A Man, A Few Sheep and Greenlee County, Arizona

In April 1923, The Morning Sun, Yuma, reported how one farmer in Greenlee County showed the value of raising sheep on the Arizona farm. Quoting the newspaper the man showed “just what can be done by a progressive man, alone.” The man moved into the county a few years ago bringing with him in a wagon a few Mexican ewes. As of the writing of the article one of these ewes was still on his farm. She had proved her worth by producing some of the best shearing ewes. The ewe “is of the open-faced, clean-legged kind, with a good smooth covering of flesh”. Rambouillet bucks were used for breeding when he first began until the quality of wool had increase and, as of the writing of the article, now used pure bred Hampshire bucks. Very robust lambs are now being obtained. He cannot keep up the demand for market lambs and had used his power to encourage other farmers to also raise sheep. The man believed that two or three other flocks would do well in the area.

The man had used the sheep to clear out Johnson grass in one of his pastures. The article also stated that “The worth of sheep on ditch banks is well known all over the State, and once a man has tried it, he is only the more convinced that this is, by far, the best solution, even though a little extra initial investment is required for fencing the ditch banks and obtaining the foundation flock.”

The article concluded that sheep raisers figured that one lamb paid for the ewe’s winter keep and the wool and other lamb, as most ewes have two lambs, represent the profit to the farmer.

What is unfortunate about this article is that we do not know when the man started his sheep flock, the number of sheep he ran after his initial bringing of the ewes into Greenlee County, where he obtained the bucks for breeding, no do we know who he was. But sometimes that is all the information one can find in the early newspapers and as more newspapers are read, hopefully more information will come to light about the gentleman!

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