We caught up with the breeder of the Supreme Champion Ewe at the 2023 LSU Livestock Show. We invite you to read our candid interview with Haws Club Lambs below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Breeder Spotlight.”
Who had the biggest influence on you to start your own herd?
My Parents. When I was young in 4-H we started keeping some of our show ewes and it just snowballed from there. My parents sold the flock when my brother and I went off to college. At that time they opened a sheep and goat feed lot. After years of running the feed lot they had the itch to get back into raising club lambs and turned the feed lot into our current sheep operation. All of that was during a difficult time in my life and I turned to the sheep to help me find my peace. That’s why they have always had such a special place in my life. I’ve poured everything I have into the flock over the years so my family has basically turned the operation over to me. We all have our place in this puzzle that makes Haws Club Lambs work but I suppose I’m the face of the operation.
First buck you can remember you bred to:
The first purchases I can remember making in our current program would be a hampshire buck called Strike Zone from Wheaton and a Southdown buck we called Mad Max from Maddox.
Favorite ewe? Why?
In our black face program it would definitely be 5098 she’s a RocE x Hambone and most of our program now goes back to her. In our Southdown program I know we wouldn’t be where we currently are without Fezz and Roger That’s mothers. Fezz’s dam is a Jennings ewe and Roger That’s dam is a Lira ewe.
Growing up what did you think your occupation would be?
I actually started my professional career as a football and baseball coach. I left that job after 5 years chasing more financial stability in the oilfield. From 2013-2020 my brother and I owned our own construction company. Now, I predominantly raise livestock and sell semen. Sure beats the daily grind of the oilfield.
Are you still on the farm or buildings that you started raising sheep in? If not, when and why did you decide to move?
Yes, we actually have 3 locations we utilize in our program now. My parents farm which is where I grew up doesn’t have many sheep on it anymore. They pretty much have overflow barns that we use to prep sale sheep and grow out our keeper ewes. My brother’s farm is where all the sheep are and that’s where most of the day to day takes place. My place has the buck barn and is the location of our sale facility. It’s tough to raise sheep where we live but it’s home ya know…
What has been the scariest decision for your operation?
I don’t know that any of them are truly scary but making buck decisions for our flushes is nerve racking at times. You are making a decision that not only affects your wether lamb crop but your ewe base for years to come.
If you could add one thing to your operation, what would it be and why?
I would love to have a bigger barn with open air ventilation. Would make lambing and breeding in the hotter months so much easier.