Last Saturday and Sunday, Fairfield High School sophomore Conner Klick participated in the Montana State Fair Sheep Show held in Great Falls.
Conner told the Sun Times as he prepared for his final round on Sunday afternoon that he has been raising sheep for “three or four years.” It began as a 4-H project with a starter flock, his flock has grown to about 30 sheep.
Earlier this year Conner began to see some revenue from his endeavor, with about $300 in earnings during the Choteau Wool-Pool, an annual gathering of area growers where they pool their wool production. By pooling their wool and amassing a larger quantity, the wool earns a higher price.
Conner says that the meat, known as lamb or mutton, is another source of income.
At the weekend showing, Conner was up against a couple of large sheep operations, such as Hart Sheep Company out of Great Falls.
On Saturday, Conner took first place in ram ramb and second spot in yearling categories.
During the Sunday event, a sheep rodeo briefly broke out when a large ram, not part of the competition, jumped out of his pen and decided to check out the sheep in the competition ring. Several people in the ring tried to get the ram under control, and for a moment it appeared that Conner’s mom, Heidi Klick. was about to go rodeo-style on the sheep as they corralled the wayward woolie into a nearby pen.
The judge for the Sunday event was brought in from North Dakota, and the competition was overseen by Montana State Representative Wendy McKamey of Great Falls. Of the competitors at the event Rep. McKamey said, “This was an extra-high quality show, all the way around.” She told the Sun Times that the McKamey family raises “cattle and sheep” and that the family has been in the sheep business “for over 100 years.”
Conner Klick was showing two breeds over the weekend – Columbias and Suffolks. Assisting Conner were his mom, his dad, Bruce, Annie Townsend, a recent Fairfield graduate and Isaac Lauver, a seventh-grader at Greenfield School.