The Jones Ranch is for us a new source of wool in 2020. In June of 2020 I had a great, long telephone call with Dirk Jones. It was gratifying to learn that Dirk had already done some research on WeatherWool!
I told Dirk we'd like to introduce his Ranch here on the website, and he sent this info to me on 8 July 2020:
Amos Dee Jones first became involved the sheep business in 1898 when he moved from Texas to Southeastern New Mexico, an area with an arid environment and tremendous temperature fluctuations. After working several years as a sheep herder and ranch hand, he established the Jones Ranch in New Mexico in 1917.
After decades of sheep breeding experience, Mr. Jones in 1920 started crossing Delaine Merino rams with Rambouillet ewes. By selective mating, Mr. Jones produced a long stapled, fine wooled sheep with a large, smooth body.
Dee Jones died in 1943, but his breeding program was carried on by his son, R.C. “Punch” Jones. Following many years of this highly selective breeding program, Mr. Jones’ ideal sheep became a reality and the breed known today as the “Debouillet”.
In 1955, the United States Department of Agriculture officially recognized the Debouillet breed, the first breed of sheep recognized by USDA as originating in the United States. The breed characteristics as described by the USDA are: producing a high quality fine wool fleece, hardy under arid conditions, and adaptable to unassisted pasture lambing. Over the ensuing years, fleeces originating from the Jones Ranch have won numerous awards at stock shows and wool shows throughout the western United States.
The Jones Ranch is currently operated by Dee Jones’ grandson, Dirk Jones and his family, with the assistance of his sister, Debbie Jones. Debbie refers to the ewes and lambs as her “family”. The “family” continues to reside on a little over 20,000 acres [8000 hectares] near Tatum, New Mexico.
9 July 2020