Basque Sheepherders

This sheepherder and his sheep photographed on the range in the 1970s is from the presentation "Basque Sheepherders: An End of an Era" to be presented Feb. 3 at the Elko Convention Center as part of the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. 

Courtesy McAdoo family

ELKO – For more than a year in the 1970s, Kent and Cathy McAdoo lived with Basque sheepherders in Northern Nevada.

Based on their experiences, the McAdoos put together a presentation that explored the Basque culture and the decline of the sheep ranching industry, and Kent McAdoo planned to present the program, “Basque Sheepherders: The End of An Era” for the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering before his sudden death Jan. 10.

It will go on as scheduled, with his wife Cathy and son Caleb sharing photos of the seasons of a sheep camp and retelling camp stories.

Angie de Braga, Great Basin College Continuing Education Coordinator said Cathy contacted her after her husband’s death and said she wanted to go on with the presentation with the help of her son.

“They are remarkable people who are so strong,” de Braga said. “I’m so impressed to be around such great role models and good people.”

McAdoo was a specialist with the University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension in Elko for 19 years.

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Although the presentation is part of the Gathering, the event is free to the public and no registration is required, said de Braga.

“Basque Sheepherders: the End of an Era” will be 1:45 – 3 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Elko Convention Center in the Lamoille Room.

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Staff writer for the Elko Daily Free Press

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