The American Romney Breeders Association (ARBA), is the registrar for and promoter of Romney sheep in the United States and Canada. ARBA registers both white and natural colored Romneys. We welcome your visit!

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Article By Junior Member Alexandra Rogers

by Site Admin on October 18, 2017

I am very happy to be writing the Junior ARBA article this month as it is the last time I will be able to call myself a junior member. The Romney Junior show at NAILE will be my last junior show ever. This has made me reflect on how 10 years ago I was a young 4-Her who loved her sheep and couldn’t imagine winning her county fair, let alone attending the biggest sheep showing event of the year. My purebred sheep journey started in April 2008 when I decided to buy two white Romney ewe lambs from Little Hooves. It was one of the best choices I could have made. Charlene and Kenny have encouraged me since day one to go to all the shows I possibly could and even trailered sheep for me when my trailer was not trustworthy enough for the longer trips. They sold me the finest quality ewes that had stellar conformation and gorgeous fleeces. For the first few years I was terrified to do much fitting on my show sheep, as I did not want to mess up their beautiful wool. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have another Romney veteran show me the ropes on fitting. Ed Julian took time at every show he attended to come demonstrate and give me pointers on how to improve my fitting style. Today when I am at shows, I tell my mom I will be done when the animal is up to the “Ed Julian standard” of fitting.

Once I was able to have some level of competency at fitting, my next step was to fix my feeding regimen. I also have Cotswolds and they tend to grow very quick on little to no feed while my Romneys looked like they needed an extra push to reach the level I wanted them at. Yet another long-time Romney breeder helped me out with this issue. Graeme Stewart took time out of his day and talked to me about the proper protein percentages in feed and how to supplement my animals’ diet. It took a bit of time to find the correct combinations that work for my mixed flock, but because of him I can now finally say I am happy with the level of conditioning my Romneys have in the show ring.

We all work hard for the successes in life that we achieve. However, we cannot forget that we did not get to where we are alone, but through the guidance we received from those more experienced than us along the way. I can honestly say that without the wisdom imparted on me by these Romney all-stars, I would never have reached the level of proficiency I am at today. Although my journey as a junior member is done, I plan to continue my efforts to improve my flock and continue to learn as much as I can so that one day I can help young Romney herdsmen as I was helped for the past decade. Thank you, Romney mentors. I would not be here without you.

Alexandra Rogers

Fiber enthusiasts are coming together for the seventh annual Fiber Festival of New England, Nov. 4 & 5 in the Mallary Complex at Eastern States Exposition. Hours are Sat., 9am – 5pm and Sun., 9am – 3pm. The event, co-produced by the Exposition and the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association, promotes the use of wool and other natural fibers and related products to the general public.

More than 150 New England exhibitors will be showcasing their products including clothing, quilts, blankets, rugs, looms, spinning wheels and more. Workshops on felting, spinning, punch needle, Tunisian crochet, rug hooking and more will be held both days.

In addition to being an ideal holiday shopping opportunity with handmade items from over 200 vendor booths, The Fiber Festival is a great educational experience for visitors to learn how animals contribute to the fiber industry through live displays of llamas, alpacas, sheep, and rabbits.

Activities include:

  • The Make It with Wool Competition is a national competition in which contestants select, construct and model their own garments. Make It With Wool promotes the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics and yarns and encourages creativity in sewing, knitting and crocheting. The competition is open to entrants of all ages.
  • A Fleece Sale will be ongoing throughout the Festival and is open to all. Be the first in line to purchase a fleece. Those interested in contributing fleeces should send them to arrive on or before Friday, Nov. 3, or bring them to the Mallary Complex Nov. 3, 9am to 8pm. Please include the date shorn, breed of animal and producer information.
  • Sheep Shearing demos will also take place throughout the weekend.

Admission to The Fiber Festival of New England is $7 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more information and tickets, or to sign up for a workshop, please visit FiberFestival.org.

Eastern States Exposition
Home of The Big E
1305 Memorial Avenue
West Springfield MA 01089

ARBA Junior Article by Zane Van Horsen from OR

by Site Admin on October 7, 2017

I have spent my entire life surrounded by sheep–trust me,there are baby pictures of me in piles of wool and conversing with lambs–however, I just recently started my endeavor into the world of sheep showing. Prior to this last year, I had helped people show but never brought my own animals, so my experience level in preparing a sheep for a show was literally as novice as it could possibly be. I persisted though. I showed up to the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon with my purebred white and moorit Romneys and my natural coloureds in search of experience and a good time. Now, you have to remember that I had next to no experience in fitting a sheep to make it look it’s best, so my sheep were literally pulled out of the field, tagged, feet trimmed, and very, very roughly shaped to go to a show. Of course I was in the first show of the first day, so I paraded into the ring with fresh out of the field animals. I promptly placed last in every class. Luckily, I didn’t let this get to me, and I had some wonderful people come and save my entire show by teaching me the simplest way to make my sheep look presentable. Those people who came to my aid are why I love being a part of the sheep community. They came to the rescue of a teenager in over her head and only asked that I never showed up to a show with sheep looking so raggedy ever again. I appreciate these people so much and am so thankful that I know them. It also helps that I now know how to fit a sheep. I went from last place in every class to winning a champion and Golden Fleece ram this year at our State fair. The support and community that I have found in showing sheep is just another part of what makes the sheep industry so amazing.


by Site Admin on October 7, 2017

If you see this sweet smiling young lady around the barn, give her a pat on the back and a high five. This is Cadence Higgins, better known as Cady. She is 11 yrs old, from Connecticut, and raises Romneys. She is an active ARBA JR member who can be seen in the show ring, as well as, in the lead line classes. If the name sound familiar to you, it may be because when she goes to a show, she participates in everything that it offers, most often placing at the top in showmanship, skillathon, judging and other promotional events. Cady is bubbly, friendly and out- going. While at BigE this year, Cady decided that she wanted to raise money to give additional awards to the show. Her fund raising ideas were basic, easy and fun. She and some of her friends, walked their sheep around the barn, and invited visitors to take sheep selfies for a small fee. When she wasn’t doing selfies, she could be seen sitting by the sheep pens selling chocolate bars. While sitting and selling, she would answer questions about the sheep and help to educate the public, and the public was not only interested in the sheep but also her plans for the funds and felt it to be a very worthy cause. With some of the money raised, she donated a cash award to the Best White and Best NC Romney Fleece of the show. She has big plans for future fund raising and wants to help with the ARBA Regional Show and NEYSS next year. I, for one, am glad she is on our team and look forward to her support. She is a breath of fresh air. As adults, we sit back and plan, discuss and plan, cross our T’s and dot our I’s, and plan. Cady just decided to “do it”, and sometimes, just “doing it” gets results. Thanks Cady, your smile and enthusiasm are contagious, keep up the good work.