Mary Ellen Clark

Each year, the Frederick County Sheep Breeders look back at the year in reflection during its annual meeting, which was held in December 2023. They use this time to take note of their successes, as well as what they would like to improve for its members and community going forward. During this annual meeting, they reviewed the financial statement, functional reports, 2024 schedule of events, and elected a new officer team.

Outgoing President Mary Ellen Clark led the meeting by greeting attendees and managing the agenda. A presentation was provided by Liam Forrest of the Tom James Company on fiber and clothing production in the United States. The attendees appreciated learning more about the organization and the continued demand for wool fabrics. The new officer team consists of President Kristan Latham of Thurmont, Vice President Charlotte Dutton of Frederick, Treasurer Mary Ellen Clark of Thurmont, and Secretary Kelly Neff of Sabillasville. The newly elected directors include Rhiannon Huscha of Keedysville, Patricia Sanville of Frederick, and Dahl Drenning of Woodsboro.

As part of this reflection, the Frederick County Sheep Breeders also like to acknowledge the contribution of the members to each other, the Frederick County area, and beyond. They honor this with the Shepherd of the Year Award.

The recipient of the 2023 Frederick County Shepherd of the Year went to Dahl Drenning of Lock’s View Farm. The year 2023 was very busy for his farm, not only with the daily chores, but in the community and beyond. There are very few moments available that are not consumed by taking care of animals, maintaining the farm, caring for the family, and supporting fellow members. Involvement in the community includes a strong faith and fellowship in their church community, always willing to lend a hand to larger service to support friends and family. This carries over to the care they offer to their flock of sheep, which has grown over time since establishing their farm operation in the 1970s. As we all know, managing a farm, a career, and a family is a never-ending job, which only gets more complex as the years go on. His operation over time has transitioned from horses to sheep and goats as his family moved into the local 4-H program.

Dahl and his wife, Peggy, started their farm in Woodsboro, located in Frederick County, where they established strong roots in their community. After his completion of a successful teaching career in the Frederick County Public School System, Dahl was able to continue educating the public about history. He was a docent at Mount Vernon, assisting with the livestock and educating visitors about the livestock. Community agriculture organization events at The Great Frederick Fair is where you can find Dahl in the fall. Dressed in period clothing, with his heritage sheep display, Dahl educates the public about the sheep lines kept by George Washington and the heritage ways of working on the farm. Whether showing sheep across the State of Maryland and nationally, lending a hand in fundraising, educating others about sheep, repairing machinery, or making hay, Dahl’s roots are strongly established in agriculture education from a lifetime of work that has been much appreciated in our community.

His contribution to the community is notable and appreciated. Dahl’s dedication to agriculture and agricultural education spans multiple decades and multiple species.  The variety of sheep he has raised—Montadale (white and natural color), Romney, Hog Island, and Leicester Longwool—is just one of the many chapters in this wonderful story. We congratulate Dahl and look forward to his continued support for our organization and community in the coming years.

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