The Good Shepherd Monument

Trailing of the Sheep

Last year  the Trailing of the Sheep Cultural Heritage Center, Inc., presented the sheep industry and the Wood River Valley community and beyond with The Good Shepherd Monument.  The display, by sculptor Danny D. Edwards of Danny Edwards Bronzes, includes 11 life-sized bronze sculptures featuring eight sheep, a sheepherder, horse and dog, and will be installed on the landscape strip at Roberta McKercher Park facing Highway 75 in Hailey, Idaho.

This monument is a lasting tribute to the sheep ranchers, producers, herders and the generations of families and communities who support them.  Bronze sculptures were chosen for their long life and beauty for all to enjoy for many years to come. This project is their gift to the community, the industry and a tribute to its 150-plus years of history in the Wood River Valley.

The mission of the Trailing of the Sheep Cultural Heritage Center, Inc., is to gather, celebrate, present and preserve the history and culture of families and individual men and women involved in Idaho sheep ranching and to honor their contributions to the development of Idaho and the West.  The primary focus of the organization each year is producing the Trailing of the Sheep Festival.

The Festival was created in 1996 in response to the rapid loss of farms and ranches, growth in Idaho and the West, and newcomers to the area with little knowledge of the industry. It is with a sense of urgency that we work to preserve and capture the stories and our rich history, heritage and culture before they are lost.

Planning for their 26th year, the event has expanded greatly from humble beginnings, yet the goals and objectives remain the same—preserving the stories and history of sheep ranchers and herders, celebrating the rich cultures of the past and present, and entertaining and educating all about the production of food and fiber that have sustained local economies for generations. The Festival is a unique, extended weekend that celebrates the culture, folk and traditional arts and history of Idaho’s sheep ranching families highlighting the principal contributors – the Basques, Scottish and Peruvians.  

The Festival has garnered several well-deserved accolades over the years, including being recognized as one of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World by travel, Top 7 Fall Festivals by National Geographic, Top Ten U.S. Fall Festivals by, Top Animal Festivals in the World and Top Ten Fall Festivals by USA Today, Top 7 Fun Fall Festivals by AARP,  One of the Greatest Cultural Events in the West by Northwest Travel, and is a recipient of both the Society of American Travel Writer’s Phoenix Award for Best in Cultural Tourism and the Idaho Governor’s Award for Cultural Heritage.

The cost of The Good Shepherd Monument was approximately $240,000. The funds needed to complete this project were outside the scope of the general operating budget to produce the annual Festival.  This monument has been a decades-long dream for the Festival board and supporters.  This project was made possible through financial support from communities near and far who help reach their goal.

The monument was part of the Trailing of the festivals 25th anniversary year and was the perfect time to unveil the lasting monument and it is with great enthusiasm that we present this opportunity to the community at-large.  

Trailing of the Sheep Festival Highlights

  • Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep trailing down Main Street in Ketchum
  • Championship Sheepdog Trials with 100 of the country’s most talented border collies competing for prizes 
  • Sheep Folklife Fair featuring the Basque, Scottish, and Peruvian dancers and musicians, sheep shearing, folk, fiber and traditional artists, children’s activities and more
  • Culinary Events with For Love of Lamb dine-around, Lamb fest at the Folklife Fair, lamb cooking classes, Farm to Table Lamb Dinners, TBD
  • Wool Fest with classes and workshops 
  • Hikes and Histories featuring Idaho’s sheep ranchers and renowned storytellers
  • Happy Trails closing party with Cindy & Gary Braun and the Gator Nation in partnership with the Sun Valley Jazz & Music Festival.

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