In praise of the YCP program

By Margie Smith, PA 

What a wonderful program the Youth Conservation Program, held during the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival each year is!  It was an experience that I would recommend to fellow BFL breeders. I’d like to thank Elaine Ashcraft for directing such a wonderful program! This was my first year donating a registered BFL yearling and it was truly an honor to do. Elaine walked me through each step of the way with patience and lots of guidance. I enjoyed reading the entries from the youth who requested a yearling. The entry my husband and I chose was Tia Iversen from North Carolina. What a blessing she is to our breed! Tia took responsibility of our yearling, Marlindale Pippa, as soon as they were acquainted at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. By the time Pippa made it North Carolina, she and Tia had become buddies. As the weeks progressed, it turned out that Pippa had been bred. On June 19th, Pippa gave Tia her first lamb, a 10 lb ram lamb! Pippa trusted Tia so much that she let her handle and help clean the new lamb. What a wonderful time and experience. If any of you have a yearling you feel would benefit a youth, please help out by donating a ewe yearling. To see the joy this ewe has brought Tia and her family has made this all worth the efforts on everyone’s parts!

2018 YCP yearling ewe winner

The winner of the Bluefaced Leicester yearling ewe from the Youth Conservation Program this year is Mackenzie Weist. Makenzie is the daughter of Jennifer and Kevin Weist, and hails from Creamton, PA. In her essay that is part of the selection process, Mackenzie states that she lives on a farm that her great, great grandparents purchased in the early 1900’s. The farm has a history of sheep on it, and now is home to Bluefaced Leicesters. She looks forward to using the fleece from her ewe to make a sweater, and a hat for her aunt. The ewe was donated by Pitchfork Ranch in Michigan. Pictured is Margaret VanCamp with Mackenzie and her new BFL ewe

Invitation to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend


From long time BLU member, Nancy Starkey:
The 2018 Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is this weekend, and here’s a photo of the yearling Bluefaced Leicester ewes that will be featured in the Working Sheepdog Demonstrations. The sheepdog demos are always well attended, and the crowds there will be able to see how lovely BFLs are when moving around the arena. So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Bluefaced Leicester Union of North America for once again helping to sponsor our demonstrations. We certainly appreciate the BLU’s support!

BLU gathering at MS&W festival


You are invited to the
MD Sheep & Wool BBQ
Event for Bluefaced Leicester Sheep Enthusiasts
Saturday at 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Hosted by:
BlueLand Farm
5955 Old Bohn Rd, Mount Airy, Maryland 21771

We want to host all the BFL breeders that come to the festival for a friendly bbq and hangout. As farmers, we don’t get a lot of opportunity to just relax and hang out, swap stories, and not have to worry about getting home in time for chores.

So feel free to come by when you are able – we won’t be upset if you can’t stay for the whole time, we just want to see your faces!!!! If you need a ride over from the fairgrounds, just let me know; we are just a quick jaunt down I-70.

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 www.bflsheep.com.

This is the year to enter fleeces!


This year, BLU will sponsor a $50 cash award to the first place BFL fleece at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Details will be in the MS&W festival catalog and entry form. So if you have been considering entering a fleece in the contest, this is the year to do it!
Here is the MS&W website with details on entry, and the entry form.
http://sheepandwool.org/festival/fleece-show-sale/

2018MS&WFleeceEntryForm

$50 fleece award available


This year, BLU will sponsor a $50 cash award to the first place BFL fleece at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Details will be in the MS&W festival catalog and entry form. So if you have been considering entering a fleece in the contest, this is the year to do it!
Here is the MS&W website with details on entry, and the entry form.
http://sheepandwool.org/festival/fleece-show-sale/

2018MS&WFleeceEntryForm