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Peruvian employees pour a creep feed mixture for sheep in a 500-by-60-foot barn on the Van Well Livestock operation south of Watertown, S.D. The building, with its automatic curtain ventilation system, was designed by Dion Van Well, who died Jan. 5 at age 47, leaving his family to move the business forward. Photo taken May 9, 2014, Watertown, S.D. (Forum News Service/Agweek/Mikkel Pates)

Watertown, SD, family steps up after death of father, sheep industry giant

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WATERTOWN, S.D. — Dion Van Well towered over the sheep industry in the Upper Midwest like few do. He was dubbed the “Lion of the Lambs,” in a 2009 Agweek story, and his family vows to continue his legacy.

Van Well, 47, died in his sleep of heart failure on Jan. 5 while on a pheasant hunting trip with buddies near Hoven, S.D.

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