The Bobendrier family’s sheep business started three generations ago when Chuck’s grandfather started raising and showing sheep at the Minnesota State Fair in 1915. Chuck was born and raised near Elk River and there were always sheep of different breeds around, but some time in Chuck’s youth Hampshires became the family’s breed of choice. Chuck began breeding and showing sheep in his middle and high school years and continues to do so today.
In 1968, Chuck married Jan and they purchased acreage near Albert Lea so they could move their flock. Years later the Bobendriers moved to Pipestone and the flock followed.
The Bobendriers own about 70 purebred ewes that Chuck lambs out in the spring and fall. They live on 20 acres and rent pasture for their sheep. Chuck buys all his animals’ feed and hay. The Bobendriers work hard to keep their flock at the top of the list of national Hampshire flocks and currently show their sheep at state fairs in Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota and the National Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
There was a lot of involvement in 4-H and FFA sheep shows when Chuck and Jan’s kids were involved and now the couple is seeing their grandchildren participate in 4-H and FFA. Chuck also helps mentor other 4-H and FFA youth who want to show sheep.
The Bobendriers are past members of the Pipestone Ag Committee and the area Chamber of Commerce. They have been initiated into the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Hall of Fame and the family was honored by the Minnesota State Fair in 2015 for exhibiting continuously for 100 years.