Moffat County Fair Sheep show winner follows in family’s footsteps |

Moffat County Fair Sheep show winner follows in family’s footsteps

Holding the top prize for Senior Showmanship and his show lamb, Dustin McLaughlin carries on a family tradition of winning Grand Champion ribbons at Moffat County Fair.
Sasha Nelson |

This year’s Grand Champion Senior Sheep Showman has been showing sheep his entire life.

It’s a family tradition.

“I was the only person who was able to hold a sheep without a halter during pee wee showmanship,” said Dustin McLaughlin.

Two years ago Dustin’s older brother, and inspiration, Darren, won Grand Champion Market Sheep at the Colorado State Fair.

“I am really enthralled by how he showed sheep, and I hope that I can catch up with him and exceed past him,” Dustin said.

The brothers are part of a family tradition of raising prize-winning sheep. Joined in the endeavor by their mother Kelly, father Willard and grandparents Ron and Peggy Griffin the boys help to manage a heard of about 150 ewes for the show and meat markets.

“All of our sheep are show quality sheep,” Dustin said. “If we wouldn’t show it, we wouldn’t give it to anyone else.”

Managing a herd of quality sheep takes a lot of hard work and dedication; these are life lessons that Kelly believes every child could benefit in learning.

“It’s a great lifestyle to raise kids with. They know how to work and what it means to put time in and what it means to be responsible and they take that into their lives,” she said.

She’s also a big believer in the county fair.

“We, as a community, should be thankful that we have a county fair. It’s really important for kids in rural communities to get out there and participate in something bigger. We need to be proactive in supporting something that is really positive for kids and families,” she said.

Family has taught Dustin how to raise award-winning sheep and he’s very grateful to them. He was also grateful for strong, hard working competition in the show ring.

“I was happy that the others put in a lot of hard work in their animals and I was happy to be part of it,” he said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or


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