Shepherd of the Year

Each year, MSBA recognizes an individual or couple for their distinguished work within the Maryland sheep industry; their unique contribution to the organization itself and their dedication to volunteerism.

2021 Shepherd of the Year: Denise Ziegler

Denise began her foray into the sheep industry when her daughter was given a complete flock of Montadales from a retiring breeder to raise as a 4-H project. Over time, her family’s flock grew to include not only Montadales, but also Shropshires, Suffolks, and commercial market lambs. She and her husband, Fred, were active and dedicated members of MSBA for many years.

Ziegler’s own involvement with the industry grew along with the flock, from 4-H parent to volunteer, always willing to step up into leadership roles. She has assisted with both the Carroll County and Maryland State fairs’ 4-H & FFA sheep shows, and in 2014 took over as the Open Sheep Superintendent for the Maryland State Fair and continues to do an outstanding job of making this an enormously successful show that continues to attract some of the best Maryland has to offer (as well as other states). She is also a former secretary of the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association; volunteers with, and serves on the vendor and finance committees of, the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival; and regularly judges fleeces at the Carroll County 4-H & FFA Fair. MSBA is pleased to name her Shepherd of the Year in honor of her past and continuing commitment of time, energy, experience, expertise and overall support of shepherds of all ages and the sheep industry in Maryland.

Ziegler has two adult children and two adorable puppies, and lives in New Windsor, Maryland, with her husband where she runs a small cattle farm.