Jenny Johnson Halterman
It’s that time again…our September “Women of Wool” is
. She grew up in the small farming community of Holden, Utah. Although they didn’t live on a farm, she grew up changing oil, rotating tires, harvesting fruit & vegetables and occasionally raising calves to stock the freezer. Jenny was active in 4-H & FFA as a young girl. She attended Dixie State College, gaining a drafting degree & then moved to Utah State University earning a Bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation with a Natural Resource minor. While attending USU, she worked as a full-time seasonal at Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area & after college became a crew boss for a recreation crew on the Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forest for 5 years. She didn’t realize then that farming & livestock were in her future. She first met her husband on a blind date, where he prepared “dead sheep” for dinner. That was her introduction to mutton and it was delicious! After dating for over a year she re-located to Iron County to be with him since there was no moving the farm closer to her. The year before they married, she took a job for his family during lambing season. There were all the basic chores of checking for new lambs, moving bunches, cleaning pens, and docking; but they also put her in charge of the doggie lambs. Since she had never been around sheep, this was new to her, but she fell in love. That first year, she raised 80, not knowing that that was unusual and feeling like she had given that many away along the way; she thought that’s what everyone did. After making it through a lambing season of about 1800 head, they figured they could probably be married, and each year since she has raised as many doggies as she can. Her highest total was 176 the year she was pregnant with their 1st baby. That gave Jenny a bit of a reputation, and she started hearing of people saying: “Ask the doggie lady” for different suggestions on ways to keep the little buggers alive. Whether giving or asking for advice, she has been fortunate to meet so many wonderful people as she has been learning the ropes in this industry. In between lambing seasons, there are always sprinklers to change, forage wagons to haul, feed wagons to drive & fields to be cut. Though, the swather and Jenny haven’t found a terribly harmonious relationship yet, she does what she can to help on the farm alongside her husband and with a couple of their own “little doggies” now. When lambing season rolls around, whether a big bunch or a small herd, she’ll be ready to be the “doggie lady” again, hoping she help a new generation grow up with a love of the land, the animals & the lifestyle of this 1st generation sheep woman in a 4th generation sheep family. Thanks Jenny for your positive attitude and outlook on the sheep industry!