Long before lawn mowers were created, there were sheep to help keep the grass down.

The officials at Sonoma Raceway – a road course on the NASCAR racing circuit laid out on 1,600 acres of land – have gone “old school” with their grass mowing efforts by employing hundreds of sheep.  During the winter there are some 650 sheep on the property; in summer the number grows to nearly four times that many to 2,500.

Now the grazing sheep of Sonoma Raceway have another purpose – to aid local residents in need with the Adopt-a-Sheep program.

Sonoma Raceway executive vice president and general manager Jill Gregory spoke on the sheep and the program saying, “our sheep herd is one of the most unique and lovable assets at Sonoma Raceway, and now fans can symbolically adopt one of their own. By adopting a sheep, people can make a big impact for children facing hardships in the Sonoma County community. Just one adoption could provide a week of groceries for a family in need or two nights of shelter or even basic essentials for foster children.”

Five hundred sheep can graze five acres of land each day.  Substituting sheep for noisy gas guzzling lawn mowers is not only an eco-friendly way to keep the grounds looking nice; they also provide a way to reduce the danger of fire.

In just a few short weeks, NASCAR will be coming to Sonoma for a double header weekend that will include a return of the Camping World Truck Series for the first time in over 20 years on June 11 and the annual Cup Series road course race through the Napa Valley on June 12.

Anyone interested in adopting a sheep and aid the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities can go to: www.speedwaycharities.org/sheep.

feature photo credit: Sonoma Raceway Burnin’ Bovine – panoramio.jpg