Arianna McCann, 14, of WoodSong Farm and her family won a free sheep through the (YCP) Youth Conservation Program for Heritage Breed Sheep.

The YCP gives a helping hand to youth (9-18) who are dreaming of being shepherds, McCann said. Youngsters must write an essay about why it is important to preserve heritage sheep breeds to enter the contest. Entries are collected and sent to farmers who in turn select the recipients.

The program helps to preserve heritage sheep to maintain their important and diverse genetics.

“When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a shepherdess and care for my own sheep,” McCann said. She added that one of her favorite books was  “Ida And The Wool Smugglers,”

by Sue Ann Anderson, “because I felt that I was Ida protecting my sheep.

“One day, we were at Tractor Supply, and my mom called me to where the magazines were displayed. Excitedly, we both read an article entitled, ‘How to Win a Rare Breeds Sheep.’  We wrote down the information, called the director to learn more about the program.”

McCann then “immediately wrote a big essay, helped make a milk/shearing stand with my dad, helped build a pallet…

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