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How Sheep Reshaped The State

Patti Daniels
1.6 million sheep once roamed the hills of Vermont.

Sheep farming remade the Vermont economy and physical landscape to an astonishing degree in the 19th century. At the height of what's been called the "sheep craze", there were well over a million sheep in the state, about six times the human population. Where did they all go? We're looking at the history of sheep cultivation in Vermont - and taking stock of the current state of sheep farming.

We're talking to Rebecca Woods, environmental historian at Columbia University, a Vermont native who specializes in agricultural history. Also to Joe Emenheiser, livestock specialist at the University of Vermont Extension.

Also on the program, we talk with Jamey Fidel, Vermont Natural Resources Council forest and wildlife program director, about the various types of land trusts in the state and the roles they play in conserving farmlands, forests, watersheds and shorelines. 

Broadcast live on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.