Around the States
Browns Honored Posthumously
The Nebraska Sheep and Goat Producers Association honored Harlan and Janet Brown posthumously for their many contributions to the sheep and wool industry at the annual meeting held in Mitchell, Neb.
The award – the Ted and Alice Doane Outstanding Contribution Award – was presented to the Browns’ daughter, Peggy Wells who owns and manages the Brown Sheep Company, along with her husband Robert. Just recently their son, Andrew, and wife Brittany joined the Brown Company.
Harlan and Janet had a long history of involvement and contributions to the sheep and wool industry in Nebraska. Harlan was a major lamb feeder in the valley near Haig for many years where he utilized the latest technology in lamb feeding. After transporting wool to the East Coast and visiting several wool mills doing research, he and Janet decided to establish a wool spinning mill on their property west of Scottsbluff, where the final product was yarn ready for knitting or weaving. Currently, it is one the largest spinning manufacturers in the United States that ships wool all around the nation and some foreign countries.
It is fitting that this award was presented to the Browns as it is named after the late Ted Doane and Alice Doane whom were good friends of the Browns and had a lot of common interests. Ted Doane was a former sheep specialist with the University of Nebraska Animal Science Department.
He once said that if he had an issue that he was dealing with, “I called Harlan as I knew he would offer straight forward and solid advice.”
Alice Doane succeeded Janet as the State Director of the Make It With Wool program and communicated frequently with Janet about the program. The Browns were large donors and sponsors of the program and Brown Sheep Company continues to donate to the program.
The plaque that was presented has the following statement, “A person has not lived until he has done something which does not benefit himself, but rather benefits another. This is not only Christianity in practice, it is the finest principle upon which a person can base his life.” Those words were very fitting for the Browns’ service to the sheep and wool industry.
Unfortunately, the award was presented to the Browns after their passing. It is very gratifying to see their legacy carried out by their daughter and family.
Trailing of the Sheep Wins Award
At its recent annual convention, the Society of American Travel Writers announced the winners of the 2017 Phoenix Awards that recognize outstanding conservation and preservation efforts in tourism.
The two Phoenix Awards were presented to The Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho, and the Shorefast Foundation and Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland, Canada.
“Excellence doesn’t often come on the first try. It is a process that often involves failing and learning from that failure. That’s what makes these honorees such a source of inspiration: Their passion compels them, and their desire propels them. Thank you for standing up and standing out as examples of excellence,” said SATW President Catharine Hamm. Hamm is also travel editor of the Los Angeles Times.
The Trailing of the Sheep Festival was nominated for the award by Stan Wawer, a freelance travel journalist from California who came to the festival a few years ago.
“It was a no brainer for me to nominate the Trailing of the Sheep Festival for an SATW Phoenix Award. Everything about the festival met the criteria for the award – a contribution to a quality travel experience through conservation and preservation. Congratulations to this community effort that now brings joy to thousands every October.”
Comments on the Trailing of the Sheep Festival nomination from the Phoenix Award judges included:
“This festival absolutely delights the community and the scope of international tourists who attend it.”
“This lively festival event showcases the sheep ranching tradition. It presents an earthy, organic culture of the area.”
“It preserves and enlightens a way of life that has almost entirely disappeared, and it teaches us where wool and meat come from and how they get here.”
“We are quite honored to receive this national award from such a prestigious travel journalist organization,” commented Laura Musbach Drake, executive director of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. “We know that our story is a great travel story – and are thrilled that many others now know that, as well. As attendance continues to grow at our Festival, it proves people are interested in seeking out unique cultural travel experiences and the Trailing of the Sheep Festival is certainly one of the best.”
Dates for the 2018 festival are Oct. 10-14.