Sheep Brought New Opportunities to Montana


Sheep have historically been the second most numerous type of livestock in Montana after cattle. Populations began to boom with the introduction of a large band of sheep in 1869 in the Beaverhead Valley. 

By the late 1800's Homesteaders were catching on to how well-adapted sheep were to Montana's harsh winters and unforgiving terrain. The industry quickly spread across the state and producers enjoyed the profitability that a band could provide. Sheep produced a strong annual wool crop and cost less to raise than cattle. 

This 1904 photo shows Nels Udam, Gunnar Njoa and Sam Udam with their sheep on the Eastern Montana Prairie. The photograph was taken by pioneer woman Evelyn Cameron. 


Photo courtesy of the Montana Historical Society 

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