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Show-Me Life: A family-run sheep shows brings extended family to town for good competition and fellowship.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

May 26, 2023

1 Min View

What’s your one summer place you just can’t wait to get to? The lake? A timeshare by the ocean? A campsite in the woods? Ringside at a sheep show?

Yup, that last one is me. Just how much of a livestock show addict am I, or should I say are we? My family created a sheep show during the COVID-19 pandemic!

My brother — who I write about entirely too much — wanted his kids and others to be able to exhibit during a time when fairs, correction, the country shut down. He wanted them to get out, be among their friends and enjoy life. So, he turned to family, and we jumped at the chance.

He dubbed it Freedom Fest Breeding Sheep Jackpot Show. It takes place Memorial Day weekend every year. It’s our fourth show, and my, how it’s grown — taking over the Swine Barn on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Why such a big venue?

Well, all of those parents and youth realize what we do — our summertime is best spent around family — and there is nothing like the sheep family we’ve created over the years and across the states. They will travel far — New Hampshire, Texas and Minnesota — to enjoy good competition, but even better camaraderie.

So, I’m headed out — as my youngest daughter says calling a class on the mic, “I need you ringside and ready.” Best seats in the house, all summer long.

Do you want to feel the excitement our family experiences? Click on the video above and watch our next generation work and play.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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