Being a 14 year old involved in dairy cattle and sheep at home and going to school everyday can be exhausting. However, no matter how tired and frustrated we may get, being able to come home to animals is one of the best feelings in the world. My name is Katelyn Poitras and I am a 14 year old Southdown Junior from Massachusetts.
My first Southdown was awarded to me when I was seven.I had written and submitted an essay for the Southdown Youth Scholarship Award. In 2011, at the Northeast Youth Sheep Show, suspense was getting built up inside me as I waited for them to announce the winner. Then just like that, my name was announced over the loudspeaker for the whole barn to hear! I was so excited for my very own Southdown, I had shown sheep since I was 4 but I wanted my own breed so I could be different from my cousins. The ewe was donated from the Thayer Family, Splendorview 1301 and I went to shows all summer together. Who knew that in just 7 years Splendorview 1301 would have a ewe lamb that was second place at NEYSS, another one who was 4th open and 1st junior at The Big E and 8th in the National Southdown Show in Louisville, KY? I certainly did not.
My favorite part of raising and showing sheep would probably have to be the people you meet along the way. The people I have met in my seven years of showing Southdowns are truly amazing people. I have met so many people from across the country who share the same passion I share, owning, raising, and breeding Southdown sheep. However, raising sheep isn’t all sunshine. I have had first hand experience that animals can go from being perfectly healthy and in good body condition one day to a few days later they aren’t eating and have lost a lot of weight. It’s always hard seeing the animals you have worked so hard for just get sick and there is nothing you can do. The best thing to do is to move past it and start working towards the next ‘big challenge’.
My most favorite moment when raising my little flock of now six Southdown sheep would definitely have to be when I was waiting in the airport on my way home from Louisville watching the National Southdown Show Live stream. I had sold one of my ewes at the Big E this year and she now lives in South Dakota. She was 11th in the junior show and 8th in the National Southdown open Show! I was so excited for her new owners! She is a bred and owned ewe out of Splendorview 1301 and I am very happy that I had the opportunity to sell her to such great people!
I’m very excited to be writing for something that I am so passionate about!