A child of the Great Depression and rural one-room schools, Lea dreamed of having her own farm. And her dream came true in January 1965, when she and her husband found 80 acres of rolling hills in southeast Minnesota, not far from the intersection of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
Lea built up her flock by developing her own unique breed of sheep (a 5-way cross she devised), was instrumental in creating a co-operative that used telecommunications to auction sheep and lamb meat directly to buyers – long before the days of the Internet, and helped launch a successful sheep industry in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. For 46 years, Lea raised as many as 300 sheep at a time with just the help of her dogs – and an occasional llama.
She was small but determined – far out weighed by many of the rams she wrangled, and chose to do things her way. As befitting this unique woman, Lea left this world with her children by her side on March 8, International Women’s Day.
Read the history of her farm in Voices from the Farm – 84 stories, published over 3 1/2 years!
We miss you, Lea!