ARBA Juniors at NAILE

ARBA Juniors at NAILE

Welcome to the ARBA Junior page – dedicated to our enthusiastic young members!

The ARBA mission statement for youth is:

“To encourage youth to care and maintain Romney sheep as a way of learning responsibility. To encourage youth to join with other Romney youth to learn sportsmanship, enhance social skills, ethical behavior, leadership traits and a better understanding of success and failure.”

Ethan and Caitlin Plank (from Michigan)

For more information on Romneys for youth, see:

Our latest articles relating to ARBA Juniors are listed below. For older Juniors articles, check our Juniors Archive.

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Adeline’s Article

by Site Admin on June 6, 2018

Post image for Adeline’s Article

Hello my name is Adeline Skidmore I am a 6 year old sheep farmer in Harford county Maryland.

Over the past few years I have learned that lambs are a lot of fun. Playing with ewe lambs are different than ram lambs. Ram lambs like to head butt you. I really like when they practice lamb ballet jumping all around. Now let’s talk about halter breaking. That can be a lot of fun too. They flop around and play dead. My ram lamb Sherman laid down and played dead so I thought I’d join him.

Other than working with the sheep and a few fairs I plan on spending time this summer spinning on my wheel. Reading LOTS of books for the library summer reading program. I have a bunch of crafts that I’d like to get done too like rock painting. Some backyard fires and camp outs are also on my summer to do list. Let’s not forget swimming and soaking in some sun rays.

I really enjoy sheep because they are snuggly and soft and they have lots of personality.

I look forward to seeing you around the show ring!

Ewe Lamb Raffle

by Site Admin on April 29, 2018

All proceeds to sponsor Romney Jrs at the All American and NAILE. Ewe lamb donated by Little Hooves Romneys. Support our youth by selling or buying tickets. $5 each or 5 for $20. Drawing to be held Sept 24th, 2018 at the North East Regional Romney Show in West Springfield, MA (BigE).

Click for Flyer

Lambing Season!

by Site Admin on March 1, 2018

Isn’t it a wonderful time of year? Lambing season! This is where all new winners start- new year, new sheep! Lambs all over are being born and already look like contenders. As someone who has been in the show ring since I was five, the traits and characteristics I look for my show flock are specific to what I hear from the judges; length of loin, consistent fleece, black points, among many others. These, I constantly check as the lambs grow. Yet, all my Romneys have the qualities I wish for them to possess; cute faces, fuzzy fleeces, and unique personalities. As a youth in this industry, I take pride in my flock. Regardless of their show ring attributes, our lambs are just that, our lambs- they are our hard work , dedication, and hours of enjoyment. Happy lambing!

Written by Cadence Higgins from CT

2017 Romney Futurity Results

by Site Admin on January 5, 2018

Post image for 2017 Romney Futurity Results

American Romney Breeders are proud to announce the winner of their 2017 Futurity. First place was secured by Megan Higgins of Coventry, CT. Megan did an awesome job of raising and showing this Fall Ewe Lamb. This lamb was purchased at the Romney National Sale held at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May 2017. The Futurity program is done yearly, please check it out and encourage your friends to be a part of this program. Breeders support this show by nominating ewe lambs in public or online sales and youth who purchase these lambs gain points by participating in shows. At the end of the year, the money is split by percentages, between participants based on points earned. It is the hope that this incentive will assist our youth in purchasing livestock to better their flock. Thanks Megan for participating in our Futurity program.

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

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.

Junior Column for the Banner magazine

by Site Admin on March 25, 2017

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest! I am a junior member with the American Romney Breeders Association (ARBA) and with the Oregon Romney Breeders Association (ORBA). I have a flock of 28 Romney ewes, both white and natural colored. I began raising Romneys when I was ten years old and have been active for many years in 4-H and FFA. I currently serve as a junior director for the Oregon Romney Breeders Association and am enrolled at Oregon State University, majoring in animal science.

Here in western Oregon we have mild, wet winters, but this winter we have received an excessive amount of rain. Everyone is ready for Spring! Being acclimated to a wet environment the Romneys have pulled through the wet winter with no problems. The lambs are growing well and it is time to pick out the project lambs for the coming show season.

The Romney is an excellent choice for a youth project. They are a dual-purpose breed with a quiet disposition making them easy for youth to handle. They are an ideal breed for showing and are very attractive in the show ring. In addition, their fleeces place very high in wool shows and can be sold to hand-spinners.

This year the National Romney Sale will be held at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival on May 6th. Out here on the West Coast, youth will find that the Romney breed is well represented at the Willamette Valley Ram Sale held in Scio, Oregon on July 29th. You can also visit the American Romney Breeders Association’s website at http://americanromney.org/ and find a breeder near you listed in the membership directory.

I’ve been watching my lambs and I’ve got my eye on a couple of new champions bouncing around in the flock. I hope you’ve got some in yours, too. See you in the show ring!

Nicole Murray
Junior Member, ARBA