Southdown Juniors > Membership

American Junior Southdown Association

To foster and promote youth activity and interest in the Southdown breed.

The objectives of the AJSA include but are not limited to:

  • promote Southdown sheep as youth projects;
  • develop youth leadership skills and future leaders within the breed;
  • foster communication with Southdown youth across the county and with the AJSA and the ASBA Board of Directors;
  • improve and develop the capabilities of youth in breeding, raising and showing Southdown sheep.

Junior Member Spotlight

Hanna Peterson - South Dakota
Hanna with her 2010 Reserve Champion Ewe “Glitz”.
Hanna with her 2015 Supreme Champion 4-H Breeding Ewe at the South Dakota State Fair.

There has been a lot of discussion the last few years as to what the ideal Southdown should look like. Some people favor smaller frame, “wether style” Southdowns while others prefer sheep with more frame, femininity, or growth. For Hanna Peterson of Fedora, South Dakota, her family has coined the term “Tweeners” and focuses on raising quality sheep that are versatile and able to be compete in both the market and breeding sheep show rings. Realizing not every lamb produced is destined for the show ring, she also wanted to develop a breeding program that still had a marketable product at the sale barn that could be rewarded for growth. Thus “we raise sheep that are not too big or too small, they are tweeners!”

Hanna’s passion for breeding livestock steams from her being the fourth generation in the family to raise and show animals. Mentored by her father and mother, they guided her in learning how to evaluate livestock and utilize genetics to move her flock forward. When raising livestock there can be many challenges but “never give up even if there is a bump in the road, there are always better days ahead”. The best advise Hanna can give others who are developing their own breeding programs is to figure out your goals. “Ask yourself what is your goal? & Look for genetics that will work towards your goal.” With her 30 head “tweener” Southdown flock, Hanna has propelled her flock’s desired genetic traits forward by utilizing embryo transfer and AI. She loves genetics and testing new matings each year to see how the different genes interact with each other.

Ten years ago, Hanna’s first experience in the Southdown breed came from a starter ewe of Jody Fuller’s. She quickly fell in love with how easy the Southdowns were to manage, handle, and fit for show. “Southdown people are so willing to help each other” and her flock quickly grew with the support of several other local breeders. Now today, she competitively exhibits throughout the Midwest and sell project lambs through private treaty. Her greatest accomplishment with the Southdowns that she is most proud of is with her own genetics. In 2015, she bred, raised, and showed the 2015 Supreme Champion 4-H Breeding Ewe at the South Dakota State Fair.

When Hanna is not showing Southdowns she can also be found helping manage the family’s 80 head Boer goat herd and 400 head of commercial Angus influenced cattle. She also owns 30 head of Hereford cattle as part of her 4-H project and SAE in FFA. Hanna gained speaking and decision-making skills through her many experiences with livestock judging teams and has been a part of several state teams that have competed nationally. She has also held different leadership roles within her 4-H club, junior leaders association, and high school FFA. Evaluating and breeding all types of livestock has become such a passion for Hanna that she decided to attend Black Hawk College and will be a member of the 2018 livestock evaluation team. She will graduate with an associate degree in vet science and plans to transfer into a four-year institution for pre-vet. “I would really like to learn more about how to embryo transfer and AI sheep and goats.”

Hanna has been determined to raise the best livestock for her current and future customers. “One thing I have learned is if a judge has one opinion of your animal wait to get another before changing your whole breeding program.” Thanks Hanna for sharing your story and we wish you the best with your Southdown breeding program.


The Southdown breed leads the way for others to follow. It’s juniors are no different. The AJSA allows juniors to share a vital role in the promotion and advancement of the Southdown breed. Members are enthusiastic about helping each other and working together to improve the breed.

Join Here

Any youth under age 21 years old or younger as of January 1st of the current year is invited to become a member of the AJSA. To become a member, youth must complete the Junior Membership Application and submit this form to the ASBA along with payment of annual dues. Junior dues are to be paid annually to the ASBA to be considered a youth member in good standing. There is no lower age limit but junior members entering in ASBA sponsored junior shows must be physically capable of controlling and showing their own sheep, except in cases of physical disabilities. Junior members have the right to vote in person at American Junior Southdown Association meetings.  Junior membership does not give the right to vote at the ASBA Annual Meeting or regularly called meetings of the ASBA.  

The priviledges of membership include:

  • register and transfer Southdown sheep;
  • receive ASBA publications;
  • participate in nationally sponsored ASBA shows and contests. 

The ASBA fiscal year is October 1 to September 30.  Dues paying Junior members may transact business with the ASBA at rates for active members.