Idaho’s “Trailing of the Sheep Festival” to Spotlight Women in Ranching

This year’s Sheep Tales Gathering at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Idaho will present unique stories from three different ranches in the West.

Marcia Barinaga’s ranching story is steeped in her family’s Basque heritage, starting a ranch on her own in California. What began as a dairy farm has now transitioned into one that produces fiber. Alongside Marcia will be Julie Hansmire’s story of continuing the family ranch after losing her husband. Although a hard-working rancher by day (and often night), Julie tries to make time for a life outside of ranching in Colorado.

Also, not to be missed are the stories of the mother/daughter team of Andrée and Bianca Soares, who manage the family’s commercial sheep and goat business, sharing a commitment to both targeted grazing and protecting the land from the threat of wildfire. This conversation will be moderated by multi-generation Idaho rancher Mike Guerry.

Each fall, the Trailing of the Sheep Festival honors the 150+ year annual tradition of moving sheep (trailing) from high mountain summer pastures down through the valley to traditional winter grazing and lambing areas in the south. This annual migration is living history and the focus of a unique and authentic festival that celebrates the people, arts, cultures and traditions of Idaho’s sheep ranching families, while highlighting the principal contributors – the Basques, Scottish and Peruvians.

The five-day festival – Oct. 5-9 this year – includes non-stop activities in multiple venues focusing on history, folk arts, a sheep folklife fair, lamb culinary offerings, a wool festival with classes and workshops, music, dance, storytelling, and championship sheepdog trials. In addition, the always entertaining Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep hoofing it down Main Street in Ketchum, Idaho, remains a highlight of the festivities.

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Source: Trailing of the Sheep

Free Fecal Egg Count Analysis from University of Rhode Island

Building on Success: Expanding Opportunities for Sustainable Management of Small Ruminant GI Parasites USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (LNE19-381) 

Small Ruminant Producers:

Do you want more parasite-resistant animals?

Summer 2022: Free Fecal Egg Count (FEC) analysis

to assist with selective breeding for resistance to gastrointestinal worms


New or current National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) members either in or marketing to the Northeast who want to generate Estimated Breeding Values (EBV) for parasite resistance.

Producers must be able to obtain and ship fecal samples once or twice (at least 4 weeks later) following NSIP recommendations.

Animals must NOT have been dewormed within 4 weeks of sampling.

Fecal egg counts can be conducted for all young stock whose data is being submitted to NSIP.

For more information on the benefits of membership in NSIP please visit or contact the NSIP Program Director, Rusty Burgett, (

– OR –

Non-NSIP members living in New England, NY, NJ, PA, WV, MD, DE

Have a history of problems with gastrointestinal nematode worms.

Are FAMACHA©certified (online training program is available).

Are willing to share FAMACHA©scores as well as general herd/flock information/history.

Have the ability to obtain and ship fecal samples once or twice (at least 4 wks later).

Animals must NOT have been dewormed within 4 weeks of sampling.

To allow us to provide this service to the maximum number of producers we are focusing the FEC testing on young replacement animals.

FAMACHA©scores can be used to indicate that worm season is active and will provide fecal egg counts high enough for meaningful analysis (minimum herd average >500 eggs/g). Scores of 3 or higher in 10% or more of your flock/herd or an overall upward trend in FAMACHA©scores away from normal 1’s and 2’s indicate increasing parasite loads. Peak parasite season occurs typically from mid-July through mid-September in most of the U.S. NSIP producers should plan on submitting a first set up samples in July to allow for the 30 to 45 days needed before sending the second set of samples.

We prefer that first samples are taken by Mid-August 2022 but samples will be accepted for analysis through September 30, 2022.

Please complete the Pre-Registration to receive further information.

Access the Pre-Registration by clicking here for the link.

Please contact Elizabeth Kass or Dr. Katherine Petersson, University of Rhode Island at with any questions.

For more information on small ruminant parasite control visit our website at