Sugar Ridge Ranch
Jon, Charlotte & Vivian Stephenson

608-637-6474 (H) / 608-774-3151 (C)

About our Flock

Hello! Thank you for taking the time to learn about our Shropshire Sheep.  Sugar Ridge Ranch is located in southwestern Wisconsin about 45 minutes from LaCrosse in the beautiful rolling hills of Vernon County.  

We have a small flock of Registered Shropshire Sheep, specializing in breed standards & style. Our entire flock is DNA tested & we have only RR and NN spider free sheep. Our flock has combined some top quality blood lines that have produced outstanding breeding, show & market / club lambs. We competitively show our Shropshires at the State & National Level. 

In our flock we are focusing on raising shrops with more muscling in the loin and twist, level hip, heavy bone &  yet still have a large enough frame and good breed type to be competitive in the breeding classes. We like to have sheep that are good on their feet & legs and feel strongly in judging our own sheep "from the ground up." We also love the eye appeal of leg, head and face wool, which shrops are known for, therefore, we also select our breeding sheep for those characteristics. There is an old saying that horse breeders use.."pretty is as pretty does." We believe this also applies to sheep. 

Our shrops are "show ring pretty," yet still hang a fantastic carcass. Custom butcher lambs routinely dress out at 60-70% yield with loin eyes of  3-4", and are graded "prime." Our lambs will weigh at least 60# at 60 days of age, most times more. After weaning, our lambs' daily rate of gain is well over a pound. We sell several terminal sires each year to commercial operations that require sheep that will grow efficiently.

We also put a high emphasis in our flock on mothering abilities and good milking ewes. Ease of lambing and high rates of twins are always on our radar when we look at selection of ewe lambs we offer for sale as well as those we keep back for our own flock.

Breeding / Terminal Sires / Show Stock Lambs & Market Wethers are available in the spring. Occasionally we have mature breeding ewes or show stock for sale at other times of the year. In addition to our show stock we also offer high quality freezer / butcher lambs available in the spring and early summer.

Inquiries are always welcome. We are best reached by phone, 608-637-6474.  Please leave us a message if we aren't available & we will return your call as soon as possible.  

A little more about our Flock...

Our Shropshire Sheep brood ewes here at Sugar Ridge Ranch are hand picked to match & integrate the quality of our studs to produce consistent lambs that perform both in the ring & in the pasture. Our ewe flock primarily goes back to the genetics of Avery Shropshires.

Here at our farm we believe strongly in honesty & integrity.  Our Shropshire Sheep are something that work hard at 365 days a year and of which we are proud.  Let us know what you are looking for & we will do our best to find a good match for your project or flock.  We want you to be happy & be a repeat customer! 

We stand behind our animals and will not sell you an animal with a problem knowingly. Bloodlines and genetics are important, there is no doubt, but a quality animal has to be a quality animal, regardless of how well it's ancestors did on paper. 

All our shropshire sheep are always current on vaccines, worming & hoof trimming. Our vaccine program consists of (3) doses of CD&T to all lambs. Mature ewes are vaccinated with Covexin 8, Case-bac, and anti-abortion vaccines for Vibrio & Clamydia.  We do a lot of showing with our sheep and maintain a very strict regimen to prevent bringing foot rot into our flock. We have not had a case of foot rot in our flock for several years.  We have never had a case of CL in our flock, however, we vaccinate against it. Vaccinated animals will always test "positive." We feel that with the amount of showing that we do, it is better to vaccinate against the potential risk. Our entire flock has also tested B. Ovis negative and OPP free.  Whenever we bring in new animals, we have strict quarantine protocols that we follow, as well as testing to ensure the health of our flock. We can provide health certificates on all sale sheep if requested, at the buyers expense. 

We are not involved in the NSIP program. WHY? First off, data can be altered. Plain and simple, not everyone is honest. I see and know how my sheep gain and grow. We invite you to visit & see for yourself. Secondly, there are not enough shropshires involved in the research to make the payment dues and all the data entry time worthwhile. Thirdly, I am selecting for far more traits than what the NSIP program even looks at- such as temperaments, ease of lambing, mothering, breed characteristics, correct feet & legs, head shape, DNA to name a few! I also select for good wool qualities. If I am the only one entering in data for wool, for example, the information that I get back is only good for my own use, in which case, I have to ask, wouldn't my own record book be just as good? And in terms of loin eyes, weaning weights, etc, when being compared to another flock entering data, aren't most people going to be inclined to "pad" those results a bit to up their EBV's? Futhermore, I have seen plenty of high EBV sheep that were so structurally unsound, that I would be embarrassed to own them. Point being, selection of breeding stock needs to be based on many factors, not just some data someone typed in on a spread sheet. I am not saying we will never utilize the NSIP, but at this point in time, I prefer to keep my own records & select/cull accordingly...Try a Sugar Ridge ram on your commercial operation...Our repeat customers don't lie--shrops from our genetics are good on their feet and legs, they gain fast & are healthy. They are heavily muscled and are still tall enough to cover the ground needed in range conditions. You won't find "big air sheep" or "ground pounders" here. Moderate sheep make sense, both in the show ring and in the commercial setting. We only offer RR sheep as rams...that means you won't ever be at risk of getting a trace back / positive scrapies report from Uncle Sam when using one of our bucks, and our entire brood ewe flock is also now RR.  We have been & will remain entirely NN for the Spider Gene.

We feel raising sound stock, willingness to help new breeders and providing proven genetics is the best way to promote the breed. Positive experiences, especially with new flocks and youngsters is what will drive the breed to continue into the future.

Whether your flock is large or you have just a club lamb or two, we are always open to questions that you may have, feel free to give us a call! 
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