Helping area youth with Dorpers
With the passion of wanting to help today’s youth, Lynn Holt started raising Dorper club lambs with this in mind. In 2013 Holt Dorpers in Foster, Oklahoma started with a small registered herd.
“It is important for kids today to have activities for them that don’t require much space or money to help keep them out of trouble,” Holt says. “Showing Dorpers offers both a great project for kids to help them grow while having a low investment project at the same time.”
While Dorpers are starting to gain popularity, they are still not as common as other breeds of sheep. Dorpers originated from South Africa and are a cross between a Blackhead Persian and a Dorset Horn. They are known for their adaptability and hardiness. These qualities are what attracted Holt to the breed.
“Most of my bloodlines have come from Massachusetts and California,” Holt adds. "I am able to go to the sale in Duncan and have access to wide variety of Dorper bloodlines through one sale."
Today Holt has 45 ewes and two rams. He breeds his ewes twice a year and raises both commercial and club lambs. While Holt's ultimate goal is to help area youth and raise awareness of Dorpers, he has found a strong local market for his feeder lambs.
"All of my lambs not sold to kids, I sell in Chickasha," Holt explains. "There is a buyer from Holland who comes specifically for Dorpers and I am able to sell my feeders there."
Holt Dorpers offers lambs for sale as well as renting kids who are interested in returning their ewe lambs after showing.
“I currently have a few kids in Stephens County and Garvin County showing my lambs,” Holt says. “For kids who can’t afford to purchase a lamb, I offer a renting program where the student can rent a ewe lamb from me. They are responsible for feeding and caring for the lamb and after the show season is over they return it to me. I have had several breed champions on the local level and last year I had a lamb place 4th at OYE."
Holt's main concern is for the kids and helping them find a project they can learn from and grow in the process. He sponsors awards on the local level and encourages everyone to try Dorpers.
“I have raised almost everything except turkeys,” Holt jokes. “But Dorpers might be the easiest. They are a hardy breed and thrive on many things that would kill other animals. They require a small amount of space and are easy to care for and maintain.”
According to Holt, Dorpers are a project for any kid interested in showing.
“I enjoy seeing the kids succeed,” Holt adds. “Not everyone has the space for a large animal, but they still want to show livestock. Dorpers' gentle nature and minimal requirements can appeal to many and I would encourage everyone to try them."