Why Sheep Are Still Important

Why Sheep Are Still Important

Feet by Imani Clovis from Unsplash.jpg
Image Source: Imani Clovis on Unsplash

I have a theory as to why so many Americans are unhappy nowadays.

It’s because we don’t wear wool socks, and our feet are always cold.
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Updates, Many of Which Happily Deal with Writing and Communications

Just thought I’d take this opportunity of a two-hour delay (a result of heavy fog) to write down some tidbits from teaching lately.

The most recent happenings were district leadership Career Development Events, competitions where FFA members give speeches or demonstrations, participate in a job interview, write a persuasive essay and more. Five of my students competed, and one won in essay! So he will be competing at state. When I read the essay the next morning before heading to work, I about cried because it was such beautiful writing.

Probably the neatest moment of that was when he was congratulated on stage, one of his best friends was standing there as a district officer, and the look on their faces as they shook hands was priceless. Continue reading “Updates, Many of Which Happily Deal with Writing and Communications”



Post originally posted on my pleonast.com blog and on my notes page on Facebook. I am posting a modified version here because it is an essential piece of why “Roots Run Deep.” It was written during the summer of 2011 when I stayed home on the farm after graduating from Purdue and before heading to Penn State because the timing didn’t work out for any internships or full-time jobs. 

Australian Shepherd and Hay BaleMy dog has been following me wherever I go during chores. Part of it is probably because I feed her, but even if she isn’t done eating, she’ll leave her pan of food in the barn and follow me out to the cow pasture. She stays by me while I’m watering the stock, and when I’m walking back and forth from the barn, she stays behind me or to my right side. She’s hardly ever gone to my left, even though I’ve experimented and tried to get her to go to the left. In those instances, she just stays behind. Continue reading “Roots”

My Woolly Baaaackground (Or, In Which I Explain Why I Talk About Sheep So Much)

My Woolly Baaaackground (Or, In Which I Explain Why I Talk About Sheep So Much)

Black and White LambContinuing a look at sheep and a shepherd’s relationship to them. Today, I’m taking a walk down memory lane as I look back at my personal sheep history. Here’s the first post

One of the benefits of studying at land-grant universities was the presence of school farms and animal science research centers. While at Purdue, I was a member of Block and Bridle, an organization for animal science students and livestock aficionados, and served as the sheep chair one year. This meant that I helped organize the Royal Showmanship Contest, in which students demonstrated their skills in exhibiting livestock. Several species were shown in the contest. I coordinated rides for the sheep show competitors from campus to the sheep unit of the Animal Science Research and Education Center and helped the beginners train their animals. I also brought in speakers for meetings and developed relationships with shepherds from around the state. Continue reading “My Woolly Baaaackground (Or, In Which I Explain Why I Talk About Sheep So Much)”


lambsIt is the Year of the Sheep according to the Chinese Zodiac, and all I’ve written about so far this year are cattle. There have been a few pictures of the horse here and there, but it’s mostly been cattle since they are the most numerous creatures currently on the farm, and there are always plenty of adventures with cows.

However, there was once a time when I would bundle up and plow through the snow on a January night, stars shining and air crisp, and open the barn door to a warm, golden glow of straw bedding and the bleats of newborn lambs searching for their mothers. With the woolen warmth around me, I could shed my outer layers and set them aside. After checking on everyone, I would sometimes sit in the straw bedding, leaning against the sheep panels, watching the lambs sniff my coveralls and boots. Continue reading “Sheep”

The Greatest Love

Originally published on my old blog hosted on Pleonast.com on October 14, 2012. 

He sat at the crest of the hill, sandwich in hand and staff and dog by his side. Chewing slowly, he gazed down at his precious flock, taking pleasure in their contentment as they safely grazed. They did not worry because he was there. They could see him. He had proved time and again that he would protect them. The ewes trusted him with their lambs, who frolicked easily at his feet, chewing on his trousers and bootstrings as they tried to learn exactly What or Who this strange creature without wool Was.

Continue reading “The Greatest Love”