2017 YCP winner Charles Boyle

In April 2017, youth farmer Charles O’Boyle wrote and submitted an essay for the Youth Conservationist Program. This program awards Heritage Breeds Yearling Ewe Lambs to 4-H members throughout the country. The 4-H members selected to receive a yearling ewe lamb, write essays on what the heritage breeds mean and how they can help preserve those breeds of our fore-fathers for future generations. Charles was awarded in May, a Bluefaced Leicester Ewe lamb named Kimmie. He has showed her in the Allegany County Fair in 2017. As part of the project, he bred her this past fall. She had twin lambs born this February.
Charles is a 4-H member of Allegany County’s Mountain and Valley club, Livestock Judging member and Livestock Skill-a-thon participant. He has shown livestock at the Allegany County Fair for the last 5 years. He resides on a small family farmette outside Cumberland, MD. Charles is also a Boy Scout from Troop 9.
Kimmie is a Bluefaced Leicester who was donated by Meredith Myers Null from Mount Airy, MD. Bluefaced Leicesters are known for their wool quality. They are a longwool breed of sheep with a very distinct Roman nose. The skin for these are blue with white lustre wool. There are some that are a natural colored wool. They have no wool on their legs and head. These sheep came from Leicestershire hence giving them their name. Kimmie is a white colored lamb. She has given birth to a white colored and a natural colored lambs.
Charles plans to show Kimmie and her lambs (yet to be named) at the 2018 Allegany County Fair and at the 2018 Maryland State Fair. He is excited to be starting his Bluefaced Leicester herd. For more information on the Youth Conservationist Program contact Elaine Ashcraft at 740-622-1573 or Charles at afrye2016@yahoo.com. For more information on the Bluefaced Leicester Lambs you may contact either Charles or see the Bluefaced Leicester Union’s website http://www.bflsheep.com.

2018 Youth Conservation Program

BLU supports this program, and has secured a donation of a registered BFL ewe for this year’s event.
Youth interested in applying for the 2018 Youth Conservationist Program 
* Must be between 9 and 18 years old.  
*Submit an application postmarked by April 1, 2018 that includes:  
*An essay which introduces you and your experience with animals. Your essay should explain your interest in sheep and  answer the question: “Why I would like to help preserve a heritage breed of sheep.” If for any reason the animal will not  be kept at your own home, please explain in detail where it will reside and what exactly your responsibilities will be.  
*The applicant should indicate if they wish to be considered for a particular breed or for any of the breeds available.  
*Each applicant must include a letter of recommendation from their 4?H advisor, FFA advisor, veterinarian, teacher or  clergy.  
*The total application/essay should be no more than 2 pages in length.  
*The application must include address, phone and if available, email address. Interested young people should contact  Elaine for an updated list of breeds available, then submit their letter of application/essay to: Elaine Ashcraft, 46118 CR  58 Coshocton, OH 43812  
*Requirements if selected:  
*Must be present to receive the ewe at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on Sunday,  May 6, 2018.  
*Must exhibit the ewe at least twice in 2018 at: 1) a county fair or local sheep show and 2) the State Fair in the state  where the recipient lives.  
*Must breed the ewe to a registered ram (of her breed) in the fall of 2018, should consult the donor breeder for their  recommendations.  
*Must either use the ewe’s fleece to personally make a wool item or sell the fleece to a spinner, felter or weaver.  
*Must submit an article, the following Feb/Mar to their local newspaper covering their year and including information  concerning the next year’s YCP program.  
*Must submit a scrapbook to the Donor Breeder by April 30, 2018 and provide a scrapbook to be used at the Maryland  Festival which is then given back to the youth.  
Any questions please contact Elaine Ashcraft 46118 CR 58 Coshocton, Ohio 43812  
By phone at (740) 622?1573 or by email at tankewe_cr58@yahoo.com  (please note the underscore between “tankewe”  and “cr58”) 
Donors select the recipients from the essays submitted by the youth. 

Board meeting notes from 1-17-18 meeting

The BLU board met for its organizational teleconference meeting on January 17th at 6PM EST. All board members were in attendance, including newly elected VP Meredith Myers-Null of MD as well as board members Katie Sullivan of VT and Shellie Ross of FL. President Margaret VanCamp welcomed them to the board, and also recognized outgoing members Joan Chapin, Carol Densmore, and Heather Landin for their time and service to BLU.

Sect/Treas Lisa Rodenfels gave the treasurer’s report. The current balance is $10,117.43, with a net gain of $716.27 for the year 2017.
In the secretary’s report, Lisa told the board that she she is working on a postcard to remind members to pay their 2018 dues. There are currently 106 members, up from 98 in 2016. There were 383 registrations and 235 transfers made in 2017.

Next were the committee reports. President Margaret VanCamp appointed Kat Bierkens to the Youth Committee Chair. She will begin working on an online survey for our youth to answer, since the mailed survey did not net results.
Shellie Ross is the new Bylaws/Standards chair. She will work on a draft to improve the current breed standards to include line drawings showing examples of good and poor conformation, as well as showing desirable breed specific characteristics. This draft will be presented to the board at a later time.
Katie Sullivan is the new Media chairperson. She will work on providing articles and photos to media to better promote our breed.
Margaret will take over as the Genetics Taskforce chairperson.

The National Show Committee chair, Karen Szewc, began a discussion on plans and ideas for the show during the Black Sheep Gathering on June 29th. There are 2 hotels on the fair grounds, but they do not accept blocked rooms, so it is first come, first served. The festival committee will allow us to have whatever classes we’d like. They provide ribbons, and Karen is arranging for small trophies for all class winners. Would like to get a list of the entries to the show in order to have a program printed. There will be gift bags for all exhibitors, and a banquet is planned. There will be an auction at the banquet, and it will be open to all people interested in BFLs, not just BLU members. There has been an ad running in the Black Sheep Newsletter for the past 4 quarters, and a full page ad is planned for the spring edition. She would like to donate a basket to the BSG with BFL fiber in it. There will be classes in the wool contest for BFL fleeces. Lisa will keep the website and FB page up to date with information as it becomes available. A sponsorship level was set at $50.

New business included the upcoming Maryland Sheep & Wool festival. A yearling ewe is needed for the Youth Conservation Program to be donated during the festival. Meredith Myers-Null will provide a ewe for the breed display. The board voted to add a $50 cash award to the top placing BFL fleece there.
It was also decided to have a contest for the most new memberships sponsored by existing members. BLU has always recommended buying a membership for youth members and breeding stock buyers, and would like to encourage BLU members to do this for their customers.

Congratulations Charlie!

Our newest BLU youth member, Charlie O’Boyle, with his reserve champion ewe at the Allegany county fair in Maryland. Charlie was the winner of the YCP program yearling ewe, donated by Meredith Myers-Null during the recent Maryland Sheep & Wool festival. Charlie’s brother, William, is also a YCP recipient, having been awarded his yearling ewe last year. His ewe was donated by Pitchfork Ranch.

2016 Youth Conservation Program winner

William and his new ewe Lydia, with breeder and donor Margaret VanCamp

My name is William O’Boyle and I am from Cumberland, Maryland. As a member of the Mountain and Valley 4-H club, I have been a part of 4-H for eight(8) years and was also a part of the homeschool 4-H as a clover and Junior member for four (4) years. I am currently in my first year as a senior member of 4-H. I am also a member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 9 where I am working on the rank of Eagle and have completed numerous merit badges including Animal Science.
As a 4-H member, I have raised animals for the showing and judging at my local fair for about six (6) years but have been around animals my whole life. I started showing at the fair with just sheep and bunnies; the following year I added hogs and breeding sheep. I did not show hogs again until last year. I also show goats. My brother, who is also in 4-H and I also have raised bottle babies successfully for the last five (5) years. The breeds of sheep we have raised are Khatadins, Suffolk, Hampshire and a Jacob. My Khatadins were breed and I had a herd of 16 strong when I sold them. I sold them to a local breeder who was looking at getting into hair sheep instead of wool. I wanted to focus on goats at the time because I was more interested in them at the time.
I have been looking at getting back into sheep flocks and am getting passionate about raising heritage sheep because of the verstility of them in many ways. These ways include being more adaptable, having resistence to diseases and parisites as well as better foraging abilities. I enjoy history and learning how our founding fathers did farming, work, making supplies and the way of life then. Also, heritage sheep were used by our founding fathers for wool, meat, and breeding. I would like to keep the heritage breeds alive and teach others the way of old and show them those ways as well about our past. I would love to be a breeder of sheep again and more specifically of heritage sheep because preserving our heritage is something I am passionate about doing and sharing with others.
This year I received a Blue Faced Leicester Ewe from Margaret Van Camp and Cindy Cieciwa from Pitch fork Farms MI. I have showed her “Lydia” in the District show as well as in my local county fair (Allegany County, MD Fair and Ag Expo) in July where Lydia took Reserve Grand Champion in Breeding Ewes.
20160509_124915 Currently we are preparing to go to the MD State Fair beginning August 24-29th, 2016. I am learning something new about Heritage/wool sheep each day. I am enjoying handling Lydia and sharing about Blue Faced Leicesters with others. I plan to breed her this fall and am currently looking for a breeder.
William O’Boyle

20160508_145023William and the other youth participants in the Youth Conservation Program.
The Youth Conservationist Program is a way to enable youth to experience the joys and responsibilities of conserving heritage wool sheep breeds.
Youth interested in applying for the 2017 Youth Conservationist Program need to be between 9 and 18 years old. If selected, youth must be present to receive the ewe at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on the Sunday of the event. They must agree to exhibit the ewe at least twice in 2017 at: 1) a county fair or local sheep show; and 2) the State Fair in the state where the recipient lives. They must also agree to breed the ewe to a registered ram in the fall of 2017, and must agree to either use the ewe’s fleece to personally make a woolen item or sell the fleece to a spinner, felter, or weaver. Finally, they must submit a one-to-two page report, with pictures to the donor breeder by April 30, 2018.
Applications from interested youth must be postmarked by April 1, 2017. In the application/essay the youth should describe themselves, their experience with animals, explain their interest in sheep, and answer the question: “Why would I like to help preserve a heritage breed of sheep?” The total application/essay should be no more than 2 pages in length. The application must include address, phone and, if available, email address. The applicant should indicate if they wish to be considered for a particular breed or any of the breeds available. Each applicant must also include a “letter of recommendation” from his or her 4-H Advisor, FFA Advisor, Veterinarian, Teacher, or Clergy.
Interested young people should contact Elaine Ashcraft for an updated list of breeds available, and then submit their letter of application/essay to: Elaine Ashcraft, 46118 CR 58, Coshocton, Ohio 43812 or by email: tankewe_cr58@yahoo.com

Youth News!

BLU Youth members Ellora Chapin and Iris LaRochelle had a great time at the Northeast Youth Sheep Show this past weekend.
Iris showed her natural colored yearling BFL ewe and they won champion AOB wool ewe.

Ellora showed Pitchfork Harry Potter and they won reserve champion AOL ram in the wool show.ElloraHarryPotter
Looks like Ellora had fun at the show. ElloraChapin

Attention Youth Showmen!


Northeast Youth Sheep Show
July 14 – 17, 2016

The 32nd annual Northeast Youth Sheep Show (NEYSS) will be held July 14th-17th at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, MA. The NEYSS is the premier all-breed junior sheep show in the northeast, attracting over 200 youth exhibitors showing close to 800 head of sheep. The show is open to all youth 21 years old and younger.

Highlights of the NEYSS include:
• Breeding Sheep Show
• Market Lamb Show
• Fleece Show
• Fitting & Showmanship Classes
• Skill-a-thon, Quiz Bowl & Clinics
• Family Fun Night, Pizza Party & Ice Cream Social
• New England Private Treaty Sale & Used Equipment Auction

Class winner and participation awards are given, as well as Supreme Champion and Reserve Champion Awards. The NEYSS is sponsored by New England Sheep & Wool Growers Association (NESWGA) and is supported by individual, local, and national breed associations and sponsors.

The NEYSS entry deadline is June 15th.

For more information about this event, or to learn about New England Sheep & Wool Growers Association, please visit http://www.nesheep.org.

2016 Youth Conservation Program

Youth ages 9-18 can help preserve a heritage breed of sheep through the 2016 Youth Conservationist Program. Application deadline is April 1, 2016. I yearling BFL ewe has been donated by Pitchfork Ranch/Somerhill Farm. She is entered in the BFL National show, and so is both top quality, and fitted for show.

* Must be between 9 and 18 years old.
*Submit an application postmarked by April 1, 2016 that includes:
An essay which introduces you, your experience with animals, if for any reason, the animal is not being kept at your own home, explain, in detail where it will reside and what exactly your responsibilities will be.
Your essay should explain your interest in sheep, and answers the question:
“Why I would like to help preserve a heritage breed of sheep.”
Each applicant must include a letter of recommendation from their 4-H advisor, FFA advisor,veterinarian, teacher or clergy.
The total application/essay should be no more than 2 pages in length.
The applicant should indicate if they wish to be considered for a particular breed or for any of the breeds available.
The application must include address, phone and if available, email address.

Interested young people should submit their letter of application/essay to:

Elaine Ashcraft
46118 CR 58
Coshocton, OH 43812


All essays must be mailed, will not accept emailed essays!

Requirements if selected:
Must be present to receive the ewe at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on Sunday, May 8, 2016.
Must exhibit the ewe at least twice in 2016 at: 1) a county fair or local sheep show and 2) the State Fair in the state where the recipient lives.
Must breed the ewe to a registered ram (of her breed) in the fall of 2016, should consult the donor breeder for their recommendations.
Must either use the ewe’s fleece to personally make a wool item or sell the fleece to a spinner, felter or weaver.
Must submit an article the following Feb/Mar to their local newspaper covering their year and including information concerning the next year’s YCP program.
Must submit a one to two page report, with pictures, to the Donor Breeder by April 30, 2016 and provide a scrapbook to be used at the Maryland Festival which is then given back to the youth.

Any questions please contact

Elaine Ashcraft,
46118 CR 58,
Coshocton, Ohio 43812


Donors choose the recipients from the essays submitted by the youth.