Sheep keep Roloff sisters active

posted Aug. 13, 2018 8:56 a.m. (CDT)
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by / Jim Massey | Correspondent

  • jm_CT_StateFairSheep_081518-2
    Isabel Roloff looked on as her father, Jeff, prepared one of their sheep for the show-ring Aug. 7 at the Wisconsin State Fair.
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    Sisters Isabel, left, and Lindsey Roloff of Shawano said they enjoy the competition and time shared with friends while training and showing their sheep.

WEST ALLIS — Winning isn’t everything. In fact, it is secondary in the minds of Isabel and Lindsey Roloff as they show sheep during the summer months at the Shawano County Fair and Wisconsin State Fair.

Last week, the sisters together showed four wethers in the performance and wether competitions in the state fair sheep show. They said they look forward each summer to getting together with friends and spending time with family members who help them prepare and show their animals.

“It’s real fun (showing sheep) with family and seeing your friends,” Lindsey, who celebrates her golden birthday on Aug. 17, said Aug. 7. “I also just like getting to know the animals.”

Winning is always a bonus, Lindsey said — this spring she had a reserve champion wether at a jackpot show in Platteville, which she said was fun. 

Isabel, 14, showed sheep at the state fair for the third time, while for Lindsey, it was her eighth trip to West Allis. 

Jeff and Jenny Roloff raise a small lamb flock on their acreage near Shawano. They have seven ewes and raised 12 lambs this year. They sold six and kept six on the farm for showing. 

“I have always liked sheep — my older sister (Lauren) started the project and I thought I might as well try it,” Isabel said. “I figured it would be a good experience. Doing the competitions you get to know how to be a good winner and not a sore loser.”

Isabel said although sheep in theory are easier to handle than larger animals such as steers and more unpredictable animals such as pigs, she said sheep can be a handful, too.

“When you first start with them, they’re jumping all over the place,” she said. 

Isabel and Lindsey show their animals as members of the Brenner Youthful Workers 4-H Club in Shawano.

Isabel will be a freshman at Shawano High School in the fall while Lindsey is entering her senior year. Lindsey said she intends to attend college at St. Norbert College in De Pere where she plans to major in business.

Jim Massey can be reached at

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