Immigrant Sheepherders In Colorado To Get First Significant Raise In 20 Years

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Photo: Sheepherder in Colorado via Flickr
Sheepherders at the junction of Highway 64 and Highway 13 near Meeker, Colorado, in May 2009.

One of the loneliest jobs in Colorado is sheepherding. Herders spend months in remote places with only the flock, and a horse, for company. Most of them in the state come from South America, and despite the demanding work, they're among the lowest paid migrants in agriculture, according to a Rocky Mountain PBS / I-News analysis. Soon, though, they'll get their first significant raise in 20 years. The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week that it will double the minimum wage for sheepherders in Colorado to about $1,500 a month.

I-News reporter Anna Boiko-Weyrauch spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

Photo: Sheepherder trailer in Colorado
Campers for sheepherders at Hotchkiss Ranch in Western Colorado in 2011.

Photo: Sheepherder trailer in Colorado