Kentucky's Sheep Industry
When measured on January 1, 2018, there were approximately 50, 000 head of sheep and lambs in Kentucky. Sheep are classified either as breeding sheep or market sheep, and Kentucky had 39,000 breeding sheep and lambs and 11,000 market sheep and lambs. In 2012 (Census), there were 1,743 farms with sheep and lambs in Kentucky.
While we typically think of sheep of producing wool, they are also raised for milk and meat (mutton and lamb)! Mutton barbeque is predominately served in Western Kentucky, with Owensboro and the international barbeque festival being “Mutton Central”.
Top sheep counties in Kentucky (per 2012 Census):
Source: National Agriculture Statistics Service and Economic Research Commission