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Letter from the President – March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020 – Letter from the President

First of all, I hope this finds you and your loved ones feeling well.

It has been an interesting few months to say the least and the last couple weeks feel surreal to me. Perhaps you feel the same.

Most of our events have been upended by the Covid 19 virus, but that is not news to any of you at this point.

I just wanted to touch base with each and every one of our members and let you know that this is exactly the kind of situation that our organization prepares us for. If you are in need of supplies or tools that you can’t find out there in the world right now, you have our membership list to reach out to. The other day I was called and asked if I had a certain product, I did not, but I had seen some earlier that week and was able to share that information. So even though we may not have exactly the thing you are looking for, knowing there are fellow shepherd’s willing to help is a great comfort.

A reminder, if you haven’t paid your dues yet, you can forward them to either Julie George, Treasurer, at 3120 Lighthouse Blvd., Lusby, MD 20657, or Patricia Sanville, President, at 4637 Cap Stine Road, Frederick, Maryland 21703. Make $25.00 checks payable to FCSB.

The website is being updated with several new members and if you need help with updating your existing listing, please reach out to Dawn Viands at 301-908-5985. Dawn has graciously agreed to handle this for us. Welcome to the new members and a huge Thank You to Dawn for doing this.

We have yet to start lambing here on our farm – I’m not sure what the girls are waiting for – or what the ram was doing that first 5 weeks he was with them. Courtship perhaps? I will tell you that the pictures I see online brighten my day. So don’t stop sharing the cuteness please.

The Sheepman Supply Open House was a great time as always! Thank you to Charlotte and Bob Dinsmore for providing us not only a day to stock up at a discount but for filling our bellies with a great meal and our hearts with the camaraderie of great friends all under one roof.

I would like to thank Julie George, Charlotte Dutton and Laura Dutton for stepping up and handling Ag Week at the Mall. I’m not sure if anyone else was able to join them, but the fiber demos are always a big hit. If you weren’t there this year, think about joining next year.

This is when things started to get really weird…..

Emily Chamelin and I were in DC a week and a half ago lobbying the hill on behalf of the American Sheep Industry. Look for my report in the Maryland Sheep Breeders newsletter. If you aren’t a member of that organization please let me know you’d like a copy. It explains some of the issues we were lobbying for. While we were in DC, things started shifting rapidly. Meetings were being moved to different times due to votes on the hill or they were moved to phone calls only. Social Distancing became a phrase, there were elbow bumps or awkward acknowledgements across a table in place of handshakes. Some of our friends visiting from other states began to worry about their flights home. We washed our hands, used Clorox wipes to clean our room upon arrival at the hotel, used hand sanitizer when we couldn’t get to soap and water and reminded each other to not touch things – especially our faces!!!

I have heard that shearing school was a great success again. Let’s hope some more people in our area take on this as a career path or at least a side gig. Our shearing force is getting stretched thin and that is a scary place for many of us.

So right after shearing school, things started to get even weirder…. Many events began to get cancelled. The Czech Embassy Easter Egg Hunt, the Rose Hill Easter Egg Roll, the Rose Hill Spring Event and then the big one for us…. Maryland Sheep and Wool.

While we are all sad that we are not able to move about at will, it is for the larger good that we stay still. My offer of reaching out to me or another member you have become friends with in these ever changing times stands firm. Please don’t feel alone, please don’t stop helping each other.

We will continue to plan events including a future fund raiser that involves using some sheep or goats milk you may have left over in your freezer from years past. Thanks for the idea Karren Sowell. We are ready to move forward as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.

Until then, hug a sheep, wash your hands and stay healthy,

Patricia Sanville, President
Frederick County Sheep Breeders