About Us


Columbia sheep were developed by the United States Department of Agriculture as a true breeding type to replace cross breeding on the range.

In 1912, rams of the long wool breeds were crossed with high quality Rambouillet ewes to produce large ewes yielding more pounds of wool and more pounds of lamb. The first cross Lincoln-Rambouillet line was the most promising of all crosses. The Bureau of Animal Industry maintained this line and by intensive breeding and selection produced a true breeding strain with characteristics of the superior crossbred line. The original cross was made at Laramie, Wyoming, and the Foundation of the Government Columbia flock was moved to the Sheep Experiment Station at Dubois, Idaho, in 1918. The result was larger ewes that had superior mothering instincts that produced more pounds of wool and larger lambs that meant more profit for those that raised Columbias.

The outstanding record made by Columbia’s on the western ranges has created an interest among sheep people of other areas. While they were originally developed for range conditions, they have proved admirably adaptable to the lush grasses and farm flock management of the middle west, east, north and south.

The mature Columbia rams weigh between 250 and 350 pounds and the females weigh 150 to 250 pounds. The average fleece weight of the ewes ranges from 10 to 16 pounds (4.5-7.3 kg) with a yield of 45 to 55%. The staple length of the wool ranges from 3.25 to 4+ inches (8-10+ cm). Wool is classified as medium wool with a numeric count of 50’s-62’s. Wool varies from 30.99 to 22.05 microns.

History Books

History & Development of The Columbia Sheep



History & Development of The Columbia Sheep



Breed Standards

Standard of Excellence for Columbia Sheep

Size – Rams should be superior, large, well-balanced, and show correct Columbia type that represents the breed at its finest. Ewes should be large, well-balanced, and show correct Columbia type.

Fleece – Ewes should shear an annual fleece of at least 12 pounds. All fleeces should grade between 22.05 and 30.99 microns (62–50 spin count), should vary by no more than two spin count grades, and contain no colored or medullated fiber, hair, or kemp. Staple length should meet or exceed the standards for grade (3.25 inches for 60–62 spin count, 3.50 inches for 56–58 spin count, 4.00 inches for 50–54 spin count).

Head – Should be polled and free from wool blindness, with moderately long ears covered evenly with white hair or very short wool. Hair on face and ears should be white. Occasional black hairs and pigmented spots on ears permitted; pigmentation on eyelids, nose, and fringe or lacing of ears permitted.

Neck – Should be moderately short, neatly attached and full, and preferably free from wrinkles and folds.

Shoulders – Should be wide, meaty, tightly laid on top, and even with backline.

Chest – Should be wide and deep, with forelegs set well apart.

Back – Should be long, level, wide, and strongly muscled.

Rump – Should be long and wide, with dock carried well up.

Ribs – Should be well-sprung, wide, and deep

Thighs – Should be thickly muscled and well-filled in the twist.

Legs – Should be set squarely under sheep, heavily boned, and covered with white hair below the wool line.

Pasterns – Should be moderately short and strong.

Hoofs – May be either white or black.


Sheep with the following traits should not be registered:

Horns – Horns, scurs, or knobs on ewes and rams. (Small scurs permitted on outstanding rams that show promise for breed improvement in production and type.)

Folds – Excessive wrinkles or folds on neck. A slight fold on brisket shall not be discriminated against on superior animals.

Lack of Quality – Poor constitution, low productive capacity, malformed weak pasterns, crooked feet, or crooked legs.

Inverted Eyelids

Faulty Teeth/Mouth – Any tendency toward overshot or undershot jaws.

Discolorations – Colored hair on legs. (Refer to standards for pigmentation on ears, eyelids, nose.)

Inadequate Hair/Wool On Face & Ears – Covering should protect from sunburn.

Wool Blindness – Wool should not impair vision, even in full fleece.


  • Short Staple- Staple length less than standard for wool grade for 12 months of growth (or as calculated to be proportional for periods less than or greater than 12 months)
  • Unevenness – More than two spin count grades of wool.

  • Impurities – Hair, kemp, or medullated fiber within fleece.
  • Lightness -Loose, lacking in density.
  • Grade – Anything less than 22.05 microns or greater than 30.99 microns.
  • Coloration – Any colored wool.

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General Appearance – A large sheep, symmetrical in outline, head erect, legs squarely placed.  Rams distinctly masculine.  Ewes strong but feminine.………………………………………………………………………….10 points

Head – Polled; open white face with wool covering that does not impair vision, even in full fleece; moderately long ears covered evenly with white hair or very short wool; eyes clear and bright; mouth neither overshot nor undershot..…………………………6 points

Neck – Medium short, with smoothness from head to shoulders.  No wrinkles………………………………………. 2 points

Back – Strong, level, long, with thick fleshing; withers smooth, well fleshed.…………………………………………………10 points

Ribs – Well sprung, deep underline, well fleshed.………6 points

Chest – Broad and deep, providing ample width between forelegs, full in front, without skin folds.………………………………………………………….4 points

Rump – Level on top to dock; wide at dock; deep in twist.………………4 points

Legs – Medium long in proportion to size, heavy bone, straight feet, strong pastern……………………………………………………………………6 points

Legs/Thigh – Full to shank, thick and plump, with deep and full twist………………..6 points

Scrotum, Udder – Two well-developed testicles in rams. Two teats with udder well developed and well balanced in ewes ……………………………6 points



 Overall Quality –Dense, long staple of uniform fiber quality from shoulder
to thigh and carrying with uniformity to underline, with heavy yield of clean wool.……………………………………………………………………………..25 points

Length – Uniform length that meets or exceeds standards for grade for 12 months’ growth (3.25 inches for 60–62 spin count, 3.50 inches for 56–58 spin count, 4.00 inches for 50–54 spin count) ……………………………………………………………………5 points

Grade/Uniformity /Purity/Handle – Spin count 62–50 (micron 22.05–30.99); not more than two spin count grades in one fleece; free of hair, kemp,
medullated fiber; soft, elastic, white, clean.
.……………………………………………………………………5 points

Condition – Fibers free from breaks and strong throughout length. Yolk white or cream, not in excess, not dry or discolored. Free from matting or cotting; free of contamination.……………..5 points


TOTAL POINTS – 100 pts.

CSBA By-Laws

CSBA By-Laws

(Updated 7-3-2024)

(A non-profit corporation organized under the laws of North Dakota. Revised June 2024.)

PURPOSES: The purposes for which this corporation is formed are:
• To preserve and improve the quality of Columbia sheep by selective recording and registration.
• To protect the breeders and purchasers of, and maintain the purity of, Columbia sheep, by recognizing, and designating as Columbia sheep animals conforming to the standards and requirements of this Association.
• To provide funds for the purposes of the Association, and to acquire real and personal property as may be necessary to requisite in the due performance of its business, or incidental thereto.
• To encourage and promote the breed and improvement of Columbia sheep and publicize the same.

The Board of Directors shall fix this Association’s principal place of business, and change it from
time to time to meet changing conditions, either within or without the state of North Dakota,
provided that at all times when its principal office is maintained without the State of North
Dakota a resident agent, either an individual or a corporation, shall be maintained within North
Dakota, whose name and address shall be kept on file with the Secretary of State of the state of
North Dakota.

Section 1–Members: There shall be no capital stock of this Association. Any reputable breeder of Columbia sheep may become a member by application to Association, and by paying a membership fee. (Junior memberships, through 21 years of age, are $15. Senior memberships, 22 years of age or older, are $50.) Membership shall not be transferable and may be cancelled without notice for non-user at the direction and discretion of the Directors at any time a member has not recorded sheep with the Association for a period of not less than two years. Membership shall be limited to one application per entity as determined by legal residency. Notice of such cancellation shall be given by the Secretary, by mail, to the former member at this post office address of record with the Association.

Section 2–Annual Dues: Association dues are to be paid on or before the first transaction of business each calendar year. Senior membership dues are $50 per year. Junior membership dues are $10 per year. For voting rights, senior membership dues must be paid.

Section 1–Directors: This Association shall be governed by a Board of twelve Directors electedz by a majority of the votes cast at the Annual Membership Meeting from the members in good standing. Directors shall take office immediately upon election and shall hold office for two years. Six Directors shall be elected each year, except at the first election and to provide for staggered terms; six Directors shall be elected for a term of two years and six for a term of one year. Each of the four regions (based on time zones: East, Central, Mountain, and Pacific) have two Directors nominated by only the members of the region they represent. Four at- large Directors shall be nominated and elected by the members.

Section 2–President and Vice-President: Immediately following the election of Directors each year, a President and Vice-president shall be elected from the personnel of the Directors by a majority of the votes cast at such election by the Directors. The duties of the President and
the Vice-President shall be those usually appertaining to such offices and as provided by law.
Section 3–Quorum of Directors: Five Directors shall constitute a quorum to transact business.
Section 4–Vacancy in the office of Director: Vacancies in the Board of Directors may be filled for the unexpired term by the remaining Directors.
Section 5–Secretary-Treasurer: A secretary-treasurer of the Association shall be hired, and his or her compensation fixed by the Board of Directors each year. The secretary-treasurer shall
be bonded in form and amount as directed and approved by the Board of Directors.
Section 6–Executive Committee: Each year the President and four members appointed by the President from the personnel of the Directors, shall constitute the Executive Committee. The Board of Directors shall have authority to and shall delegate to the Executive Committee such duties and authority, and make rules for its guidance, as the Board of Directors deem necessary or desirable.
Section 7–Removal of officer or member: Any officer or member of this Association guilty of dishonest practice may be removed from office or membership by a majority vote of the Directors voting upon such subject at a regular or special meeting called for that purpose.
Notice of the meeting containing the charge in general terms shall be given by registered mail to the officer or member accused at his post office address on file with the Association at least ten days prior to such meeting. In the event the charge is proven involving false
registrations, all registrations procured by such member shall be subject to review and elimination by the Board of Directors.
Section 8– Resignation: Any officer may resign by filing his resignation with the Secretary of the Association. Upon acceptance of such resignation by the Board of Directors the same shall
become effective immediately. In case the Board of Directors neglect to act upon a resignation so filed within thirty days after filing, the resignation shall become effective, and the office deemed vacant.

Section 1–Directors: The Board of Directors shall meet at such times and places, either within
or without the state of North Dakota, as they shall determine. Special meetings of the Directors may be called at any time by the president or by two Directors. Notice of meetings shall be given to each Director by mail at his post office address on file with the Association, giving each Director ample time within which to attend such meeting.
Section 2–Members: The Board of Directors shall fix the place of all meetings of the members, and such meetings may be held either within or without the State of North Dakota. At least one meeting of the members will be held each year. The Secretary shall notify all
members of the Association by written notice using mail and/or appropriate electronic methods, the date, time, and place of all meetings, giving in general terms the purposes of
the meetings. Members present at any meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Such notice shall be given at least ten days prior to the meeting.
Rules and regulations fixing standards of perfection, requirements for recording or registration, providing for inspection. Issuing Record of Performance (R.O.P.) certificates of Columbia sheep;
for the insertion of new blood into the Columbia breed, fixing fees for recording and registration, and generally, for the conduct of the business of the Association, shall be made by
the members at any regular or special meeting, by a two-thirds of the votes cast at such meeting, providing notice of proposed rules, amendments thereto or changes therein, is given in the notice of the meeting.
The Board of Directors have an emergency clause to have the authority to fix fees for recording registrations and transfers and other items necessary for the operation of the Association.
Resolutions go into effect when the Directors deem so. Resolutions must be approved by a majority vote at the following annual membership meeting.
The Columbia Sheep Breeders Association of America being a membership corporation composed of individuals; a relationship is created whereby integrity, honesty, and fair dealings
of its members, between themselves, the Association, and others, is essential to the maintenance of the good reputation of the Association and its members. By-Laws and a Code of Ethics to enforce a strict compliance with the purposes of the Association, and to maintain a
clean membership and for the expulsion of unworthy members, shall be adopted, which may be altered, amended, or repealed as therein provided.

Any member of this Association who violates the Constitution, By Laws, or rules and regulations of the Association, or who shall deceive or wrong the Association or a member thereof, or other
person, or who shall conduct himself or herself as to make his or her association undesirable; or any member whose practices in the breeding of Columbia Sheep are such as to impair the reliability of the records of the Association shall be censured, suspended, or expelled by the Board of Directors, after notice and a hearing as herein after provided. Persons whose membership has been declared forfeited and cancelled and are at the time owners of registered Columbias may, in a proper case in the discretion of the Board of Directors, be permitted to transfer the Columbias then recorded in their names, or to Register and transfer the Columbias or the progeny of said sheep, within six months.
Also, to be binding on non-members, or persons holding public sales who may use the services of the Association.
The Board of Directors shall have the power to define from time to time what constitutes such fraudulent and unethical practices.
Upon charges being preferred against a member, or upon information reflecting upon his or her conduct being presented to the Executive Secretary or any officer of the Association, it shall be the duty of the Executive Secretary to investigate or cause the same to be
investigated. If the Executive Secretary with the written concurrence of the President or Vice President deems said charges or information to be of such a character that the Association should take cognizance thereof, such charges shall be reduced to writing. The Executive Secretary shall then cause a copy of such charges, with a notice of time and place of the hearing thereof, to be served upon said member (or persons) by registered mail, not less than thirty days prior to said hearing and like notice to party preferring charges. Such notice shall contain a statement about the purpose and scope of the hearing, and of the action which said Directors have the power to take regarding his or her membership or services rendered by the Association. Such notice shall further advise said party that he or she may appear in person or by Counsel, produce witnesses, affidavits, documentary, or other evidence in his or her behalf; and in any case, whenever in the judgment of the Directors, the best interests of the Association require it, a member may be denied all privileges in the Association pending the hearing upon said charges before the Directors.
SECTION D–Hearings:
With rights stated in SECTION C, both parties shall present their case. Association holds the right to record all or any part of the testimony. At the close of said hearing, or as soon thereafter as may be reasonably possible, the Directors shall make their findings as to the truth or falsity of such charges and shall render its decision thereon, either censuring, suspending or expelling said member or persons, or dismissing the charges; and upon the dismissal of the charges restoring him to the privileges of the Association, if he had been suspended pending hearing of charges. The decision of the Directors shall be final. The Executive Secretary shall record the same in Association Records and notify parties by mail of same.
SECTION E–Complaints: As the Association is not a complaint department, they will only act on cases whereby they directly affect the good name of the Association, the By-Laws, or rules. Otherwise, all agreements are between the buyer and seller of animals, where the Association is not impaired.

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Silver Bell Recipients

The Silver Bell is presented to member(s) of the Columbia Sheep Breeders Association who are committed Columbia sheep producers and show outstanding leadership in the CSBA. The Silver Bell is awarded to those who have a history of raising and promoting Columbia sheep as well as demonstrate strong leadership as a member of the CSBA. Silver Bell awardees are CSBA members who raise exemplary Columbia sheep, but also, demonstrate commitment to the Columbia breed by participation in the National Columbia Show and Sale, as a CSBA committee member, a CSBA Director, host for a NSS, and are active in other sheep industry endeavors which advance the production of Columbia sheep. The Board of Directors evaluates nominee (made by members and/or Board members) prior to the National Show and Sale. The Silver Bell is presented at the annual NSS banquet on a regular (but not necessarily annual basis.)

Silver Bell Recipients

Ernest White                                                

1956    Ted Marquiss

1963    Alma Esplin

1963    W. A. Denecke

1963    Ray Brown

1968    Otho Whitefield

1969    Jesse Heinlen

1970    U. S. Archibald

1972    Mark Bradford

1972    Frank Curtis

1975    Robert J. Shown

1977    Joseph Pfister

1979    James & Helen Wilson

1983    Vernon Howey

1983    Al Kaiser

1985    James Marshall Sr.

1985    Marcus Vetter

1987    Ernest & Margaret Brodersen

 1989    Glen Busboom

1991    Glenn Maddux

1993    Earl Boller

1993    Billy Dan Sorrell

1995    Verl Anderson

1996    Lee & Joan Jarvis

1998    Garth Thomas

1999    Gordon Darlinton

2007    Robert Gucker

2009    David Troxel

2010    Fred Eagleson

2015    Mary Jane Rench

2016    Yogi & Ruth Braet

2018    Dr. Leroy Johnson

2019    Craig & Doelene Pitt

2019    Don & Cathy Woolstenhulme

2006 Gold Bell Recipients  Richard & Phyllis Gerber

2023 – A & K Columbias – Ann & Rick Wehri/Kay & Tom Wright/Karine West

2024 – Doug and Lindi Peterson, SD

2024 – Lynn Frey, ND 

Golden Bell Recipients

Golden Bell Recipients

2006 – Richard and Phyllis Gerber, OH

2024 – Lee and Joan Jarvis, UT

Columbia Sheep Association Person of the Year 

Columbia Sheep Association Person of the Year

1963   Frank Curtis

1964   Palmer Schonning

1965   Earl Cunningham

1966   Mark Bradford

1967   Robert Shown

1968   Otho Whitefield

1969   James Wilson

1970   Marcus Vetter

1971   James Marshall

1972   Paul Gaskill

1973   Al Kaiser

1974   Lawrence Brinker

1975   Alvin Fjeld

1976   Ernest Brodersen

1977   Preston Teegardin

1978   Earl Boller

1979   Merle R. Light

1980   Gordon Darlinton

1981   Sherdon Woolstenhulme

1982   Glen Busboom

1983   Troy & Loretta Freeburg

1984   Verl Anderson

1985   Lee Jarvis

1986   Jack Wilson

1987   Garth Thomas

1988   Gwen Caldwell

1989   Fred Eagleson

1990   John & Steve Stromquist

1991   Steve & Joy Kitzan

1992   Don & Gary Gooder

1993   David & Jane Smith

1994   Lynn & Shirley Frey

1995   Al Hull

1996   Doug & Lindi Peterson

1997   David Cook

1998   Steven Hull

1999   A & K Columbias

2000   Larry & Dixie McDaniel

2001   Broken Dollar Ranch

2002   Matt Jarvis

2003   Craig Pitt

2004   James Marshall Jr.

2005   Albert Prather

2006   Wm & Margaret Rickabaugh

2007   Don Woolstenhulme

2008   John Hanna

2009   Tom & Anne Key

2010   Bredahl Family

2011   Gene & Mary Langhus

2012   Manda Davis

2013   Paul & Sara Uphoff

2014   Wm & Margaret Rickabaugh

2015   Leland Thiesen Family

2016   Don Lawson Family

2017   Charles & Louise Worm

2018   Hettinger Research Center

2019   Billie Estridge

2021 – David Brown – Geneva Hills Farm

2022 – Mike, Becky and Cortney Copeland

2023 – Weston Borcher


Past Presidents of the CSBA

Past Presidents of the CSBA

1941   Ernest White, MT

1942   Ernest White, MT

1943   W.A. Denecke, MT

1944   W.A. Denecke, MT

1945   W.A. Denecke, MT

1946   W.A. Denecke, MT

1947   W.A. Denecke, MT

1948   U.S. Archibald, WY

1949   U.S. Archibald, WY

1950   U.S. Archibald, WY

1951   Mark Bradford, UT

1952   Mark Bradford, Ut

1953   A.W. Powell, SD

1954   A.W. Powell, SD

1955   Marcus Vetter, OR

1956   Marcus Vetter, OR

1957   Everett Vannorsdale, MO

1958   Everett Vannorsdale, MO

1959   Everett Vannorsdale, MO

1960   Frank Curtis, WY

1961   Frank Curtis, WY

1962   Henry Clauss, NY

1963   Don Marquiss, WY

1964   Don Marquiss, WY

1965   Otho Whitefield, TX

1966   Otho Whitefield, TX

1967   Otho Whitefield, TX

1968   Otho Whitefield, TX

1969   W.A. Denecke, MT

1970   W.A. Denecke, MT

1971   James Wilson, WI

1972   James Wilson, WI

1973   James Marshall Sr., ND

1974   James Marshall Sr., ND

1975   James Marshall Sr., ND

1976   Ernest Brodersen, CA

1977   Ernest Brodersen, CA

1978   Lee Jarvis, UT

1979   Lee Jarvis, Ut

1980   David Troxel, WI

1981   David Troxel, WI

1982   Earl Boller, WY

1983   Earl Boller, WY

1984   Robert Zimmerman, CO

1985   Robert Zimmerman, CO

1986   Robert Zimmerman, CO

1987   Gordon Darlinton, MT

1988   Gordon Darlinton, MT

1989   Robert Gucker, OH

1990   Robert Gucker, OH

1991   David Smith, IN

1992   David Smith, IN

1993   David Smith, IN

1994   Gary “Yogi” Braet, IA

1995   Gary “Yogi” Braet, IA

1996   Lynn Frey, ND

1997   Lynn Frey, ND

1998   Kay Wright, WY

1999   David Smith, IN

2000   David Smith, IN

2001   Charles Worm, MN

2002   Steve Hull, OR

2003   Steve Hull, OR

2004   Mary Ann Johnson, OH

2005   Mary Ann Johnson, OH

2006   Steve Hull, OR

2007   Steve Hull, OR

2008   Steve Hull, OR

2009   Craig Pitt, UT

2010   Garth Gucker, OH

2011   Garth Gucker, OH

2012   Garth Gucker, OH

2013   Mary Ann Johnson, OH

2014   Mary Ann Johnson, OH

2015   Sara Hildebrandt, WI

2016   Sara Hildebrandt, WI

2017   Sara Hildebrandt, WI

2018   Lynn Frey, ND

2019   Craig Pitt, UT

2020 Steve Hampson, MA

2021 Steve Hampson, MA

2022  Steve Hampson, MA

2023  Steve Hampson, MA

2024  Holly Courtney, UT