Upcoming Herding Demonstrations

Connie and I will take our sheep and dogs to a number of venues during 2014 to do sheepdog herding demonstrations.

Betty, the youngest dog we are using in our demonstrations this year, keeps her focus. Photo by Amanda Martin.

Betty, the youngest dog we are using in our demonstrations this year, keeps her focus. Photo by Amanda Martin.

We are delighted to share the wonders of these talented dogs and to explain how sheep have been so important in the history of humankind and how keeping sheep today continues to contribute to sustainable farming and feeding and clothing people the world over.

Here is a listing of the demonstrations we have done this year and the ones that we are scheduled to do:

March 22, Saturday, we were at Peck Farm, part of the Geneva, IL Park District, from 11 am to 3 pm. The farm is at 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva, 60134. The phone number there is 630-262-8234. We enjoyed meeting many new friends. The weather was brisk, but so were the dogs!!

April 26-27, Saturday and Sunday, we were at Kline Creek Farm in DuPage County, IL.   The farm is at 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago, IL, 60185. The phone number is 630-876-5900. Sheep shearing and spinning and weaving demonstrations helped make this weekend special for thousands of visitors.

Saturday, May 24, we did  demonstrations as part of Family Field Day at St. James Farm, off of Winfield Road in Warrenville, Illinois. St. James is a 612 acre farm owned and operated now by the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. It used to be a famous steeplechase site, owned by Chauncey and Marion McCormick. Chauncey was a great-nephew of Cyrus McCormick who invented the first successful mechanical reaper. He was the head of International Harvester Company. The event drew thousands of spectators. See the farm’s web site at http://www.dupageforest.com/Calendar.aspx?id=4677&terms=family%20field%20day, or phone 630-933-7248.

July 23, Wednesday, we were at Oregon Park West, Oregon, IL, 14th Street,  for an event sponsored by the Oregon Park District and Library, with the help of a local veterinary practice. An enthusiastic crowd watched Cap do a great job steering the sheep through a number of display stands just to get in and out of the demonstration area. Connie and I thoroughly enjoyed the warm reception we received from the audience.

On Saturday, the 13th, we did several demonstrations at the Glen Ellyn Park District for their Poochapalooza event at their fabulous dog park behind the Park headquarters at 185 Spring Avenue in Glen Ellyn–on the corner with IL Hwy. 53.   The web site for the event is http://www.gepark.org/new_events.htm#September.

Sunday, October 12 we were part of Sheep Days at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster, in Naperville, IL, where they also had demonstrations of spinning and working with wool. The Settlement  is a wonderful living history museum giving families the chance to experience a bit of what life was like in the 19th century. The web site is  www.napersettlement.org. Here is a write-up of the demonstration in the newspaper for the western suburbs of Chicago: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20141012/news/141019476/

On Saturday, October 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. we will be demonstrating as part of Halloween Hoopla, sponsored by the Will County Forest Preserve District, at Whalon Lake in Naperville, IL. Here is the web site where you can also find driving directions: http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/information/howloweenhoopla-2014.asp.  Our demonstrations will be at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.


We hope to see you at one of our demonstrations.


John explains as Abbie get sets to perform. Photo by Mike Gezing.

John explains as Abbie get sets to perform. Photo by Mike Gezing.

About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.
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