Starting 2021 and I am already 8 months behind.  Home is still here in the Central part of Montana. We are still raising Cattle and Registered Texel and Icelandic sheep. We have a few crossbreds but they are used in our breed-up part of our Texel flock. Dale has one Texel x Hamp x Suffolk ewe and her texel x lamb for his flock.   Right now we are doing our best to increase our genetics and size of our Texel flock and maintain our small Icelandic flock.

Dale and I are still keeping busy with the day to day challenges of ranching. With the passing of Dale’s mom in January life has been changing for us.  Our daughter Boo is working contract labor for us on the Ranch.  She has moved out to Grandmas’ house and is more hands on, so more bees and she already has added a new dog, rabbits and wants pigs and a milk cow.  Glad these are hers to worry about.

Back to the sheep:
I did not AI any sheep last year but had some wonderful texel rams by Tradmarke for us and a son of our 802 ram.  They produced nice lambs.  With the crazy weather last fall I short bred my ewe lambs and they did not catch to the texel rams but caught to the crossbred bucks.  This actually turned out well and I will be looking at doing that again this year.

I plan on doing some AI so am looking at getting the girls set up with the protocol and cidrs.  It is only August but days seem to go by faster it seems.  We will be using a Trademark son for breeding this fall and also a Trademark grandson who is a grandson of our 802 ram and Steele out of Canada.  We will be using some UK semen and NZ semen once again so hope to have some nice new genetics for next year. Thanks to Patrea Pabst for selling me some of her semen for these breedings.

For the Icelandics I have some nice ewe lambs.  Most of the ram lambs ended up with not so good horn genetics so will be going into the freezer.  Looks like we have interest in those so that is good.  The price of lamb is up so that is good also.  Boo will be tanning some of the pelts and there will be some pretty ones.  We are trading our Svanur ram to Jeannie Reed for a polled ram to breed with so hopefully next year we will have some really nice polled ram lambs.  We will also try and AI a couple of ewes.  I am thinking the Svanur daughter and one other but have not chosen who.

We have not stayed in NSIP as it was an added cost and we do not travel to shows.  I did not see where enough people are interested in EBV’s to make that pay yet.  We have rams going to Eastern Montana this year so far and have a few ram lambs and a couple of yearling Texel for sale.  It has been very dry as it has been in a lot of the West this year.

One fun thing was our oldest son got married in January. Dale called it a destination wedding.  Plane tickets were cheap but who else flies to North Dakota in January.  We love out new Daughter-in-law and got 4 bonus grandchildren to boot.  Still waiting for the last two to find matches but that it out of our control.

We have been blessed with good health, good family and good friends.  The steers calves will be leaving in early Oct. and maybe Dale and I will get a vacation instead of just a stay-cation.  Did I mention the price of lamb is up, can’t wait for the lambs next spring.

Call or come visit, the coffee is always on.
Dale and Lilly LeVeque