Easter Sheep are back


On Easter Sunday, the Herald made a trip out to 11277 Janus Avenue, to the farm of Matt and Diana Ornes. Once again, the landscape was dotted with brightly colored clover eating sheep that roam freely, in a fenced in field, right by the road. This is the fourth year that the Ornes family has presented passersby with the walking kaleidoscope.

This year there were some new names in the flock of many colors. Vanessa Ornes, daughter of Matt and Diana, was on hand to help the Herald put color to name to sheep. “Bamboo is the dark purple color, Cupcake is red, Crash is yellow, Bellamy is the polka dotted goat, Emmy is a new one, she is light pink, firefly has the same color as last year - dark blue, Bugee is the light purple, Lily is dark pink, Stomp is bright orange, and Otter is green.”

“These are all of the mamas out here,” Diana Ornes explained to the Herald. “All the babies are inside.” The Herald was met by Firefly, a boisterous sheep who stomped its hooves at the Herald reporter. A good laugh was had by all, especially since the confrontation ended with the earth-punching gesture.

Vanessa reported to the Herald that last year was a pretty good year, as far as the showing of their sheep. “I am really excited to show our new, higher quality sheep this year,” she started out.

When pressed by the Herald on why the sheep were considered higher quality this year, Vanessa replied, “They are genetically better, through their structure and build wise.” Vanessa and Diana then discussed the competitions they will be entering this year.

“At the end of April, we have a show in river Falls, and that will be our first one of the year,” stated Diana. “This year we are also going out of state for a competition.”

When the Herald asked what state the Ornes family and their sheep were going to compete in, Vanessa jumped in and said, “South Dakota!”

The family is excited to head to the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds and Expo Center, in Sioux Falls, for “The Great Plains Junior Breeding Sheep Show.” Both Diana and Vanessa told the Herald that it is a busy few months, with a new show coming up every weekend. They will be at the Monroe County Fair, as well as the State Fair. “I have a summer job, so my regular work week is still happening. I will then come home and work with my sheep to see what I need to work on with them, for the upcoming show. I pay attention to how they are feeling, and whether or not they are feeling stubborn or calm,” Vanessa stated. “Then the show comes, we go through that process, we come home exhausted, and then we start the cycle all over again. But this is something that we love doing, so it seems seamless for us.”


After the interview, the Ornes family introduced the Herald to Southpaw, a 240 pound ram that was a gentle giant, who loved having his head rubbed as he munched away on his hay. “We bought him two years ago,” Vanessa said. “He just kind of chills out in his own realm, until breeding season. Then he goes out to pasture, with the ewes, breeds them, and then comes back in and chills out. He has a simple life and he loves it.”

Although it is raining today, the sheep will be available for families to drive by and take in the hilarity of the rainbow sheep, while enjoying the beautiful landscape that is Monroe County. The Ornes family is a main topic of the “From the Editor’s Desk” column in today’s newspaper.

Benny Mailman, Finding 42, Ornes farm, Easter Sheep, colorful sheep


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