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Greetings from BernCo Bernie!

The History of Dahl Sheep and the Origin of BernCo Bernie

This micro documentary from Bernalillo County tells the history of the Dahl Sheep coming to New Mexico with Francisco de Coronado, how the eight sheep came to be on the Bernalillo County seal and the branding of BernCo Bernie!

Learn about BernCo!

Bernalillo County was founded in 1852 as an agricultural community based on eight original land grants (seven from Spain and one from Mexico) that formed the county boundaries; and the current Bernalillo County seal depicts eight sheep that both represents the land grants and reflects one of the area's first industries, sheep ranching. The county has recognized the efforts of several area breeders who are trying to preserve the New Mexico Dahl sheep, which is almost extinct and a nearly lost piece of living Spanish history.


The New Mexico Dahl is a breed whose precedents were brought to the area by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado in 1540. Don Juan de Oñate arrived in 1598 with 4,000 sheep and other livestock, starting what many understand to be the first ranching and livestock industry in the state. Learn more about the New Mexico Dahl, and view the county's acknowledgement of the breed and the importance of its preservation.


The Bernalillo County Seal features eight sheep, which represent our eight land grants; BernCo Bernie is our "spokes-sheep" who'll teach you all about the great things to do and see here!

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