Ep 89 Sabrieta Holland: I Want a New Sheep – One That Won’t Freeze (thanks, Huey)
There is finally a chill in the air! Some of us here in warmer climates look forward to the time each year when cold weather arrives, so we can cozy up on the sofa in front of the fireplace without melting from the heat outside. 60 degrees is probably a very reasonable temperature to start up the fireplace, we think. But in other places, cold is a constant reality, and it is not to be taken lightly, especially in the area of food production.
In the far north in places like Alaska, farmers and ranchers have not only said cold to deal with, but you also have some rather large predators on your list (Who on earth wants to deal with a polar bear in the chicken coop at 4:00 a.m., anyway?). If those weren’t challenges enough, the supply of new lines and new breeds is either far, far away or very, very expensive to bring in to the region. Genetic bottlenecks might be the end of your herd, even if you survived the previous perils.
Our podcast guest today is Sabrieta Holland, a veterinarian plying her trade just north of Anchorage. We met her at Sheepalooza (a.k.a. Martin and Joy Dally’s Valais Blacknose Laparoscopic-A.I. Week). Sabrieta was there to add to her store of knowledge about artificial insemination, and to find new breeds and genes that might do well in Alaska to contribute to the stability of the regional food and fiber supply.
If you’re a farmer, distance on the final frontier can be as deadly as harsh weather and polar bears might be -- unless you’re smart enough to figure a way around it with today’s technology, and have the help of a forward-thinking vet. We’re pretty sure we found one.
P.S. We'll eventually Take Off to the Great White North. Beauty, eh? We’ll yak with you soon, Steve and Anita.
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