Showing Sheep is a Life Passion

By Aidan Gabriel and Spencer Johnson

Bringing sheep from their farm in Green County to compete at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis is more than an annual event for Danielle Pernot and her brother.  It is their life.

“Son, we’ve been coming here for twenty six years.”

Pernot’s farm typically manages between 30 and 40 ewes (A ewe – pronounced “you” – is a female sheep). Each entrant is limited to showing six sheep at the state level, so only the very best are brought to competition.   Competitors are not required to win at the county level to compete at the state level, but it does help.  One of their sheep won first prize at the Green Country fair this year.

After so many years of bringing sheep to Wisconsin State Fair, Pernot still finds the winning more an art than a science.

“It really depends on the judge. They each have their own preference.”

Pernot added that the judges are looking for quality muscle development, grooming, and general size. However, some judges think that a taller sheep is better, while others think a beefier sheep should win more points.

Competing is only one reason the Pernot’s come to the fair.  It also gives them a chance to talk to people about their work.   “I enjoy being able to tell people what I do.”

(This article was produced by students are participating in the annual State Fair Journalism workshop held at the Wisconsin State Fair on August 12th, 2015 and conducted and sponsored by the Wauwatosa West Journalism Program.)