In the Ketcham family, we have always jokingly said we are going sheepin’ when it comes to packing up and going to sheep shows and/or sales. Each sheepin’ experience has always been different but the meaning has always been the same. It didn’t matter if we were going to go look at sheep, buy sheep, sell sheep, show sheep, sell sheep equipment, or all of the above, we have always done it with our family in mind. People often ask, “How did you ever end up in this business?” We often have to simply smile, and give the shortened summary of how this all started. It would take many years of stories to fully explain how this has all happened step by step as God had it planned out to be from the beginning.
Kim started showing sheep in 1963 at the age of 10 and that is when this spark started in him. As he got older, his passion for showing sheep lead him in his early teens to start showing sheep for Bill Heggemeier, who had a huge impact on the unique experiences Kim would have during this time. As Kim traveled the national show circuit, often prepping for huge production sales, and visiting many farms and ranches, he saw a need for equipment to use specifically for sheep.
Kim’s first piece of equipment was a trimming stand out of wood, and yes, amazingly enough, we still have the stand today. Wood later turned into metal and the ideas became real pieces of sheep equipment and with a lot of faith, our family business was built. And, this where thirty five years worth of stories start!
Kim’s wife, Joan, spent many romantic dates right out of high school at sheep shows and sales with Kim. At the official start of Ketcham’s Sheep Equipment, they had a son, Kerry, and a daughter, Katie, soon after. Without a doubt, it was only natural that Kerry and Katie would show sheep too.
The Next Generation is Now Going Sheepin’
Now the next generation is now going sheepin’! Kylie and Koy showed for the first time in the summer of 2012. This opportunity of getting the next generations ready for their first sheep show really made us take a step back and reflect on what we really have accomplished and reminded us of all the little memories made along the way.
So many of our memories involves the sheep industry in some way— the places we have traveled, the people we have met along the way, and lifelong friends we have made. People often ask if we ever do anything that doesn’t involve sheep and to be truthful, not much! Our family is so rooted in the sheep industry and when you know you have been called upon to do what we do, its hard not to find joy in the little things in our business everyday.
The Memories Are Priceless
Just as many of you and your families have been involved in the sheep industry for generations, you too share many memories, as a family, that are priceless. If you are just starting out in the sheep business and on your sheepin’ journey, enjoy it and make the most of the memories you will make. We want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to not only to provide you with sheep equipment, but for being a part of our family tradition, a legacy. We hope you take a moment with your family and share what your best memories have been together. We also pray that your family has been and will continue to be blessed with many years and many good memories of going sheepin’.