Who we are

Ramsay Farms is situated in the northeastern part of Ottertail County, near Perham, Minnesota. This family farm of 320 acres has been in the Ramsay family for five generations, dating back to 1892. Today our farm prides itself on our Simmental cattle, Shetland Sheep and BlueFaced Leicester sheep. We strive to breed animals that closest match the breed standards given to them, and mindful of production, health and longevity in our animals as well.
In spring of 2016, there was a purchase of 32 acres in Green County, Wisconsin to accommodate Garrett for his work in that region. The animals have for the most part been moved to that location. Both locations will work in tandem to continue educating and promoting these animals and this way of life.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Preserve. Protect. Promote

ARTICLE 3: MISSION STATEMENT AND PURPOSE

Mission Statement: To produce, preserve, and promote fine fleece Shetland sheep that adhere to the 1927 Shetland breed standard as clarified by the SSS Appendix A.
Purpose: The Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association was formed to preserve and promote fine fleece Shetland Sheep as defined in the 1927 Flock Book Shetland Breed Standard and the SSS Appendix A clarification. All members of the group are committed to breeding and promoting sheep that adhere to those documents. 

The 1927 Shetland Breed Standard as well as the Shetland Sheep Society’s Appendix A are part of this organization’s founding documents.

Three words that are in the Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association mission statement are "Preserve, Protect,  and Promote. Let's break these down one at a time.

Preserve. Webster-Merriam describes it as: to keep safe from injury, loss or ruin. 

In the case of our kindly fleece Shetlands, it would be to keep safe from loss or ruin. We certainly do not want to lose our 1927 Standard Shetlands. We do not want them be lost in the sea of atypical Shetlands in North America. There are several 'levels' of preservation I think we need to be aware of as breeder, but also as an association as well.

1. Obviously fleece is a big deal on Shetlands. Its the most controversial part about the sheep in the USA. We do not want to have kindly fleeced Shetlands become more rare than they are now. Strides have been made to make fine fleeced Shetlands available to each other now that there is a way to unify us across the country. The fleece is an important part of the Shetland history, especially as the kindly fleeced Shetland has always been rare, and the entire 1927 standard was created to protect and preserve this very special sheep.

2. patterns/markings/colors are also needed to be preserved. What good is a kindly Shetland if it only comes in black? or just white? we want to preserve all parts of the 1927 standard Shetland. This includes spots, patterns and modified colors. The standard does explicitly comment on all of them, as there are more than are in the standard, and a few rare patterns have shown up that we are now just realizing are in the breed. We as an association MUST make sure we do not lose the rare patterns or spots or modified colors in our quest for something else. Individuals can concentrate on certain colors or patterns, but we should all have room to keep at least ONE rare color/pattern in our flocks if are truly going to preserve this breed in its entirety.

3. Preservation of both polled sheep and horned sheep. This includes horned ewes, polled rams and horned rams. While some may be more popular, we must strive to preserve all varieties of horns/or lack of horns in all patterns and colors. Do we have polled light badgerface 1927 Standard Shetlands? Probably not. Do we have many polled gray rams? horned gulmoget rams or ewes? I personally don't think we are in a position yet here in North America where one flock can concentrate on say just polled blacks, when we need other patterns/colors also in polled. Or just breeding for horned katmogets. If we had 100 members that might be different, but were do we go for diversity later on, if we don't all keep a few extra to help preserve them?


what about the word protect?

from the same website (Webster-Merriam) Protect: to keep (someone or something) from being harmed, lost, etc.

Protect should be self explanatory. However my mind immediately goes to someone standing on their front porch with a shot gun waiting for a vagabond or coyote to stop for a lunch (or steal from the property), but that is not what i want to describe.

As a group of educated and committed breeders it is our job to protect our 1927 Standard, kindly fleeced Shetlands by ensuring that future generations of Shetlands of this quality and make are around to be enjoyed by future farmers/shepherds. How do we do this? By breeding and registering only sheep that adhere to the 1927 standard, and appendix A. Fiber flocks and pets are of course wonderful additions to people's lives, but serious breeders will continue breeding correct animals and in a way, that is protecting them, for future years. Culling is hard. Sometimes it can be emotional. But the breed suffers greatly when we do not have a culling protocol. Just look at how far the sheep have morphed since the original imports in to Canada. Every animal was registered. Every animal was bred from, and now we are in an over abundance of atypical sheep that are being called Shetlands and look nothing like the animals on Shetland in the flock book flocks, or on the mainland UK, in the Shetland Sheep Society. the FFSSA wool grading is one way to make sure the FLEECES pass what would be considered a Shetland fleece, but we must always be aware of the other Shetland breed traits that we must also protect (hardy, thrifty, fine boned, nimble, etc)


Lastly the word promote:


to help (something) happen, develop, or increase


One of the main goals of the FFSSA was originally, and continues to be, education. By educating the general public and potential new breeders we are able to in turn protect and preserve our 1927 standard Shetlands. Education is promotion on a level that doesn't just benefit the breeder trying to sell their stock or wool products. Many Shetland breeders NOT in the FFSSA use promoting just to sell their sheep for their own benefit. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I have found that all FFSSA members are in this not only for their own pleasure and profit, but also for the longevity of the breed. 

But what else can we do to promote them? Sponsor shows where FF Shetlands are being displayed or shown. Enter fleeces in local or regional shows. Enter sheep at those regional or local shows. Set up displays at county fairs, fiber events. Pass out samples at spinning guilds. Maybe even have a booth with your wool products and have historical articles or photos on display. Heck we even did rooing demos to further imprint on the general public at fiber events of festivals. MOST people will find unique things like rooing to be remembered for much longer than just a soft piece of wool. 

What else can we do to promote? Being good shepherds. Can we also reach out to just the sheep industry in general? Let's be known for healthy, low maintenance, thrifty sheep that can weather the months. Maybe other shepherds with other breeds would see just how easy to manage they are and how tame they can be. We will get our membership and new breeders from educating new people and the general public or even other sheep breed breeders. 


We believe in this breed. Breeding them to preserve them will be easy. Protecting them should come second nature to us. Like children or beloved pets, we will protect them.  We believe in the qualities that make the kindly Shetland what it is. We are fierce protectors of them and will stand firm against those who say otherwise. We have a vision, we have a Standard to uphold. And we have each other to help support us when we are down, and to celebrate when things are good.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Proven ewes for sale

Proven ewes for sale. I have decided to sell most of my solid moorit or black ewes (including modifieds) and a few of the rare light badger face ewes, and a few rare horned ewes.
These ewes are available July 1. A 25% deposit will hold the ewes until July 1.
WhitePine Des'ree - BB/B?, Aa/Aa, Ss/Ss - black smirslet F2 Jamie. She's a fine black, crimpy, dense and quite the looker. Reserved
WhitePine Snow Patrol - BB/B? Ab/A? - gray katmoget horned ewe. Jazz x Snow Cloud. horned ewe. Carries spots $325
WhitePine Skellister - Albf/Aa, BB/B? SS/Ss - black light badgerface horned ewe. Whistlestop 1123 x WhitePine Salome. horned ewe. rare pattern. carries spots. $325. Available now with her moorit ram ($400)
WhitePine Clousta - Aa/Aa BB/Bb SS/S? - shalea ewe. ShelteringPines Jardin de Suspendu x WhitePine Colby AI. F2 Timothy. modified ewe, carries moorit and spots. $350. Available now with her shaela ram lamb for $500.
WhitePine Brettabister - Ab/aa Bb/Bb SS/S? - fawn katmoget. Whistlestop 1222 x whitePine Blu Cantrel AI. POLLED fawn kat ewe with high percent UK bloodlines. SSS inspected and approved. $350 - available now.
WhitePine Scatsa - Ab/Aa BB/B? SS/Ss gray katmoget horned. WhitePine Flo Rida AI x WhitePine Snow Patrol. horned ewe with great handle, silky soft fine fleece with great length. carries moorit. $325 Available now with black ram lamb $400.
WhitePine Bivina - Ag/Aa Bb/Bb SS/Ss. musket ewe. WhitePine Flo Rida AI x Owl Hill Butter. she has always produced horned rams for me of perfect build and fleece, but never a ewe! Only one side of her udder works, but she has always singled. $275
WhitePine Pacena - Ag/Aa Bb/Bb SS/S? musket ewe. Polled. FirthofFifth Nekomis x OwlHill Pranilla AI. She has one of my best adult fleeces, but is polled from her mothers side. Phenominal ewe, tame and friendly. Only one side of her udder works, but always has singled. $375
WhitePine Bethany AI - fawn AaAa BbBb SSSs. Heights Orion x Justalit'l Black Lambo. I have always wanted to show her, just never had the chance. top ewe. Reserved
WhitePine Adele AI - fawn AaAa BbBb SSSs Heights Orion x FirthofFifth Ashanti $450. one of my finest ewes.I"ve kept 3 ewe lambs from her so she's available. RESERVED
More will be available after micron results return. 2015 micron tests are available. fleece samples available for viewing, farm visits, and possibly photos. smile emoticon
10% Discount on 3 or more sheep. Pick up only (transport could be arranged possibly with help)FFSSA approved ewes/registered, NASSA registered by request.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lambs so far

its been a rainy and windy week but i'll list so far what we have had as of 6am this morning.

Duke x Heylor (whistlstop ewe) had a knock out mioget ram

Duke x WP Neap had a moorit light badgerface ewe. she looks to be horned as well

Elite x PS23 Irene - twin rams. a black krunet and a black light badgerface krunet

Duke x Lancien Matilda - Double Ag gray krunet ram and a musket ewe lamb

Duke x WP Lydia - gray katmoget ewe lamb

Sommarang Luca (gulmoget) x UTS Sateen - moorit gulmoget ram and a fawn katmoget ram

Sommarang Luca x WP Bivina - moorit ram

WhitePine Loki (white) x WP Noss - white ewe

so that's 12 with another couple dozen ewes to lamb at any point. Hoping when i get home today there will be more!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lancien Matilda lambs

A beautiful musket ewe lamb and a double Ag gray ram. Both have head spotting. Look at that FLEECE! they are also put together extremely well!

Friday, March 25, 2016

first two lambs born for 2016

The first two lambs at the new farm have been born!

Both lambs are sired by UnderTheSon Duke Cardiff (who has a new home in Iowa!)

The ram lamb is actually mioget (and horned) and is out of Whistlestop 1241 (0525/Heylor). He is lovely.

This ewe lamb is out of WhitePine Neap (whistlstop 1123 x WhitePine Naomi). She is a moorit light badgerface and could be possibly be Ag (from Duke). 

The quality continues to get better and better. How will i decide who to keep?

It appears that my BFL did not breed any of his ewes so I will NOT be having BFL lambs, or any mules this year. Also due to the request of the owner of the previous farm, I had to cut my breeding groups short, so it appears a few of those ewes are also not bred, which is disappointing. I'll have less than 40 ewes to lamb then this spring. That will be the lowest I've ever lambed since my first year.

Friday, March 18, 2016

1927 Standard, breed typical fleece

There seems to be a lot of misinformation in regards to just what exactly is a 1927 standard typical fleece. While it is obvious there is a spectrum of what a correct fleece could look like, they are all undoubtedly standard typical fleeces. No 1927 standard Shetland should have a dual coat. Those are considered atypical. I am extremely happy with the progress I've made in conforming to the 1927 standard, considering my original stock was not to this caliber. Every year the sheep continue to get better. Micron testing has helped for sure. And never being afraid to be wrong, but always learning, reading articles online, visiting with other breeders, visiting the UK and the Shetland islands, has all helped to cement in my mind what we are trying to preserve and protect. Which is the 1927 Standard Shetland Sheep.






















Monday, March 7, 2016

Peace and Tranquility

 Well the whole gang is here. They are loving it. Happy and content.
 The BFLs are also pleased with the new digs.
 I just love the profiles of their faces.
 And then on Saturday, Aaron, my mom Ruth, and Kelly sat down with the dogs for a few snuggles. Gia is back home with me now and she seems really happy to be back with the pack.
Isn't it a great place? can't wait to paint the walls and get the pictures up on the walls too.

Thanks to Terry Malkuch, Terri Yapp and her family, Mike and Kelly Bartels, Aaron, and my parents for helping move my life to Monroe. I couldn't ask for better support team/family and so glad i'm able to have all my stuff in one place.

Monday, February 22, 2016

moving.



In anticipation of the move coming up this weekend and the following, i've already brought sheep supplies, hay, and dog crates/supplies to be a bit more prepared for when they come. Thank you Mike, Kelly, and Aaron for helping me with the hay and keeping me calm during this stressful time!

The farm in the background is one of my neighbors, and my home is behind me in the photo. This photo was taken just before sunset. and I thought it was quite tranquil.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Moving to the land of cheese

I have tentatively secured a hobby farm in Green County, Wisconsin. The sheep will be moving there the first part of March, and the cattle most likely in the fall. There is a ton of work to be done, and lambs will be coming end of March! not much time to get ready, but its doable.

Photos will come soon!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rams and bred ewes for sale

In an effort to look ahead to yet another new location for the sheep and a fresh start for myself, I will be looking to sell some bred ewes this winter, and ram lambs/adults as well. We have most patterns and colors available, so do let me know if you have any interest. I have 4-8 proven polled ewes, plus ewes that throw horned rams available.