PHOTO: Matt Barton, UK Agricultural Communications Specialist
After a long, cold winter, sheep are usually ready to shed their wooly coats. But this year, they may be even more ready, with the mild temperatures Kentucky has experienced. Learning to sheer sheep is essential for a producer to have a quality flock. To that end, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is hosting a shearing school for beginners and experienced shearers March 21-22 at the C. Oran Little Research Center in Versailles.
While it may be one of the most basic management skills in raising sheep, shearing is one of the most important. Producers who shear their own sheep can save valuable dollars and have the satisfaction of making their enterprise more self-sufficient.
Professional sheep shearer Steve Kennedy will teach the most current shearing methods. He’ll also teach important aspects of maintenance and care of shearing equipment. UK sheep unit manager Endre Fink, UK sheep unit research coordinator Frank Berry and former shearing school graduate Warren Adcock will assist Kennedy.
Sponsored by the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association in cooperation with the UK Cooperative Extension Service, the two-day school has a limited number of spaces, so it is important to register as soon as possible and no later than March 17, when preregistration closes.
This school is not designed for young children; participants must be at least high-school age. The Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association and UK do encourage participation by senior 4-H and FFA members and will pay the registration fee for the first six 4-H or FFA registrants.
The school begins at 8:30 a.m. EDT both days and will wrap up with a summary at 3 p.m. March 22.
Organizers recommend participants wear “old clothes,” exercise a few weeks before coming to the school, and bring their own shears if possible. Participants must not have been out of the United States in the seven days before the school begins.
Due to space limitation, participation in the Shearing School is limited to 12 participants. Interested participants may find the registration form online at http://afs.ca.uky.edu/files/2017beginnersheepshearingschoolregistration.pdf. Send the form and registration fee of $150 by March 17 to Shearing School, Don Ely, 904 W.P. Garrigus Bldg., University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0215. For more information, call or email Ely at 859-257-2717, email@example.com.
Don Ely, 859-257-2717