As part of our Continuing Textile Traditions series, Weave A Real Peace's Feburary Zoom Panel will feature speakers who have devoted their work to conservation of the Navajo-Churro sheep. Join us for A Sheep’s Tale: Preserving the Churro to learn about the importance of this heritage sheep breed to communities in the American Southwest.
Molly Manzanares is a native New Mexican with a lifelong involvement in agriculture. She and her husband Antonio have raised and marketed a wide variety of Churro and Rambouillet sheep products through their companies, Tierra Wools and Shepherd’s Lamb, for many years. They run one of the last remaining herded bands of sheep in the state of New Mexico.
Dr. Alta Piechowski-Begay is the President of the Hoz’ho’ Center Board of Directors. One of the initiatives of the Hoz’ho’ Center is to be the permanent home for the Navajo-Churro sheep. With their special relationship with the Diné, these sheep will offer vital land restoration and help resurrect their traditional pastoral economy. Dr. Piechowski is Diné (Navajo) of the Edgewater clan, born for the Red House clan. Her maternal grandfather is of the Honeycomb clan and her paternal grandfather is of the Towering House clan. Dr. Piechowski now resides in Fort Defiance, Arizona and is a school psychologist. Having worked in the mental health field in the Navajo Nation for over 30 years, she is able to integrate traditional Diné healing practices taught by her elders along with western models of therapy. Dr. Piechowski foresees the Hozho Center joining traditional and contemporary Diné knowledge, practices, and philosophy to heal and sustain future generations.
Dr. Lyle “Doc” McNeal is an emeritus professor of Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences at Utah State University and is the founder of the Navajo Sheep Project. In October 2019 he retired from USU after over 40 years of service in teaching, research and extension outreach education for youth and livestock ranchers while at USU, and has received numerous teaching and service awards. Dr. McNeal’s pioneering work in genetic conservation of domestic animals with the Navajo-Churro sheep, and outreach education in the Intermountain West and on the Navajo Nation has brought international recognition. He recently wrote a textbook titled “Small Ruminant Production Management and Medicine” for Animal Health Publications.
There will be ample opportunity for questions from those attending this free online event. Please complete the registration form to join us on Saturday, February 19th, from 1:00-2:00 pm, US Eastern Daylight Time.