PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES – https://nyti.ms/2BLB6iR
Cassely DeLaCruz watches sheep as they are loaded into a truck near Moxee, Wash. Cassely, 32, is the youngest of the shepherds working alongside his father, Heraclio, and his uncle Geronimo DeLaCruz.
A sheep pokes his head out of the top of a cattle truck on its way out to pasture in Mabton, Wash. In the spring, shepherds are assigned a flock and sheep are trucked out to various land allotments.
Shepherd Edgar Camayo climbs inside a cattle truck while loading sheep in Mabton, Wash. The U.S. sheep industry has almost exclusively relied on foreign labor since the 1950s. Foreign shepherds bring comprehensive husbandry knowledge gained from their home countries.
Heraclio DeLaCruz moves sheep along U.S. Highway 97 near Blewett Pass, Wash. Shepherds are responsible for flocks of up to 1000 sheep.
Heraclio DeLaCruz returns to his trailer for lunch in the Okanogan-Wentachee National Forest near Cle Elum, Wash. Employers bring herders food and supplies about every two weeks.
Heraclio DeLaCruz moves sheep across a mountaintop in the Okanogan-Wentachee National Forest near Cle Elum, Wash. Each year between 2,000 and 3,000 H-2A migrant shepherds work in Washington, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, California and Oregon. Most of the shepherds are from Peru.
The remains of a sheep that died of natural causes after straying from its herd in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Cle Elum, Wash. Sheep are vulnerable to predators and disease.
Heraclio DeLaCruz rests with his dogs in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Cle Elum, Wash. Shepherds walk dozens of miles per week moving their sheep.
Wildfire smoke fills the sky as Heraclio DeLaCruz moves his flock in the Okanogan-Wentachee National Forest near Cle Elum, Wash. Shepherds work with herding dogs to corral and find sheep.