‘Sheep Count,’ airing on Central Utah community television stations, focuses on Mt. Pleasant farm
“Sheep Count,” a story about sheep ranches in Central Utah, is the newest episode of “Discovery Road” the documentary series sponsored by the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.
The segment, which explores the history of the sheep industry from its glory days in the early 20th Century up to the present, is now airing on central Utah community television stations. Later it will air on KUED-Channel 9.
“One of the themes articulated in the MPNHA management plan centers on the interaction of people with the land,” said MPNHA Executive Director Monte Bona. “The story of sheep demonstrates how the pioneers adapted economic, social and cultural goals to the land they were called upon to colonize.”
In 1930, sheep production in Utah reached a peak of nearly 3 million sheep and lambs. At that time, Sanpete County boasted the largest sheep herds in Utah. But by 1994 the state number had dropped to 445,000.
“Sheep Count” introduces viewers to big-sheep operations and offers unprecedented insight on how the wool is removed from the herds.
Co-host Maryda Nicole Gallo shows viewers how stray or orphaned lambs are cared for and takes a look at the working dogs that keep sheep in line.
Along the way, the program tells the story of LaVor Taylor, who sheared more than a half-million sheep in his lifetime and made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the accomplishment.
Co-host James Nelson also visits with Nancy Long, who lives in the Rush Valley in Tooele County. Long has dedicated years to finding, preserving and promoting the sheep wagon in western American history and hopes to make sheep wagons popular and accessible to the general public.
For a different perspective, in “Sheep Count” sheep herders from several foreign countries share their feelings about the work they do on their ranches.
Conceived in 2012, “Discovery Road” is an ongoing series of half-hour shows featuring a 1955 Pontiac (owned by Manti residents Chad and Tammy Moore, and affectionately named “Love Me Tender”) which travels along U.S. 89, All-American Road State Route 12, and Scenic Byway S.R. 24.
As the car drives along these roads, viewers will discover the things that make the MPNHA worth driving to themselves.
For more information, contact MPNHA Director Monte Bona at (801) 699-5065.