February 23, 2023 2 min read
Our sheep herders are mostly Peruvian, they come in on work visas. Our summer range actually doesn't even have fences, so herding the sheep is really important. It's a really unique job, they stay with the sheep 24/7. The sheepherders live in a traditional sheep wagon, you can see a couple behind me. Those wagons are useful because they can be moved in the rugged mountains and stay with the sheep. The sheepherders job is to make sure that they stayed where they belong and that they go through their rotation correctly, making sure that they don't go over the same place too many times. It keeps the land healthy and makes it sustainable.
We also have guard dogs which live with the sheep. Those dogs have the instinct to be protective of the sheep. They help keep the wolves, coyotes and bears at bay. It's a really effective way to coexist with those predators. We just kind of claim our space and they stay out of it.
It is a lost art herding sheep. It's almost like a language to keep the sheep moving in the right direction. A good sheep herder will direct the dogs and the dogs will go out and very gently move the sheep. Those dogs do all the heavy lifting and they love it. It's the only thing they want to do.
We have guys that have worked with us for as long as 23 years now. It's our job keeping them supplied with what they need. It takes frequent trips to the mountain hauling supplies up groceries to the sheepherders, dog food for the dogs. It's all about keeping the sheep happy because at the end of the day when we take care of the sheep they take care of us.