Sheep Ranching Questions & Answers with Henry Etcheverry, Laird Noh & Ranching Friends

Friday, October 6, 2017  
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Community Library, 415 Spruce Avenue, Ketchum


Henry Etcheverry
Etcheverry Sheep Company

“My Dad was the consummate sheep man dedicated and hard working. ‘Men like my Dad had a gleam in their eye. I’m going to make something of this. I can do it. And that’s what I think America was made of.’ Life as a sheep rancher takes that kind of commitment. Sheep can pay the bills and take care of you if you take care of them. It’s a lot of work but I am optimistic.” - Henry Etcheverry

Henry was born in Pocatello, Idaho, in 1949 and worked the sheep as a boy beside his father. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1972 and had no doubt that he would return to the sheep ranch. Henry had always been inspired by his father Jean Pierre who, at the age of 16, arrived in New York City in 1929 from the Basque region of southern France. He immediately made his way to Nevada sheep country to work as a herder for $50 a month. Later with his new wife Louise Savala, Jean Pierre moved to Pocatello where she ran a Basque boarding house and he bought 1,200 ewes to begin his own sheep operation. The family moved to Rupert, Idaho, where the sheep operation is still headquartered.

Today, Etcheverry Sheep Company runs about 7,000 breeding ewes and 1,400 replacement yearlings and provides 80,000 pounds of wool to Pendleton Woolen Mills. The eight bands of ewes lamb in the family’s lambing sheds north of Rupert from January through March. The pairs are trucked to southeastern Idaho in mid-May to graze near Lava Hot Springs and Soda Springs and then moved into the high country in the Caribou National Forest for the summer. In August, the lambs are shipped to Mountain States Lamb Cooperative, a rancher-owned processing and marketing facility. In September, the ewes reverse their route returning to the lower elevations around Rupert for winter.

Henry has served as a Director and President of the Idaho Wool Growers Association. He is currently Director and President of the Idaho Citizens Grazing Association, President of the Minidoka Grazing Association and President of the Western Range Association.

Henry and his wife Kathy continue Etcheverry Sheep Company, often with help from their two grown daughters Nicole and Dominique—all seamlessly blending generations of hard work and dedication.

Laird Noh
Noh Sheep Company

Born in 1938, in the original stone hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho, Laird lived at Artesian in southeast Twin Falls county from 1938-1942 on a ranch against the foothills on Dry Creek. In 1942, the family moved to Addison Avenue. Laird was educated in the Kimberly public school system, went on to get his BS in Business and Animal Science at the University of Idaho, then an MBA at the University of Chicago, and, finally, his Doctorate of Natural Resources, Honoris Causes, at the University of Idaho.

Married to Kathleen Farnsworth, Laird and she have two children. John is the vice president and manager of Noh Sheep Company, and Susan is a research scientist in veterinary pathology and infectious diseases with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine and the Paul Allen School of World Animal Health in Pullman, Washington.

Currently, Laird serves as President of Noh Sheep Company. In addition, he is Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Sheep Marketing Association, a producer-owned lamb and sheep marketing cooperative doing business in seven states. Since its establishment in 1975, it has marketed 3.1 million head of sheep.

In addition, Laird is a Member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at the University of Idaho College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and, he is a Member of the Liaison Committee of the USDA Agricultural Research Service Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho.

  Sheep Tales Gathering
Documentary Film Screening:
"The Shepherdess of the Glaciers"

Friday, October 6, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Sun Valley Opera House, Sun Valle7
$20 Adults

For the 21st Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival, we are bringing in Stanzin Dorjai-Gya as the presenter for our Friday night Sheep Tales Gathering.  Stanzin and Christiane Mordelet created a documentary film centered on a shepherdess (Stanzin’s sister) who herds sheep and cashmere goats in the High Himalayas titled “Shepherdess of the Glaciers.”

“On a rock-strewn mountain, 5,000 meters high in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, lives shepherdess Tsering with her flock of 250 sheep and cashmere goats. We follow Tsering’s solitary movements over a year, from her home village to the high plateaus where she acts as midwife to her goats, warms batteries on a cooking pot and occasionally sings to herself and the surrounding landscape. Her only access to events in the outside world is via a small transistor radio and she daily faces the troubling presence of wolves and a snow leopard. Having turned 40, Tsering now finds the pastoral life physically challenging, whilst climate change is endangering her livestock. Packed with stunning images of the Gya-Miru Valley, “The Shepherdess of the Glaciers” reveals the ancestral wisdom of those Ladakhi shepherds whose environment and livelihoods are under severe threat.”

Co-director Stanzin Dorjai Gya is the brother of The Shepherdess of the Glaciers’ protagonist, Tsering. They shared the same hard life until, at age 14, Stanzin went to study in Delhi. He has previously directed Living with Change: Voices from Ladakh (2009) and co-directed Migchoou (2008). Stanzin now lives in Leh, Ladakh, and makes frequent trips to France to lecture and present his films.

Stanzin and Christiane’s previous collaborations include Land of Summits (2009), What We May Have Lost (2012) and Jungwa: The Broken Balance (2012).

Awards for this film include: Visions Du Reel 2016: International Premiere International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala 2016: Special Jury Mention (Long Documentary); and, after BANFF from Canada, “The Shepherdess of the Glaciers” Won the Best Documentary Award of CINEMATHEQUEMONTAGE at GAP.

For the Festival’s Sheep Tales Gathering, we will be at the Sun Valley Opera House to screen the film and then conduct a Question & Answer Session with Stanzin.  The evening will be moderated by Linda Cortright. Linda is the
editor and publisher of Wild Fibers Magazine.  In addition to publishing the magazine, she offers multiple tours annually connecting travelers with wild fibers and remarkable people around the world through adventurous and thoughtful trips.  Linda has coordinated bringing Stanzin to the US in Fall 2017 and his participation in the Trailing of the Sheep Festival is a centerpiece of this visit.

Online registration begins Saturday, July 1 and runs through Thursday, October 5 at 11:59 pm.
Registration at Limelight Hotel Ketchum (Festival Headquarters) Friday, October 6 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm or at the Sun Valley Opera house starting at 6:00 pm until sold out.



The Story of Wool

Presented by Cindy Siddoway and John Helle

Saturday, October 7, 2017
11 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm
Folklife Fair - Roberta McKercher Park, Hailey

Cindy and her husband Jeff are the current majority shareholders of the Siddoway Sheep Company, Inc. She is also past president of the American Sheep Industry Association and past chairman of the Idaho Farm Service State Committee. Under Jeff and Cindy’s leadership, their ranch increased in size and scope. At one point, they had up to 14,000 breeding ewes. Since then, they have cut back to approximately 10,000. This translates to production of over 100,000 pounds of wool each year. Her knowledge of sheep, wool and the industry as a whole is vast and this is a presentation not to miss!

John Helle
Helle Rambouillet

John Helle is the second generation rancher of Helle Rambouillet, producers of fine wool sheep. He is part of this third generation family sheep ranch located in the town of Dillon, Montana. They run a fine wool range sheep operation that offers replacement ewes and Rambouillet rams for sale. 

In addition to producing fine wool and competitive carcasses, they are also being successfully used for resource management and weed control. Helle Rambouillet specializes in providing quality breeding stock and pride themselves on their fine wool which is now available through Duckworth.

History of Sheepherding in the Wood River
Valley with John Peavey, Rancher, Flat Top Sheep Co.

Sunday, October 8, 2017
9:30 am - 11:00 am
Starbucks at the Sun Valley Visitor Center
Sun Valley Road, Ketchum

Local historian Jerry Seiffert and third generation sheep rancher, John Peavey,  Flat Top Sheep Co., will be on hand to tell stories of the Wood River Valley and the Lane Merc, a gathering place for sheepmen over the years.

Sheep Shuttle & Sheepherder Walk

With John Peavey, Rancher, Flat Top Sheep Co. and
Jerry Seiffert, Local Historian

Sunday, October 8, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Ketchum Forest Service Park

Enjoy a guided hike through area aspen groves to view sheepherder tree carvings a disappearing western art form. Ride the Sheep Shuttle to the Sheepherder hike north of Ketchum. Third generation sheep rancher and former Senator,   John Peavey, Flat Top Sheep Co. and Jerry Seiffert will share stories and answer questions about the history and traditions of sheep ranching life. And, John and his loyal sheepdog Aggie, will be on the bus to share stories during the ride!