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Deal or No Deal?

As a Valais Blacknose Sheep breeder and enthusiast, there’s nothing I’d like more than to see as many people as possible add this wonderfully cute, social and affectionate animal to their “farmily.” I love chatting with those who dream of having a flock of Valais Blacknose sheep, and I also love chatting with those who are just curious about the breed. Now and then, someone will take a leap of faith and invest their time, money, and heart in our lambs or adult sheep and eagerly await the day when they can take their chosen one(s) home. We're always honored and blessed by their trust in us as breeders and in every case, our “buyers” have become part of the All Saints Valais family.

What I’m about to say may sound foolish to some. I admit, there are moments when the strictly business side of me says, whaaaaat? But here’s the deal. Or should I say, no deal:

We recently had an opportunity to sell every single one of our available spring lambs and adult ewes in our 2024 Look Book. Every. Single. One. It was a cash-and-dash proposition from a buyer with deep pockets and a desire for a ready-made flock to roam on a huge (I mean huge) piece of real estate. Once the initial “why not?” wore off,  I actually thought of quite a few reasons why not.

  • Because our Valais Blacknose sheep, by their very nature, are meant to be part of a family, not lawn ornaments. That means having names, being known, being understood as individuals, and being loved for who they are. That means chin and chest scritches every day. That means leisurely strolls (or dances!) with them in the pasture. That means forming a bond that mirrors the personal love that Jesus, our Good Shepherd, has for his flock.

  • Because you can’t stay on top of their physical health and needs (i.e., monitor their body condition, their FAMACHA scores, their feet, and more) from afar or if you’re not willing to take on the role and daily responsibilities of a shepherd.

  • Because predators are real and if you can’t see or prudently manage your flock, you can’t protect them. The thought of any one of our lambs who were brought into this world with such planning, care, love, and great hopes for their future becoming, well, coyote stew, was simply unthinkable.

  • Because we already had a waiting list of people who had contacted us in good faith in the hope of having an opportunity to explore purchasing one of our spring lambs.

  • Because even though our bank account said, “yes, please!” my gut simply said no. It was a wake-me-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night, round-eyed “no!” As breeders, please understand we have to trust the gut when it comes to homing our precious animals … precious not because of their value on paper, but precious because they have our hearts.

Scripture says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21)

Our little flock is a treasure, one of the many blessings on our farm that makes our hearts swell with joy and gratitude to the Lord for entrusting us with this little “God Project” of ours. We know if we discern well and remain faithful to His will and His way, that all of our lambs will go on to bless their new families in a similar way.

There’s a now-famous line in the movie, Jerry Mcguire, where Jerry is made to shout from the top of his lungs: Show me the money! It’s a laughable moment that shines a light on the absurdity and futility greed. It’s also a lesson in Matthew 6:21 (above), for when Jerry finds love, all the money and ambition in the world pales by comparison.

I hope y’all find the Valais flock of your dreams in the near or farther future. And when you do, I know you’ll understand everything I’ve written about here in a deeper way.  After all, once you meet and greet your first Valais love and see the treasure that they are, you'll be able to say, with Dorothy Boyd, from the bottom of your heart:

You had me at hello. 💚


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