Border collies show off their herding skills at the Got to Be NC AgFest

The three black and white border collies that were part of the sheepherding demonstration at the Got to Be NC AgFest didn’t act nervous at all even though this was the first year for their event.

As soon as they spied the sheep standing off to the side, they had a singular focus. In fact, even when the sheep were corraled at the end of the demonstration they were never far from the minds of the herding dogs. The dogs periodically ran over to the corral just to make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be.

The sheepherding demonstration shows how trained working dogs can help farmers tend to a herd — whether it is sheep, cattle, goats or pigs.

It was fascinating watching a dog move a group of sheep in an orderly fashion with a series of whistle commands.  Even when one sheep decided to make a break for it, the dog would quickly bring it back into the fold — something that would be much more time consuming for a human to accomplish.

This sheep made the wrong choice, choosing to bolt from the flock. The border collie quickly chased down the sheep and steered it back to the group.

If you have never seen a sheepherding demonstration, there is still time this afternoon with a free 4 p.m. show in the Sam Rand Grandstand. Come on out and see these working dogs in action.

About Merrie Go Round

Merrie Go Round is the midway alter-ego of Andrea Ashby, who has officially spent 252 days during the past 24 years at the N.C. State Fair. That's perfect attendance in case you were wondering. In addition to promoting the Fair, looking for untold Fair stories and working on various special events, I also spend a great deal of time roaming the grounds taking photos for the Website and State Fair publications. I like to keep my eyes and ears posted for the unusual and different things that make the State Fair such a great celebration of North Carolina people, traditions and history. I look forward to sharing with you the things I come across on my journey.


  1. Thank you all so much for coming to the demo! I was pleasantly surprised to see these lovely pictures of my right hand man, Nick. Thank you!

  2. are some photos I shot of the cool tractors on parade…

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