Brogna Sheep

Slow Food Presidium

Italy

Veneto

Breeds and animal husbandry

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Brogna Sheep

The Brogna is a native sheep breed reared for centuries in the Lessinia pastures, at altitudes ranging from 1,000 up to 1,800 meters above sea level. This pristine environment is in part protected by the Monti Lessini regional park. Sheep have been farmed here since Neolithic times, but it was in the 4th century, with the arrival of the Cimbri, settlers of Bavarian-Tyrolean origin, that the mountains began to be deforested and herding developed significantly. Between the 14th and the 15th century woolen cloth from Verona was exported as far as northern Europe and competed with wool from Flanders and England. Traces of this past remain in Verona’s architecture, like the "Capitello dell’Agnello," the column of the lamb, which holds up a statue of a sheep (whose appearance is very similar to the Brogna), the symbol of the Arte della Lana, the guild of wool manufacturers, or the Sgarzarie loggia, a portico where woolen cloth was sold. From the 16th century on, however, the wool market was undermined by silk production.
Another surviving reminder of this past are the pastures and, in increasingly scant numbers, the local Brogna sheep. The breed risked extinction a few years ago, but a handful of farmers undertook to save it.
Also known as Badiota, Prognola or Nostrana, depending on the valley, the Brogna sheep is medium in size, with slender legs and a slimmer, better-proportioned body compared to more productive breeds. The head, with a convex profile, is marked with darker patches that tend to be reddish in color. The ears can also be dappled and point obliquely downwards.
The breed is characterized by a fleece-free belly, which like the legs and face is tawny or chestnut in color in both the rams and the ewes. The rams tend not to have horns. The breed has a triple purpose, and is raised for its delicate meat, its milk and its wool, which is particularly pliable and has a very soft fiber, producing much thinner yarn than the wool from more common local breeds.
In the 1980s, the University of Padua began the task of mapping the entire Lessinia area, with the aim of selecting the animals that presented the characteristics of the Brogna breed, later codified in the official register. Currently there are around 2,500 brood ewes. The sheep are raised on pasture, in flocks of less than 100 animals, and feed on the wild plants of the Alta Lessinia meadows, one of the few parts of Italy recognized as a historical rural landscape.
One farmer still practices transhumance, the seasonal migration of livestock; from March to November the flock rotates around the richest highland pastures, then returns to the low-lying plains and foothills during the winter.

Season

Lamb is found in the period leading up to Easter.

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Farmers, experts, restaurateurs and producers who have been working since 2012 to revive the breed have formed an association for the promotion and protection of the Brogna sheep. Their aim is to promote the breed and its products, stemming the decline in numbers and committing to protecting the local landscape. Once again, mountain livestock farming is being entrusted with the vital role of safeguarding the environment and biodiversity that it had previously played for centuries.
The Presidium brings together 14 farmers who have signed a strict production protocol that specifies pasturing, a diet of grass supplemented by grains or other non-GM feed, and, in the winter, dried forage grown in the Lessinia pastures. They have adopted a system of participatory guarantee, which sees the involvement of all actors along the production chain, including consumers, to check that the production protocol is being respected.
In terms of products, there is a focus on reviving the wool and raw-milk cheeses, such as pastorin or mistorin, a historic cheese from Veronese mountains that, as the name suggests, uses a mixture ("misto") of sheep's and cow's milk, but a lot of work is also being done on fresh meat and charcuterie. Local restaurants are collaborating actively on the relaunch of the breed, offering traditional and innovative dishes on their menus.
The Presidium is highly symbolic because it evokes a glorious period in the history of the city of Verona and the whole Lessinia. It wants to revitalize this extraordinary environment and offer new prospects for the local economy.

Production area
Monti Lessini, Verona and Vicenza provinces, Veneto region

Supported by
Italian Ministry of Labor and Social Policies*

The Brogna Sheep Presidium is funded by the Italian Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, Directorate-General for the Third Sector and Corporate Social Responsibility - notice no. 1/2018 “Slow Food in azione: le comunità protagoniste del cambiamento,” in accordance with Article 72 of the Third Sector code, as per Legislative Decree no. 117/2017.
Marco Beccherle
Località Arzerè, 37
Bosco Chiesanuova (Vr)
Tel. 045 7085028
347 1377335
marcobeck@hotmail.it

Isabella Bortoli
Via Roncalto, 4
Asiago (Vi)
329 4587222
bortolicapuz@libero.it


Elisa Carpene
Contrada Cappelletti di Sotto, 10
Selva di Progno (Vr)
Tel. 345 3447419
elisa.carpene94@gmail.com

Lorenzo Erbisti
Via Zerlotti
Roverè Veronese (Vr)
Tel. 349 8535187
lorenzo.erbisti@gmail.com
Produttore di formaggi mistorin e pastorin

La Ferraretta Bianca
Via Verdella, 18
Tregnago (Vr)
Tel. 340 4936773 – 346 2427190
laferrarettabianca@gmail.com
cacciatorimattia@gmail.com

Cristina Ferrarini
Via Ceredo,70
Sant’Anna d’Alfaedo (Vr)
Tel. 339 8038570
info@lanaalpascolo.it
criferr70@gmail.com
Allevatrice e artigiana della lana

Angelo Filipozzi
Via Gamberoni, 7
Badia Calavena (Vr)
Tel. 045 7810227 - 349 8105282
angelo.filipozzi87-6@libero.it

Giuliano Menegazzi
Contrada Fagioli, 13
Erbezzo (Vr)
Tel. 347 8362068
mene75@libero.it

Silvia Montanaro
Via Vanti, 1
Velo Veronese (Vr)
Tel. 333 5751951
stato.brado.dogs@hotmail.it

Agriturismo Terre di Sprea di Ermanno Anselmi
Località Laite Meneghini, 1
Badia Calavena (Vr)
ermannoanselmi@alice.it

Massimo Veneri
Via Don Minzoni, 22
Caldiero (Vr)
Tel. 331 1794637
massimo.veneri@gmail.com

Riccardo Verzè
Via Cambran, 5
Cazzano di Tramigna (Vr)
Tel. 349 7301467
info@corteverze.it

Luca Viviani
Via Cengio, 2
Badia Calavena (Vr)
Tel. 045 7840239 - 320 9149288
Lucaviviani73@gmail.com

Giuseppe Volpiana
Via Volpiana, 1
Vestenanova (Vi)
Tel. 345 5895250
silvia_pellizzari@libero.it
Presidium producers’ Coordinator
Marcello Volanti
pecorabrogna@gmail.com 

Slow Food Coordinator

Antonella Bampa
Tel. 346 7298276
condottaslowfoodverona@hotmail.it
Farmers, experts, restaurateurs and producers who have been working since 2012 to revive the breed have formed an association for the promotion and protection of the Brogna sheep. Their aim is to promote the breed and its products, stemming the decline in numbers and committing to protecting the local landscape. Once again, mountain livestock farming is being entrusted with the vital role of safeguarding the environment and biodiversity that it had previously played for centuries.
The Presidium brings together 14 farmers who have signed a strict production protocol that specifies pasturing, a diet of grass supplemented by grains or other non-GM feed, and, in the winter, dried forage grown in the Lessinia pastures. They have adopted a system of participatory guarantee, which sees the involvement of all actors along the production chain, including consumers, to check that the production protocol is being respected.
In terms of products, there is a focus on reviving the wool and raw-milk cheeses, such as pastorin or mistorin, a historic cheese from Veronese mountains that, as the name suggests, uses a mixture ("misto") of sheep's and cow's milk, but a lot of work is also being done on fresh meat and charcuterie. Local restaurants are collaborating actively on the relaunch of the breed, offering traditional and innovative dishes on their menus.
The Presidium is highly symbolic because it evokes a glorious period in the history of the city of Verona and the whole Lessinia. It wants to revitalize this extraordinary environment and offer new prospects for the local economy.

Production area
Monti Lessini, Verona and Vicenza provinces, Veneto region

Supported by
Italian Ministry of Labor and Social Policies*

The Brogna Sheep Presidium is funded by the Italian Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, Directorate-General for the Third Sector and Corporate Social Responsibility - notice no. 1/2018 “Slow Food in azione: le comunità protagoniste del cambiamento,” in accordance with Article 72 of the Third Sector code, as per Legislative Decree no. 117/2017.
Marco Beccherle
Località Arzerè, 37
Bosco Chiesanuova (Vr)
Tel. 045 7085028
347 1377335
marcobeck@hotmail.it

Isabella Bortoli
Via Roncalto, 4
Asiago (Vi)
329 4587222
bortolicapuz@libero.it


Elisa Carpene
Contrada Cappelletti di Sotto, 10
Selva di Progno (Vr)
Tel. 345 3447419
elisa.carpene94@gmail.com

Lorenzo Erbisti
Via Zerlotti
Roverè Veronese (Vr)
Tel. 349 8535187
lorenzo.erbisti@gmail.com
Produttore di formaggi mistorin e pastorin

La Ferraretta Bianca
Via Verdella, 18
Tregnago (Vr)
Tel. 340 4936773 – 346 2427190
laferrarettabianca@gmail.com
cacciatorimattia@gmail.com

Cristina Ferrarini
Via Ceredo,70
Sant’Anna d’Alfaedo (Vr)
Tel. 339 8038570
info@lanaalpascolo.it
criferr70@gmail.com
Allevatrice e artigiana della lana

Angelo Filipozzi
Via Gamberoni, 7
Badia Calavena (Vr)
Tel. 045 7810227 - 349 8105282
angelo.filipozzi87-6@libero.it

Giuliano Menegazzi
Contrada Fagioli, 13
Erbezzo (Vr)
Tel. 347 8362068
mene75@libero.it

Silvia Montanaro
Via Vanti, 1
Velo Veronese (Vr)
Tel. 333 5751951
stato.brado.dogs@hotmail.it

Agriturismo Terre di Sprea di Ermanno Anselmi
Località Laite Meneghini, 1
Badia Calavena (Vr)
ermannoanselmi@alice.it

Massimo Veneri
Via Don Minzoni, 22
Caldiero (Vr)
Tel. 331 1794637
massimo.veneri@gmail.com

Riccardo Verzè
Via Cambran, 5
Cazzano di Tramigna (Vr)
Tel. 349 7301467
info@corteverze.it

Luca Viviani
Via Cengio, 2
Badia Calavena (Vr)
Tel. 045 7840239 - 320 9149288
Lucaviviani73@gmail.com

Giuseppe Volpiana
Via Volpiana, 1
Vestenanova (Vi)
Tel. 345 5895250
silvia_pellizzari@libero.it
Presidium producers’ Coordinator
Marcello Volanti
pecorabrogna@gmail.com 

Slow Food Coordinator

Antonella Bampa
Tel. 346 7298276
condottaslowfoodverona@hotmail.it

Territory

StateItaly
RegionVeneto

Other info

CategoriesBreeds and animal husbandry