The Highest Honor for a Livestock Producer, Recognition by Peers for the Job Being Done
Michigan Sheep Producers Honor Romney Breeder Penny Swearingen (3 L&S Farm) as 2022 Michigan Purebred Breeder of the Year.
Penny Swearingen did not grow up in Michigan. She is a native of Illinois. During her college days, attending the University of Illinois, she was part of the livestock and meat judging teams. Sheep were and have been a part of her life. Starting out with Hampshire and Crossbreds, she slowly added Romneys to her flock. Approximately 20 years ago she moved to Michigan and only the Romneys made the trip.
Through the years, she has marketed sheep to new breeders with starter flocks. She’s supplied sheep to spinning flocks and other purebred breeders as well. Penny has sold sheep in live sales, online sales, and at fiber events.
Exhibiting sheep at shows is a normal practice. While at these shows there is always a display around her pens promoting Romneys and wool. Penny also spends a great deal of time on her spinning wheel, while answering questions of passing visitors at the shows.
The wool has always been a focus of hers, but over the last couple of years, it has taken on a more prominent role. The wool has taken on a new direction in marketing. Due to Covid and the cancellation of livestock and fiber shows, the internet had become a necessary means to market her products. Social media has given her a larger audience for sales. She offers weekly sales of raw, washed, spin, bats, rovings, also finished products of lamb pelts to her followers. She believes that there is value in all of the sheep.
In 2021 Penny took on the role of wool superintendent of the Michigan Fiber Festival which is the largest and oldest fiber event in Michigan.
Penny currently serves on the American Romney Breeders board as the district 3 Representative and has vowed to keep the Romney breed true to its breed standard.