Given the growth of Maine’s fiber industry, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has been working to equip the state’s sheep, fiber goat, and camelid producers with the skills and knowledge to improve production, handling, and marketing of high quality fiber and fiber products.
UMaine Extension is also participating in several fiber-related events in advance of its statewide Focus on Fiber seminar, which will be held next month at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. The pre-seminar events will help farmers learn about value-added processes and end products that can be produced from a herd or flock of sheep, alpacas, llamas, and fiber goats.
The next fiber event will be a fleece sale and show at the Common Ground Fair, which opens Friday, Sept. 21 in Unity. Other events leading up to Focus on Fiber include:
- Sept. 29-30: National Alpaca Open Farm Weekend, at alpaca farms throughout the state. Farms are open to the public. Mainealpacafarms.com.
- Oct. 6: Friends’ Folly Farm, 319 Norris Hill Road, Monmouth. Tour of mill facility, raw fiber to finished products and meet angora goats, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friendsfollyfarm.com.
- Oct. 13: Wrinkle in Thyme Farm, 106 Black Mountain Road, Sumner. Learn about farm-based CSAs, self-serve fiber processing and finished products.
- Oct. 20: NEWAIM Farm & Fiber Mill, 13 Robinson Road, Waldoboro. Tour the mill facility and see all the steps from raw fiber to yarn, including a solar system for heating water and CVM Romeldale sheep. newaimfibermill.com/index.shtml
- Pam Harwood (Cumberland), alpaca grower, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marty Elkin (Sumner), sheep producer, email@example.com
- Pogo Pogovelc (Monmouth), fiber goat producer, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nancy Ruggeri (Argyle Township), goat, sheep and rabbit producer, email@example.com
For more information, contact Richard Brzozowski, UMaine Extension educator, at (207) 781-6099 or Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org.