Arizona Drought Hurts Local Sheep Business

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Friday, June 29, 2018 - 6:05pm

The ongoing drought in Arizona is affecting all industry that depends on the land, like farming, ranching and sheep herding.

The state’s sheepherding industry has shrunk over the years, leaving just a handful of companies. Carmen Auza helps run her family’s business of several thousand sheep and says this year’s drought has eaten into the budget.

“This has probably been one of the worst droughts we have ever witnessed, in my lifetime anyway,” Auza said.

The Auzas take their sheep from Casa Grande up north in summer to graze and ranch on U.S. Forest Service land. But there is minimal grass this year, so Auza says they’ve had to send extra feed and water to the flock.

“So we’re having to supplement and haul water and things like that, which in normal years we don’t have to,” she said.

She says the business would be majorly hurt if the dry conditions hold through fall.

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