Woolgathering on the Farm

Project Overview

FW10-037
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2010: $7,165.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Sophie Sheppard
Woolgathering

Commodities

  • Animals: sheep

Practices

  • Education and Training: workshop
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, marketing management, value added, agritourism
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, employment opportunities, sustainability measures

    Summary:

    For the last three years, we have conducted on-farm workshops during our fall shearing (our flock is shorn twice a year and produces a premium fiber in the fall). Our workshop participants choose wool from our naturally colored fleeces as it is shorn. In four days, we walk them through the processes of handling their raw wool: skirting, scouring, flicking, carding, spinning and knitting. In 2010, we offered two workshops; one in June without the shearing, and one in September when we shear our premium wool.

    Introduction

    Partnering with Warner Mountain Weavers to develop an increased market for high quality wool and wool products, our farm held four-day workshops during our fall shearing to add value to raw wool and increase a customer base for wool and butcher lambs.

    Project objectives:

    1. To develop an increasing market for high quality wool and wool products.

    2. To help develop a reliable market for high quality wool and wool products produced by other local growers.

    3. To cooperate with Warner Mountain Weavers to increase shared market possibilities.

    4. To expand our sheep flock as our wool market becomes an increasingly important component of our farm’s diversified income.

    5. To develop value-added products and agri-tourism as components of diversified income.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.