CLIFTON, Ill. (WCIA) — You met E.N. Hanson of Clifton during our state fair coverage last summer when his home-grown lamb was judged grand champion.
“We raised this sheep,” Hanson said. “He’s about 8 months old right now. Pretty exciting.”
Hanson’s lambs have more awards than wall space allows. And they have great hopes for the new January lambs in the show ring next summer.
“This is the beginning of the show season for us, really,” Hanson said. “We like to raise all of ours.”
The family has been farming and raising livestock in the Clifton area for about 100 years.
“It’s kind of a legacy for the family and we’ve been trying to keep that legacy going,” Hanson said. “My grandpa was more on the commercial side of it, and my dad got into showing sheep when he was younger, and he wanted to take it to the next level with us, and that’s how all of its works.”
I asked Hanson’s father Ed why he does what he does.
So I can leave something for this young gentleman to be proud of. Everything I do is for him,” Ed said. “My wife and I do everything we can to leave more for him, to show him how to work so doesn’t ever have to struggle. My dad, myself and E.N., we farm right around 1100 acres.
But they are getting a broad reputation for high quality breeding sheep, particularly for their success in a national show.
“First year we went out there was after my brother passed away in 2016,” Hanson said. “It was three days after his funeral and we went out there knowing that was what he would want us to do, and we ended up winning champion ewe overall. It was pretty special, it was a home raised deal, and the next year we were thankful we were able to do it again in 2017 as reserve champion overall ewe.”
If a youngster gets one of the Hanson flock to show, it comes with E.N.’s prowess for success.
“The people that buy here, he also goes and supports and helps them,” Ed said. “It’s not like they’re buying an animal and they go home, they buy an animal and they call him for support. He’s really a full meal deal.”