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82-Lancaeter Farming, Saturday, November 26, 1994
Pennsylvania Lamb and Wool Queen Stephanie Bowman raises about 60
sheep on the family’s Lehartsville farm. She grew up tending sheep and lamb
Is a staple on the family table. Stephanie has won many ribbons for her Dorset
Meet The Pennsylvania Lamb And Wool Queen
LOU ANN GOOD
Lancaster Fanning Staff'
Co.) The typical teen’s diet is
not lamb tacos, barbecued lamb
steaks, and spicy lamb stir-fry.
Neither does the typical teen’s
wardrobe consist of seven wool
sweaters and classy wool suits. But
Stephanie Bowman is out to
As the Pennsylvania Lamb and
Wool Queen, she practices what
she preaches: Lamb tastes great —
and wool is fashionable.
Lamb, raised from her own
flock, is a dietary staple in the
Bowman family. And, when it
comes to purchasing clothes, Ste
phanie is always on the lookout for
wool fashions. If she can’t find
them, she makes them. '
People often compliment Ste
phanie whenever she wears one of
her wool sweaters.
‘Then I give my little spiel
about wool and how it looks nice
and comes in many different fash
ions,” said Stephanie, who never
loses an opportunity to speak in
support of the wool industry.
“Many people aren’t aware that
wool isn’t itchy to wear like it was
years ago. And they don’t realize
how many different types of wool
are available today,” Stephanie
Stephanie, a petite whirlwind of
energy, dabbles in numerous
agricultural-related activities but
zeroes her focus on lamb
The daughter of school teachers,
Roger and Nancy Bowman, Ste
phanie said she learned early that
she did not want to pursue a teach
ing degree. “I know all the prob
lems,” she emphasized the “all.”
But Stephanie also learned what
she does want to do from her
“I grew up with a farming back
ground and I definitely want to live
on a farm, always,” she said.
Her parents purchased their
20-acre farm before Stephanie was
bom. Even as a toddler, Stephanie
followed her father around as he
fed the sheep and gathered the eggs
from the chickens.
They raised a 'few pigs and
steers, but Stephanie tended to like
the sheep best. Her brother
Michael, who is 19, raises Corrie
When Stephanie was eight year
old and old enough to join 4-H,
Stephanie purchased her first
Dorset lambs to intermingle with
her father’s crossbreed flock.
“I liked Dorsets because they
look clean and are a good mother
breed,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie had a bit of an edge on
other 4-H’ers because of her previ
ous work with managing sheep on
the family farm. But through 4-H,
she learned to shear sheep and
numerous other things.
“If it wasn’t for 4-H, I wouldn’t
be where I am today,” she said.
In addition to winning the queen
title for the sheep industry, Stepha
nie also achieved the Youth of the
Year Award from the Pennsylvan
ia Dorset Breeders. This is given to
the outstanding junior Dorset
breeder in the state.
She has also received the Senior
Shepherd Award in Berks County.
This award is based on points
achieved for sheep sheering, sheep
placings at the fair, project book,
fitting and showmanship, and a
test on knowledge of the sheep
This year, in addition to fitting
and showmanship awards at the
Reading Fair, Stephanie also was
named the outstanding 4-H girl.
In addition to showing sheep at
Allentown, Kimberton, Kutztown,
sheep and Is named the 1994 Pennsylvania Dorset Breeders’ Youth of the Year
and the 1994 Outstanding 4-H Girl of the Reading Fair.
Oley, and Reading fairs, Stephanie
and her brother also show at state
competition and enter fleeces from
their sheep in the wool competition
at Farm Show.
“We’ve done tremendously
well,” Stephanie said of first and
second placings fix 1 both Dorset
and Corriedale breeds.
Make-It-With-Wool and lead
line competitions are another area
where Stephanie excells. For
years, she has been competing in
the leadline competitions held at
Reading Fair and the Keystone
International Livestock Exibition.
During leadline competition, com
petitors model wool outfits while
leading a sheep around the show
ring. Scores are based on the parti
cipant’s skill in handling the ani
mal and the appearance of both the
shepherd and sheep.
One year, Stephanie placed in
state competition in the Make-It-
“At first my mom sewed my
outfits, but now I sew my own,”
She added that whenever she
sews outfits for competitions, both
she and her mother become frus
trated and things get a bit stressful.
In confidence, she confided that
she considers herself a better
seamstress than her mother but
not better than her grandmother.
“Seeing the finished product
makes me feel really good,” she
said. Stephanie made a tailored
suit for the queen competion,
which she wore when crowned.
Before Stephanie was eligible to
compete for the state Lamb and
Wool Queen crown, she needed to
achieve the crown for her county,
which she did at the Reading Fair.
For the state competition, Ste
phanie needed to submit a resume,
a lamb recipe, prepare a display
promoting the industry, be inter-
viewed before a panel of judges,
and give a speech promoting the
industry at the sheep arena during
KILE. Stephanie was crowned
during festivities during KILE.
The crown was something she
desired for many years.
“Amy Eshelman was my mod
el,” Stephanie said. Amy was a for
ma' sheep exhibitor and queen for
the industry several years ago. As
far back as could be determined,
Amy and Stephanie are the only
Countians to achieve the
Pennsylvania Lamb and Wool
Recently, three lambs from Ste
phanie’s flock were processed and
served at the Berks County Lives
“We eat a lot of lamb at our
house,” Stephanie said.
She’s proud that she has been
able to convince many skeptical
friends to try a sample of lamb.
“Most people like it if they try
it” Stephanie said. “I even got one
lady who had always refused to eat
lamb to try it because she prom
ised that if I won the state crown
than she would eat lamb.”
Especially popular with Stepha
nie’s friends is lamb tacos, which
' may* be prepared with any taco
recipe simply by replacing beef
Stephanie is a senior at Kutz
town Area High School, where she
takes college prep and ag courses.
As president of both chapter and
county FFA, Stephanie is enthu
siastic about her school’s agricul
“The numbers are really grow
ing tremendously in the past few
years,” she said of the attendance
enrollment in ag programs.
FFA and 4-H activities take up
most of Stephanie’s spare time.
Since she was 11 years old, Ste
phanie has been part of the coun
ty’s livestock judging team. One
year the team placed first in the
state. She has achieved Chapter
and Star degrees and proficiency
awards in FFA. Recently, she par
ticipated in the FFA leadership
She plays piano, was in school
chorus until last year, and partici
pated in band until she was in tenth
“Band kept conflicting with 4-H
activities. I preferred 4-H so I
dropped band,” Stephanie said.
She also has gathered a bit of
dairy goat care expertise. When
friends who have dairy goats go
away, Stephanie hand-milks and
feeds the goats.
After high school graduation,
Stephanie plans to study dairy and
animal science at Penn State and
minor in poultry technology and
management. She has been
accepted at main campus but may
decide to go to the Berks campus
the first year or two.
“I prefer to know my professors
and have them know me,” she said.
Because raising lamb is not very
profitable, it needs to be more of a
hobby than a money-raising pro
ject. Stephanie hopes to do her part
(Turn to Page B 4)