Albert Villard and Jim Nicoletto hook a tow rope to the car of "Dirty Jobs" field producer Dave Barsky to pull it out of the mud as the "Dirty Jobs" film crew looks on.

Courtesy photo

Albert Villard and Jim Nicoletto hook a tow rope to the car of "Dirty Jobs" field producer Dave Barsky to pull it out of the mud as the "Dirty Jobs" film crew looks on.

Getting dirty

Villard Ranch receives national spotlight on Discovery Channel's 'Dirty Jobs'


— An average day at the Villard Ranch consists of feeding sheep, suckling lambs on nanny goats and generally taking care of whatever their ovine livestock may need. Thanks to the people at the Discovery Channel, the Villards soon will have an audience for these activities.

The documentary program "Dirty Jobs" is a Discovery Channel production that showcases careers across the country described by the show's Web site as "jobs you would never do."

Some of their previous subjects include chimney sweepers, sewer inspectors and handlers of uneaten food at Las Vegas buffets, among others.

The show first contacted Albert and Melody Villard about shooting on their property at 679 Haughey Road three years ago. Due to scheduling conflicts, the taping was pushed back until the "Dirty Jobs" film crew made it to Craig last week.

The Villard family was excited to meet host Mike Rowe, a mainstay on the Discovery Channel.

"We've been fans of the show for a long time," Melody said. "While they were here, they were very polite and when they started filming, they did everything they could to be as efficient as possible. Anything we did took them three times that amount of time to film, but they knew what they were doing."

The crew filmed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. Within this single day of filming, they captured some of the most difficult tasks involved in raising sheep, including feeding, shearing and the docking process that involves cutting tails and marking ears.

Their main focus was on castration of the males.

"Castration is one of the dirtiest jobs that we do, so they wanted to see a lot of that," Melody said. "Mike's commentary was fun, and it was interesting to get an outsider's take on it. Sheep ranching may look like just a dirty job to some people, but it's something that's been a part of our family for a long time, and I think that they understood the importance of that."

Melody's sister, Janice Nicoletto, and her husband, Jim, own goats that are often used for suckling lambs at Villard Ranch. These animals were involved in the filming, as well.

"I'm just glad to see goats put in a more positive light," Janice said. "It was great that the kids got to meet Mike Rowe. They love 'Dirty Jobs' and my grandson idolizes him."

The job was made even dirtier by the rainy weather, which produced a great deal of mud.

"Dave Barsky, the field producer, got his car stuck in the mud in a ditch, so we had to help pull it out," Melody said.

The airdate of the Villards' episode has not been decided yet, but will be broadcast soon.

"We're looking forward to seeing it," Melody said.


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