It’s the season of “Thanksgiving” and we couldn’t be more THANKFUL for our November Women of Wool feature - Victoria Carroll. Follow along as she tells us her story.
I may not have grown up on the farm but the farm is where I have always belonged. My Mama grew up one of 8 girls, born to a ranching family who had the Sims Ranch north of Shoshone Idaho running 1000 sheep. Grandpa bought the Punkin’ Ranch and went into dairy production with his crew of 8 girls who milked by hand morning and night until they installed automatic milk machines. Growing up we made many trips to Idaho to help on the farms of my Grandparents and ranching Aunts. Though I’m not sure we were considered much help, we did love being there during lambing, calving and potato harvest each year. I learned then that I would be involved in Agriculture somehow, somewhere. In 1998 when my 2 children were almost grown, I had the opportunity to apply to Southern Utah University with a desire to get my Agriculture and Nursing degrees. I had a great agriculture professor who encouraged me to pursue my dream and do those things that made me happy! I became a registered Nurse and the University Farm’s Sheep Queen. While attending school, and after being there every day to help do chores, I was invited to move into one of the houses at the University Farm. I would spend countless hours in the barn late at night observing the Mama’s and the lambs behaviors as they interacted with each other, which I found amazing! My nursing and agriculture education helped me implement many new herd health and lambing practices which increased our production and made for healthy babies and happy Mamas, which in turn made for happier farmers! Many thanks to Kirt Bussio, Farm Manager, who took me under his wing to teach me about the farm, sheep, cattle, irrigation and crops. We worked side by side together to put up hay and care for the cows and sheep. It was in the sheep barn during lambing that I found my real passion. I have treasured every minute at the farm and the opportunities to help grow the herd for the University, which has improved our wool crop, ram lamb selections, replacement ewe lambs and our market lamb production. I have been fortunate to have been able to assist with the students education on the farm and especially sheep production. I have been fortunate to have had some of the best interns spend a year in the life of the sheep while going to school at SUU! All of this would not be possible without building a good working relationship with our Veterinarian Doc Bagley, a great Shepard himself, who taught me a lot about herd health improvements and his love of the sheep. Tom Boyer another great mentor has been instrumental in encouraging young people, and old ones like me to get involved in our Utah Wool Growers Association and American Sheep Industry. I can’t think of a greater group of passionate people who care for the land and their animals more than this great group! During the last 20 years at the farm I was able to purchase my own registered Suffolk Flock, Flying V Livestock, producing both registered seed stock, range rams and market lambs. Producer and Niche Marketer of High Country Lamb to provide an All Natural Lamb product for our local consumers, offering a “Taste of Southern Utah at its Best”! I love to prepare lamb dishes and feed many people who have a love for good food, family and friendship! If you get a chance stop by the Utah Wool Growers Education trailer at the Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival the 4th weekend of October and enjoy some of my delicious lamb samples! It is with great appreciation and love of the sheep that I announce my next great adventure! I have relocated to Greenville Utah (west of Beaver about 6 miles) where my little sister has a nice little farm that my “Wooly Girls” love! Together we care for our Mama who is 92 years young this year while keeping the cow milked, horses fed and the wooly girls happy in production! I look forward to continuing the many friendships I have been fortunate enough to make over the years! I have worked hard and am so blessed to have been able to work with such a great group with the Utah Wool Growers Association as a Board member and Auxillary member alongside the greatest leadership team! Blessed to have been an active consignor and buyer at the Utah Ram Sale! And to have known so many wonderful people who love the sheep industry as much as I do! See Ya around the Woolies! THANK YOU Victoria for you love and commitment to the sheep industry! We are THANKFUL to have you on our side.