How We Got Here
Welcome to Rocky Mountain Golden Fleece, a veteran-owned and operated sheep ranch located in beautiful western Colorado.
My name is Robert. I retired from active duty in 2015 following 26 years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps. Following retirement, my wife Julie, and our three adult children, Robert III, Kyle, and Mariah relocated back to our home-town area, settling in Mack, Colorado. This area is well known for its annual music festival, Country Jam, as well as its agriculture and sheep production. Talking/conversing with a local sheep rancher one afternoon, I asked how one goes about learning to raise sheep. In response he reached down, grabbed 2 bummer lambs, and handed them to me, "accidentally" starting the next chapter in our life.
After the first year we acquired a small flock of Shetlands and lambed them out, growing to almost 40 head. A year later we acquired an additional 186 Shetland ewes putting us well over 200, and after lambing, well beyond that.
We now have 9 breeds of sheep with a primary focus on high-quality fine-fleece production. Our secondary focus is consistent lamb for consumption. We pride ourselves on sustainability, practicing rotational grazing, water conservation, and practical husbandry. We strive to implement best practices and process improvement with animal welfare as our utmost priority.
I am a disabled veteran and assist other veterans and individuals with physical or cognitive limitations who would like to become involved or continue in Agriculture. Often this is through the use of adaptive technologies and programs. In 2018, I was the recipient of an adaptive technology grant from the Agrability program. This grant provided a Sydell sheep handling system, tilt table, scale, and various components that made handling the sheep safer and easier due to my limited mobility.
The first years were full of many challenges, loss, and hard lessons. The learning curve was very high, but ultimately brought forth a harvest of fulfillment and reward. I find the flock brings me a sense of peace and a purpose. My favorite part of this chapter in my life is the innocence and joy of the lambs and the privilege and pleasure I receive in being their shepherd and protector.