Etcheverry Sheep Company
“My Dad was the consummate sheep man dedicated and hard working. ‘Men like my Dad had a gleam in their eye. I’m going to make something of this. I can do it. And that’s what I think America was made of.’ Life as a sheep rancher takes that kind of commitment. Sheep can pay the bills and take care of you if you take care of them. It’s a lot of work but I am optimistic.” – Henry Etcheverry
Henry was born in Pocatello, Idaho, in 1949 and worked the sheep as a boy beside his father. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1972 and had no doubt that he would return to the sheep ranch. Henry had always been inspired by his father Jean Pierre who, at the age of 16, arrived in New York City in 1929 from the Basque region of southern France. He immediately made his way to Nevada sheep country to work as a herder for $50 a month. Later with his new wife Louise Savala, Jean Pierre moved to Pocatello where she ran a Basque boarding house and he bought 1,200 ewes to begin his own sheep operation. The family moved to Rupert, Idaho, where the sheep operation is still headquartered.
Today, Etcheverry Sheep Company runs about 7,000 breeding ewes and 1,400 replacement yearlings and provides 80,000 pounds of wool to Pendleton Woolen Mills. The eight bands of ewes lamb in the family’s lambing sheds north of Rupert from January through March. The pairs are trucked to southeastern Idaho in mid-May to graze near Lava Hot Springs and Soda Springs and then moved into the high country in the Caribou National Forest for the summer. In August, the lambs are shipped to Mountain States Lamb Cooperative, a rancher-owned processing and marketing facility. In September, the ewes reverse their route returning to the lower elevations around Rupert for winter.
Henry has served as a Director and President of the Idaho Wool Growers Association. He is currently Director and President of the Idaho Citizens Grazing Association, President of the Minidoka Grazing Association and President of the Western Range Association.
Henry and his wife Kathy continue Etcheverry Sheep Company, often with help from their two grown daughters Nicole and Dominique—all seamlessly blending generations of hard work and dedication.
Noh Sheep Company
Born in 1938, in the original stone hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho, Laird lived at Artesian in southeast Twin Falls county from 1938-1942 on a ranch against the foothills on Dry Creek. In 1942, the family moved to Addison Avenue. Laird was educated in the Kimberly public school system, went on to get his BS in Business and Animal Science at the University of Idaho, then an MBA at the University of Chicago, and, finally, his Doctorate of Natural Resources, Honoris Causes, at the University of Idaho.
Married to Kathleen Farnsworth, Laird and she have two children. John is the vice president and manager of Noh Sheep Company, and Susan is a research scientist in veterinary pathology and infectious diseases with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine and the Paul Allen School of World Animal Health in Pullman, Washington.
Currently, Laird serves as President of Noh Sheep Company. In addition, he is Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Sheep Marketing Association, a producer-owned lamb and sheep marketing cooperative doing business in seven states. Since its establishment in 1975, it has marketed 3.1 million head of sheep.
In addition, Laird is a Member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at the University of Idaho College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and, he is a Member of the Liaison Committee of the USDA Agricultural Research Service Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho.