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Spring Sheepshearing Schools Planned

sheep shearingThe University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Sheep Breeders Association are planning three hands-on sheepshearing schools in southern Maine in April and May, 2013 to address an increasing need for skilled shearers, as the sheep market grows nationwide.

A two-day school, from 8:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon, Friday and Saturday, April 5–6 at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester, will feature blade-shearer Kevin Ford of Massachusetts instructing in the use of nonelectric hand shears. The school is limited to 10 students; an $85.00 fee includes a shearing manual and lunch each day.  The registration deadline is March 29.

Two other sheepshearing schools will offer beginner-level sessions on Saturday, April 20 at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, and Saturday, May 4 at the Arledge Farm in Littleton, Maine.  Both are from 8:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon and will feature teams of shearing instructors.  The schools are limited to 15 participants; a $35.00 course fee includes a shearing manual and lunch.  Registration deadlines are April 12 for the Freeport school and April 27 for the Littleton school.  Spectators are welcome at all three schools at no cost.

“With sheep markets strong, there is a push to expand sheep numbers,” says Richard Brzozowski, UMaine Extension educator.  “There is a need for skilled sheepshearers across the country.”

For more information, to register or to request disability accommodations, visit the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office website, call UMaine Extension at 207-781-6099 or email andrea.herr@maine.edu.

To receive email notices about sheep-related educational offerings, visit the UMaine Extension Livestock website.

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