Randall VonKrosigk, Charlene VonKrosigk, Wendel VonKrosigk, and Judge Rodney Cott pose with the ram. Photo courtesy of the northern ag network.

By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer

The Matriarch of the VonKrosigk family shared the experience of the latest sale that was held in Big Timber Montana. This national sale was the focus of sheep breeders and these people were looking for the best bloodlines to enhance their herds and the sale did not disappoint.

“When we arrived on Sunday evening, we were amazed at how small the town was. There were no restaurants open and no place to get food.” says Charlene VonKrosigk. Her and her Husband Dean first brought the Targhee line to Riverton in 1976. “The boys wanted to show in 4-H, and on the advice of the extension agent, we brought this new variety of sheep to Riverton.”

The VonKrosigk’s started what would become a dynasty of sheep superiority in the industry. The sheep they raised have been all over the country and are sought out by breeders to enhance their herds, especially in Wyoming. 

Charlene, who many know as simply Char, states “These range breeders are looking for durability and quality of the wool and Targhee do that.”

The sale barn in Big Timber had set some pre-sale estimates at around $2000 a head, however, when the dust settled, most were averaging around $3500 per head. “We took 6 sheep and the net yield for all 6 came to a little over $19,000.” says Char. “Far above our expectations.”

The star of the sale, a ram that was raised by Randall VonKrosigk and his family, sold for the record price of $7500.00 to an internet buyer who never saw the ram in person before purchasing him to augment his herd. The breeding and history speaks for itself in these cases. The next ram in line for the family went for $5,000.00, again surpassing auction barn estimates.

The remaining 4 sheep varied in price, but it was clear that the line is impressive and in high demand among the leaders of the industry. 

Char, who will be featured as Parade Marshall for the 110th Fremont County Fair on Saturday will be riding in the Marshall’s wagon and will be representing this year’s fair. Char and Dean VanKrosick have a long and distinguished history at the fair and have helped countless people start careers with sheep in Fremont County and all over the United States. 

“There were other honors bestowed upon us at the sale that were complete shockers.” says Char. Premier Breeder honors go to the breeders who have the bloodlines and can trace them, on paper, to their origins, providing attributes that are most desired in the breed. Purity and consistency is critical and it is a difficult task and requires a family effort. “We also got a Wool Award for fiber produced by our sheep.” commented Char. “We were certain that was a mistake, but low and behold… it was for us.”

Exhausted by the experience, the VonKrosigk family ambled home, humbled by the honors, but ready to return to their roots and ranching life here in the community they have always called home. 

The VonKrosigk family represents agriculture in Fremont County from Sheep and cattle, to hay and beets. The VonKrosigk name is recognised far and wide.