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“Voices From The Land – Unique Stories Of Women In Ranching” Featured As 2022 Trailing Of The Sheep Festival’s Sheep Tales Gathering

Published online: Sep 28, 2022 Articles, Arts & Culture, Events, Family Fun Guide
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Sheep have been trailing through the Wood River Valley of Idaho for well over a century and are an integral part of Idaho’s heritage. The iconic Trailing of the Sheep Festival, October 5 – 9, 2022, celebrates the sheep, herders, history, and food, of this unique cultural tradition, with the event recognized as one of the “Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World” by msn.com.

The five-day Festival includes nonstop activities in multiple venues - history, folk arts, a Sheep Folklife Fair, lamb culinary offerings, a Wool Festival with classes and workshops, music, dance, storytelling, championship Sheepdog Trials and, the always entertaining, Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep hoofing it down Main Street in Ketchum.

This year’s annual "Sheep Tales Gathering" storytelling event is sure to be a special one. Voices from the Land - Unique Stories of Women in Ranching, will kick off the Festival weekend on Friday, October 7 at 7:00pm at The Argyros theater in downtown Ketchum featuring Marcia Barinaga of Barinaga Ranch, Julie Hansmire of Campbell Hansmire Sheep, LLC, and Andrée & Bianca Soares of Talbott Sheep Co.  The evening will be moderated by Michael A. Guerry of Guerry, Inc.

Marcia’s ranching story is steeped in her family’s Basque heritage, starting a ranch on her own in California. What began as a dairy farm, has now transitioned into one that produces fiber. Alongside Marcia will be Julie’s story of continuing the family ranch after losing her husband. Although a hard-working rancher by day (and often night!) Julie tries to make time for a life outside of ranching in Colorado. Also, not to be missed are the stories of the mother/daughter team of Andrée and Bianca, who manage the family’s commercial sheep and goat business, sharing a commitment to both targeted grazing and protecting the land from the threat of wildfire. This conversation will be moderated by multi-generation Idaho rancher, Mike Guerry.

Marcia Barinaga of Barinaga Ranch


The granddaughter of Basque sheep ranchers from Idaho, Marcia was born in New York, earned a PhD in molecular biology, and had a career in science-writing, before establishing a sheep dairy in California in 2007. Marcia learned about sheep from her cousin, Linda Barinaga, who had grown up on the family ranch in Idaho, and learned cheesemaking with the help of her relatives in the Basque country. Her cheeses, Baserri and Txiki, won numerous awards, including Best in Show in the California Cheese Competition, and Best in Class at the American Cheese Society. In 2016, Marcia retired from cheesemaking and transitioned her dairy flock to a fiber flock, to spend more time on her three greatest passions: working with the sheep, managing the land they graze, and knitting.  She now raises Romney, Corriedale and Cormo sheep, sells yarn made from their lovely natural-colored fiber, and employs restorative grazing practices on the 800-acre ranch she owns with her husband in Marin County, California.


Julie Hansmire of Campbell Hansmire Sheep, LLC


Julie Hansmire is the owner of Campbell Hansmire Sheep LLC, a herded range sheep operation in Colorado and Utah. Their summer country is near Vail, Colorado, and their herds winter in eastern Utah, along the Colorado/Utah border. This is the same country Julie and her late husband, Randy Campbell, started with in the mid-1980s through a variety of leases, partnerships, and purchases. Their son, Lynn Campbell, and daughter, Clay Campbell, have contributed to the success of the ranching operation. Julie received a BS in Natural Resources (at the University of NE-Lincoln) and a Master's Degree in Range Science (at Texas Tech University) and worked for short periods with the Bureau of Land Management. However, the sheep became her primary interest. She served as President of the Colorado Wool Growers Association, as a charter member of the US Sheep Center, and has enjoyed a variety of council and committee appointments with the American Sheep Industry Association.  Julie is an advocate for the positive aspects and impacts of grazing animals, as well as improving others' understanding of the sheep industry. Within her sheep operation, she has focused on improving wool quality and raising Akbash Livestock Protection Dogs.  Julie competed for about ten years in dog trialing and continues to take about 800 yearling Merino ewes to the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trial each Fall. She enjoys being on horseback for either work or not, and if there is some free time, rafting on the Colorado River and snow skiing.


Andrée and Bianca Soares of Talbott Sheep Co.


Andrée and Bianca Soares are a mother/daughter duo now managing both the family commercial sheep business, Talbott Sheep Co., established in 1920, and their targeted grazing operation, Star Creek Land Stewards, Inc. Andrée left her career of 29 years as a neonatal nurse to rejoin the family passion and business back in 2014, and hasn't looked back since. Upon graduating from college at UC Davis in 2018, Bianca began to work full-time alongside her mother for Star Creek Land Stewards, a prominent targeted grazer in California. Their business works mostly to help combat the threat of wildfire. Today, Andrée sits on the board of many industry committees and associations and both women continue to work to be more involved with the industry as a whole.


Mike Guerry of Guerry, Inc.

Mike Guerry is President of Guerry, Inc., a family-owned ranching operation running sheep and cattle on the Jarbidge Resource Area of the Bureau of Land Management, the Humboldt/Toiyabe National Forest, State of Idaho, and private lands. The operation now spans three generations, and 112 years of involvement with livestock in the Castleford and Three Creek, Idaho, area.  Mike attended Carroll College, the University of Idaho and Boise State University, acquiring his BA in Accounting from Boise State in 1978. Mike came back to the operation full time in 1980, after working for Kafoury-Armstrong & Co., an accounting firm in Elko, Nevada.  His bio includes his time as a former Certified Public Accountant, football coach, Secretary and Treasurer of the National Public Lands Council, President of the Idaho Wool Growers Association, Board member for the Idaho Cattle Association, Chairman of the Idaho State FSA Committee, as well as the current Chairman of the Three Creek Rangeland Protection Association and a Board member for the Southern Idaho Livestock Hall of Fame.  He and his wife Vicki together have four children (three daughters and one son), three sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren.

2022 Trailing of the Sheep Festival Highlights include:

  • Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep trailing down Main Street in Ketchum
  • Championship Sheepdog Trials featuring over 110 of the county’s most talented border collies and their handlers competing for top awards. New location this year!
  • Sheep Folklife Fair featuring the Basque, Scottish, and Peruvian dancers and musicians, sheep shearing demonstrations, over 80 sheep and wool product vendors, children’s activities and more

·         Sheep Tales Gathering will present Voices from the Land -Unique Stories of Women in Ranching, featuring women ranchers from three prominent Western sheep ranches.

·         Culinary Events with the For the Love of Lamb tastings, Lamb Fest at the Folklife Fair, cooking with lamb classes, and Farm to Table Lamb Dinners.

For the detailed schedule, tickets, and lodging deals, visit www.trailingofthesheep.org.

The 2022 Trailing of the Sheep Festival’s Big Sheep Parade is sponsored by the City of Ketchum.

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