Professional shearer shows 4-H members how to shear sheep

ORWELL — Vermont 4-H sheep members gathered in Orwell on Oct. 29 for the State 4-H Sheep Shearing Clinic.

Andy Rice, a professional sheep shearer and owner of Hoggett Hill Farm in Halifax, worked with the group to teach them how to properly use and maintain equipment and how to shear sheep using the Australian stroke shearing pattern. The 4-H'ers then had an opportunity to practice shearing sheep with electric clippers.

The clinic was sponsored by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H and hosted by former 4-H member Siri Swanson on her family's farm, Dancing Moon Farm. It was open to any 4-H'er 12 years or older and included a lamb shanks lunch provided by Siri and her mother Wendy Swanson.

In addition to Siri, a former member of the Ewe & Me Sheep Peeps 4-H Club, participants were:

Kaitlyn Arena, Burlington (Hinesburg 4-H Club); Jarod Bushey, Addison (Critter Creek 4-H Club); Rebecca and Charlotte Moriarty, both from Jericho (Independent 4-H members); and Riley Ochs, Orwell (Independent 4-H member).

The Vermont 4-H sheep project provides opportunities for young people, ages 8 to 18 to learn about raising and showing sheep in state and regional shows. Sheep members also participate in quiz bowls, skill-a-thons, blocking and fitting contests, educational tours and clinics as well as share their knowledge about sheep with the public through talks, demonstrations and exhibits at 4-H events and fairs and field days.

For information about the Vermont 4-H sheep program, contact UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator Wendy Sorrell at 802-651-8343, ext. 513, or 800-571-0668 (Vermont calls only).


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