We started raising sheep in 1999 as Sammons Polypay with 9 Polypay ewes purchased from the Tisdale farm in the Sandhills of Nebraska. With additions from Black Kettle Farm and the Rickate flock our ewe flock flourished to 150 quality ewes. Our sire genetics run deep in VanNostran blood, Athens Ohio, and U of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. Gordon has been a Polypay board member, past Secretary of the Polypay Association, Chairman of Polypay Starter Flock and National Sale committee member. We have raised 3 National Champion sheep and earned top honors at the Ohio State Fair with our Polys.
We now operate our Natural colored breeding program under Leaf Livestock. Our natural colored flock name came from our school district mascot the Geneseo Maple Leafs. We use Rambouillet, Columbia and current Natural Colored sheep to create our Leaf Livestock Natural Coloreds. We are making great strides to produce quality seed stock in Natural Colored genetics and wool. We acquired the Crago Flock, Montana to increase predictability in our Natural Coloreds. We earned Grand Champ Ram at the 2017 Illinois State Fair; we had other class winners and the Best Fleece. That same ram was reserve champ at 2017 NAILE in the fine fleece class. More recently we earned Grand Champion Polypay Ram with a fall ram at the 2018 Midwest Stud Ram Show and Sale. We had several other class winners as well. Our spring Natural Colored Ram Lamb was selected as the Reserve Champion in the Natural Colored Show and sale in 2018.
We have diversified our sheep business by offering our fiber created into combed top and mill-spun yarn as Anne becomes more involved in the fiber arts of spinning and weaving. We also sell plenty of combed top, spinning batts, yarn and roving under LeafLivestockWoolCo. Please check out the homegrown wool shop link to purchase our beautiful spinning fiber and yarn.
We added a Merino ewe flock from Northern Illinois to our farm in the winter of 2021, and a ram from Apple Creek Merinos, Oregon joined us in April 2022. A few of our Merinos lambed in the fall of 2022; all ewe lambs. We are enjoying watching them grow out. Our Merino combed top processed by Zeilinger Wool Co is so soft and buttery to spin. Believe it or not, the undyed yarn is nearly sold out!
Our family: Gordon, Anne, Christian (and Mackenzie 2022), Erik, Evan (and Chelsea 2020), Will and Cy have many different passions, but all will come to realize that this farm will mold their lives into a matrix of worthwhile endeavors: hard work, perseverance and determination that make a family farm so wonderful to be a part of. "To pursue, yet flourish in the the toils of a farm is to achieve in the virtues of life" (Gordon 2017).
Our lives are real, the work is honest and we share the rewards that many family farms pass down as they walk daily in agriculture and livestock.
We have and will continue to be a premier flock for quality Polypay genetics nationally, and we are looking forward to an increasing role in the Natural Colored and Merino breed.
Thanks for being here,
Gordon, Anne and family