Generations of ranchers flock to the Sheepherders Rendezvous

The Sheepherders Rendezvous in Glenrock keeps the traditions of the sheepherders in Wild West alive
The Sheepherder Rendezvous aims to preserve the unique tradition of sheepherding in Wyoming.
The Sheepherder Rendezvous aims to preserve the unique tradition of sheepherding in Wyoming.(KCWY)
Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 8:51 PM CDT
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GLENROCK, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The state of Wyoming’s history is deeply rooted in agriculture. Many of the folks who attend the Sheepherder Rendezvous can trace their family history of raising sheep back for generations.

One of the highlights of the Sheepherder Rendezvous is their collection of sheep wagons. Sheepherders in the Old West lived in these wagons with their dogs while they traveled across the Great Plains herding sheep. Each wagon is unique. Some event organizers affectionately refer to them as the original tiny homes.

Rita Redig, one of the event organizers, says, “They actually lived in these wagons and they are not very big. They’re smaller than most people’s bedrooms or even bathrooms. It’s just excitement. It’s a wonderful thing to see the people enjoying the heritage of their wagons.”

Wyoming is the fourth largest sheep producer in the country, and this practice has a long history here. If it has anything to do with sheep, you’ll find it here at the sheepherders rendezvous.

Rhonda Dilts works with Redig to help coordinate the event. She says, “We just have every aspect of the wool industry and the sheep industry in one way or the other. That’s what I get out of it, I just love promoting that.”

The practice of sheepherding has changed dramatically since the Wild West days. While the use of the sheep wagon isn’t as prevalent nowadays, they are still used in some parts of the state. The goal of the Sheepherders Rendezvous is to preserve the tradition of sheepherding in Wyoming and educate people about this unique way of life.

Redig says, “That’s our goal is to keep the heritage alive. Once the sheep wagons are gone, the history is gone. People are not going to sit around a car and say ‘look at the undercarriage of my sheep wagon’. It’s a heritage that needs to be kept alive.”

Folks who visit the Sheepherders Rendezvous can expect to see alpaca and sheep dog shows, dutch oven cook offs and more. The event runs August 25-27 at Glenrock Town Park.