In the summer of 2007, Northern Oklahoma College decided to take the initiative and start a sheep program on the Tonkawa
campus. Bart Cardwell, who has been actively raising sheep with his family since 1981 in Lamont, Oklahoma, was hired as the shepherd to be in charge of taking on the task of building this program from the ground up.
NOC purchased a portion of the Cardwell Flock and received a portion of the flock through donation from the Cardwell Family. The flock consists of Suffolk and Hampshire Registered ewes and rams. The flock has been recently expanded to include Dorsets with
the purchase of ten ewes from Superior Farms of Yukon, Oklahoma. A Dorset ram purchased from and raised by Hewlett’s of
Independence, Kansas and owned in half interest with Gunsmoke Dorsets of Stillwater will be used on the Dorset females and a few
black faced ewes. A Suffolk ram was purchased from Double S Suffolks of Glencoe, Oklahoma and Hindman’s of Iowa in partnership
with Bolenbaugh’s of Hunter, Oklahoma and Gunsmoke Dorsets.
The focus of the NOC sheep breeding program is to raise club lambs and breeding stock for the growing club lamb industry. The goal
is to select animals that are not only reliable as production animals, but also meet the industry’s quality standards. A strong
foundation for the breeding program has already been attained as the Cardwell Flock exhibited and sold the champion Suffolk
female at the Midwest Stud Ram Sale-the nation’s largest sheep sale-this past year.
The black faced herd consists of genetic bloodlines from the following breeders in Oklahoma and across the nation: McGolden Club
Lambs, Ott Club Lambs, Hindman Club Lambs (IA), Skipper W Club Lambs, Hancock Hampshires (KY), Cabaniss Club Lambs,
Bolenbaugh Club Lambs, Britton Club Lambs, and Garvie Club Lambs.