We caught up with the breeder of the Reserve Grand Champion FFA Commercial Ewe at the 2023 Iowa State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Berry Farms below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Breeder Spotlight.”
What’s the pedigree of your champion?
Nerve Damage (Flushmate to Chief) x Walnut x Smoke Pole
We flushed the dam to Chief for early January and gave 7 transferable. She would also be the mother of Blake Homann’s Grand IL open show last year.
What makes your operation run smoothly?
There are days it is far from smooth, but to answer Patch & Roxie, our two border collies.
How many head do you run?
Do you have another job besides raising sheep? If so, what’s your occupation?
We also row crop- raising corn and soybeans and 60 acres of alfalfa we utilize in our sheep operation.
In your opinion, who has been the most influential ram across the industry?
Burn changed things quickly when wool and feature took off.
Drop the Mic had a heck of a run
Unicorn recently is hard to not find in the winner circle or sons of him dominating.
What’s your favorite livestock show?
The Iowa State Fair has been the homestead for our family for decades and one we will always cherish.
Do you prefer online sales or live sales?
I believe there is an importance of utilizing both. Running a large operation makes it nearly impossible to wash, clip, blanket and haul hundreds of lambs to live sales in multiple states. It was not that long ago where we would shear 100-150hd for three sales in the same weekend in Cedar Rapids with the Schminkes, South Dakota with Wirt club lambs and also one in Minnesota, that was work.
Online sales has greatly helped broaden our customer base but we still feel the importance of attending live sales where we always try to bring a set we are proud of.