|Ballots are being prepared, and you should be receiving them soon. The deadline to vote and return them is December 31th, 2022, so be sure to get them back in the mail. Candidates will take office on January 1, 2023.|
Since no election took place in 2021, 5, board positions are being filled. Per the BLU bylaws, the board will arrange for the staggered addition of board members before their terms end.
Below are the statements submitted by each candidate for the board positions. No candidates have come forward specifically for the positions of president and vice-president, so the new board will be discussing a resolution to this situation.
FOR BOARD POSITIONS (7 open)
- Duckey Chute, Lempster NH
Hello. My name is Julia “Duckey” Chute from Lempster NH. My husband Scott and I are owners of Granite State Sheep Company. Currently we are raising and breeding primarily Natural Colored Blue Faced Leicesters. I have been raising and showing sheep since the mid 1970s as what started as a harmless 4-H project. I started with Suffolk sheep until 2009 when our son Daniel got us hooked onto the Dorper breed. We enjoyed the time spent together as a family raising and showing the Dorpers. Enough so that I went through the Dorper Judging Certification course. Which allowed me the opportunity to Judge the Dorper National Sale this past April. What led me to the BFLs you ask? I have always admired the beauty of this breed when The Chapin Family from here in NH raised and showed them. So when given the opportunity to purchase their Natural Colored flock I couldn’t resist. Currently I am finishing my term as President of New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association. I am serving as a board member for the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Growers Association.
Youth programs are very important to me, they are our future. So with that being said I have been heavily involved with the North East Youth Sheep Show since the early 1990s. As an exhibitor at the beloved Eastern States Exposition I am serving as one of the two sheep representatives on the livestock committee.In conclusion I am passionate about the sheep industry as a whole and even more excited about my BFL adventure.
- Rachel Green, Greenbush, MN
My husband Roger and I both grew up in farming families. We live in far northern Minnesota. Over the past many years we have enjoyed raising a number of sheep breeds. My passion for fiber arts spurred a change in direction from breeds raised solely for meat and more towards dual purpose sheep with quality fleece. We are currently focusing on Bluefaced Leicesters and Gotlands. I am an avid knitter and spinner in addition to processing some of my own fiber. We have 2 grown children and 2 small grandsons that bring endless joy to our lives.
- Floya Hawkins, Chana, IL
I would like to introduce myself. I’m Floya Hawkins. My family has had sheep for the past 47 years. Since I’m a hand spinner I do take the time to fight with ewes and lambs to keep their jackets on. I fell in love with Bluefaced Leicesters at the Maryland Sheep and Wool show. Then I bought my first breeding pair from Kelly Ward. Since then I have many breeders I need to thank for helping to build my blue flock. I’m in the process of learning how hard it is to get AI to be successful with a ewe. I truly want fellow breeders to be successful with AI since we desperately need new genetics in the United States. This breed is so special. I love their fleece and personality as well as their ears. I enjoy promoting this breed and talking to anyone interested.
- Ruth Pohl Hawkins, Baldwin City, KS
Hi, I would like to be considered for a position on the BFL board. While I am new to BFLs, I am not new to the livestock and fiber world or holding a board position. In 2011 I started our farm with a few Pygora Goats. While I absolutely love the goats, the farm was missing something… SHEEP! I added BFLs to the farm, in 2020, and fell in love with the Bluefaced Leicester breed. With a background in sheep and showing in 4-H, it is wonderful to have a small flock of sheep again! As a weaver & spinner, having my own wool to work with is pure joy. I have read over the Bylaws and Operations of the BFL Union and feel confident that with my experience I can contribute and help the BFL Union to continue forward.
- Randy Pritchard, Ft. Collins, CO
My wife and I have been raising Bluefaced Leicester sheep in Colorado for about six years. Rainey loves to spin, dye, and create with wool and we started looking for a breed of sheep to raise for both meat and wool on our small acreage. After researching many breeds, we decided on BFLs…and we couldn’t be happier! They are easy to handle, interestingly entertaining, and they work well for our situation. Our foundation flock came from Montana and are of the Bitterroot line that Judy Colvin carefully developed using artificial insemination from most of the UK sires that were available at that time. I am a veterinarian and we continue to use artificial insemination from UK rams to raise BFL seedstock. We hope to continue to improve on the BFL genetics in the US while staying true to the breed standards.
I am running for a position on the BLU board of directors because I believe that BFLs have a lot of untapped potential to become a more popular breed here in the US. I would like to contribute to that effort in any way that I can.
- Nancy Starkey, Mt. Airy, MD
My first exposure to Bluefaced Leicester sheep was in 1992 at the Virginia farm of Frank Baylis. Frank was one of the only BFL breeders in the USA at that time, and when I saw Frank’s BFLs, I was totally impressed by their regal appearance. Since BFLs were quite rare in the states at that time, I hoped that one day I would be able to produce Bluefaced Leicesters at my farm. In 1999, I was able to purchase two Bluefaced Leicester rams, and in 2000, I was able to purchase several BFL ewes. My flock grew over the years, and I have been producing purebred BFLs since then. In the thirty years that I have had sheep, I have served on several Boards. These have included the Bluefaced Leicester Union, the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association, and the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival as a committee chairperson. I am looking forward to continuing as a BLU Director this year, as I consider serving on the BLU Board to be an honor.