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Quilt to raise funds for sheep program

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Campbell County residents and long-time 4-H and University of Wyoming (UW) Extension supporters Kathy and Russell Bell donated a large handmade quilt featuring the signature bucking horse in brown and gold. According to the Bells, this quilt was crafted after learning of some of the budget cuts to the UW Sheep Extension program, and they set out to help. 

                  UW Extension is selling raffle tickets for the king-sized quilt to raise funds for the UW Sheep Extension program and wool judging programs throughout the state. 

Supporting wool judging

                  The Bells live outside of Wright on a cattle and sheep ranch, and Russell has volunteered with Campbell County 4-H for many years, including as a wool judging coach. 

                  In an interview with UW Ag News, UW Extension Sheep Specialist Whit Stewart shared the Bells helped him get his start in wool judging. 

                  “They are the reason I became involved in wool judging,” Stewart said. “It was this experience that allowed me, as part of my PhD funding, to coach a wool judging team in new Mexico and it has since blossomed.”

                  He added, “We have expanded the numbers in the state, and there are more colleges competing in collegiate wool judging than there ever was.” 

                  Russell shared he hopes funds raised from the quilt raffle will help Stewart offer more seminars on sheep and wool production, fund travel to field days and improve producer involvement in the Sheep Extension program. Additionally, the money raised will be used to purchase practice wool for 4-H wool judging programs around the state. 

                  He noted, “The goal of this project is to strengthen the sheep program for producers and youth in the state today and in the future.”

Quilt raffle and display

                  Tickets for the quilt can be purchased at county Extension offices for $20 each, or seven tickets for $100. The winning ticket will be drawn on Sept. 14 at the Wyoming State Ram Sale in Douglas. 

                  Additionally, the quilt will travel around the state for display. The Converse County Bank in Douglas will be the first host the quilt. 

                  UW Extension State 4-H Program Coordinator Johnathan Despain commented, “I am excited about the fact that there could be some more resources put in a program serving a smaller segment of population, but important to Wyoming. 

                  “This will put a boost into making practice wool available to train and to have access to them so they are not all located in Laramie,” he added. “Our Extension offices and 4-H volunteers will have access to the practice wool in places around the state to learn, to put workshops on, to teach, to train and compete.”

                  Keep an eye out for updates on the quilt raffle and a schedule of the quilt’s displays in a future edition of the Roundup. 

                  Averi Hales, editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, sourced some information in this article from a UW Ag Newsarticle written by Katie Shockley. Send comments on this article to

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