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Corn Ranch, New Mexico

19 December 2014 (most recent update, 28 March 2017

[Mike Corn was recently elected President of the American Sheep Industry Association!]

Like it says on the header of every page on this website, WeatherWool is the best pure-American Woolen Outerwear.  And of course, the best woolens start with the best wool. WeatherWool started with some super fiber from Mike Corn's Ranch in New Mexico.

It took quite a bit of research but eventually we procured the extreme-quality wool we need from Mike in New Mexico. There is some information about Mike's wool and our requirements. These great sheep that are treated right, but these sheep must handle a very difficult environment.

Mike and his son Bronson raise their sheep at elevation of 3500 to 6500 feet (1067 to 1829 meters). Summer temperatures are guaranteed to exceed 110F/43C for two or three weeks.  June brings scorching hot winds. The winter of 2014 hasn't even officially begun yet, but Mike tells me the temperature has already fallen below 10F/-12C. When I was visited in 2011 in February, low temps in the higher elevations were -30F/-34C. And of course it gets seriously windy on some of those frigid nights.. The sun can be scorching, even in winter..Alex and I needed our wool to keep warm in the sub-freezing morning, but within a few hours the wool was protecting us from heat and sunburn.

Mike told us the drought that lasted from October 2010 until September 10, 2014 was the worst on record.. In 35 months only 5.5 inches (14 cm) of rain fell ... worse than the dustbowl of the 1950s.  The drought finally broke on September 11, with 6 inches (15 cm) of slow, soaking rain.

Mike wrote me  "Wee love our coats and vests. My son wears his vest every day! Very well made vest, warm and sheds moisture extremely well. Thanks for making such a Great product. And THANKS for growing such great wool!

 

Mike told me the toughest thing about raising his sheep, probably even tougher than the New Mexico climate, is protecting the sheep from predators.

Gray wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, golden eagles and bobcats will all kill adults and of course lambs.   And a young, inexperienced ewe may even lose her lambs to crows, which will kill lambs by pecking out their eyes and then waiting for them to die.

Because the New Mexico climate is so dry, each sheep needs a lot of land to find enough food.  And that means the ranches must be huge, with the sheep ranging far and wide. The areas required to raise the sheep are much too large for a rancher to really patrol regularly, so guard dogs that live with the sheep are extremely important.