2010-05-13 / Local & State

Anderson Recipient Of Rare Breed Sheep From Youth Conservation Program

Pictured above is Keith at the festival with his ewe, “Gissell,” from Mount Vernon, Va. Pictured above is Keith at the festival with his ewe, “Gissell,” from Mount Vernon, Va. Keith Anderson of Three Springs traveled to Howard County, Md., on Saturday, May 2, to attend the Howard County Sheep and Wool Festival and to receive two ewe sheep.

In order to participate in the program, Keith was required to write an essay that introduced him, his experience with animals and why he would like to help preserve a heritage rare breed of sheep. Keith also had to research and decide what breed he would like to learn and know more about. Each applicant also had to submit letters of recommendation from 4-H leaders, teachers or clergy. Keith was recommended by 4-H leader Kevin Goshorn and school teacher Marge Wilson.

According to reports, Keith submitted his essay along with his recommendations and within a month received notification that he had won two ewe sheep. Keith was the only recipient to receive two ewe sheep. The Youth Conservationist Program awarded sheep to 16 participates from several states, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois and Ohio.

Keith received his ewe from two different donors to the program. Ben Shughart of Carlisle donated a Hog Island sheep, and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of Mount Vernon, Va., also donated a Hog Island ewe to Keith.

The Hog Island sheep breed is named after Hogg Island. The island was a 17th Century settlement in Virginia. Hog Island sheep are descended from sheep raised decades ago on Hogg Island. Mature ewes weigh about 90 pounds, rams about 125. Their fleece is typically white but sometimes black. Rams and ewes can have horns. To date there are about 200 in existence! The American Livestock Breed Conservancy has the Hog Island sheep in a “critical” status.

Keith is the son of Wayne and Carrie Anderson of Three Springs and the great grandson of the late Charles and Catherine Palmer of Warfordsburg. Keith is currently enrolled in the fifth grade at Spring Farms Elementary School. He is very active with the Southern Pride 4-H Club and loves to play baseball, ride his go-cart and playing piano and saxophone.

Keith will be required to show his ewe sheep at the Huntingdon County Fair and at the state level.

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