The Hopkins Story:
Polly raised and showed sheep for over fifty years, starting with Southdowns as a 4-H project. Kevin “married into” showing sheep in his twenties but raised Hampshire market lambs on his family's farm. Today the Border Leicester is the breed of choice on the farm. There are approximately 17 brood ewes, mostly Border Leicesters, and a few Natural Coloreds (medium wool). The Hopkins' Border Leicesters have been shown locally as well as nationally and have done quite well.
Sarah and Christopher are third generation ‘sheep showmen’. Sarah started in the show ring at the age of 3 with a Hampshire bottle lamb. She started her own flock of Cheviots when she was about 8 years old and continued on thru high school with 4-H and FFA animal projects. In 2009 Sarah sold the last of her Cheviots. Sarah graduated from College of St. Rose in Albany and now lives in Canajoharie, New York, with her husband, Jack Jakeman and son, Weston. They are involved in the Colored Border Leciester flock, have created their own 'farm' Some Day Soon Farm, show at local fairs in New York and meet up with the rest of the family at the Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts.
Christopher got his first sheep (a white Corriedale) "Amanda" when he was about 4 years old, but started showing with Natural Coloreds in 4-H at 9 years old. He continued his sheep project thru high school in 4-H and FFA. Chris graduated from Keene State College in May of 2010 with a major in Journalism and Minor in Film. Chris was employed at "The Banner" magazine of Cuba, Illinois, as Assistant Editor for a while but decided to move back to New England. Chris now works at Scituate Lumber in Scituate, RI, along with working part-time for Eastern States Exposition/Ag Department during fair time. And of course, Chris still is involved in raising and showing his small, elite flock of Natural Coloreds.
The Hopkins strive to raise correct sheep that follow breed type and that will do well in the show or sale ring and on the farm. Good fleeces on the wool breeds are important, as well as the temperament of the animals on the farm. Also just as important is the milking ability and easy lambing in the brood ewe flock. All four Hopkins were involved in the Aries 4-H Club as members and Leaders. In 2009, Polly and Kevin retired as leaders after over 30 years, but the family still supports youth activities. In 2015 Sarah re-started the Aries 4-H Club in her county in New York with the main 4-H project being showing sheep! Sarah is also an active Co-Chair of the North East Youth Sheep Show which is held in July each year in West Springfield, Massachusetts. She is the past editor of the American Border Leicester Association’s quarterly newsletter. Christopher helped to run the local county 4-H sheep show each year during his college years and is the official photographer at the North East Youth Sheep Show. Polly is a past Director of the American Border Leicester Association, serving as President or Treasurer for many years. She was on the Board of the Rhode Island Sheep Cooperative, Co-chair of the Rhody Warm Blanket Committee, helped to form the annual Rhode Island Wool & Fiber Festival Committee, Director-at-Large of the New England Sheep & Wool Growers Association, and helped to form THE Fall Fiber Festival of New England, which has become an annual event held at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in November. The Hopkins family are members of the New England Sheep & Wool Growers, American Border Leicester Association, Natural Colored Wool Growers Association, Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association and the Rhode Island Sheep Cooperative.