he gets to learn more about that most amazing and versatile fiber … wool!