Prairie Post (West Edition)
Shear energy goes into teaching sheep course
J&M Farms in Lethbridge County, will hold their 4th Annual Sheep Shearing Course March 22-23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
The course costs $275 plus GST and will give people the opportunity to learn from expert, Shaun Fajnor, about how to properly shear sheep.
“We take about 14 students in each time so that they all have one on one time with the instructor and he teaches so well,” Margaret Oosterhof, co-owner of J&M Farms, says. “Everyone has been thoroughly thrilled to be able to come and learn how to shear sheep.”
Oosterhof says that once the sheep are sheared, the wool is all bagged and compressed into burlap bags. After that, a machine presses it all and then it is brought to Woolgrowers. Sheep, Oosterhof explains, need to be sheared at least once a year so their wool doesn’t grow too long; if a sheep’s wool grows too long, they overheat. It’s also nicer for lambing to have been shorn before.
Oosterhof adds that the art of shearing sheep and the process of handling sheep is such a fascinating thing that there is usually a waiting list for the course each year.
“It's great fun to seeing people interested in sheep and how to shear them properly,” Oosterhof says. “The course helps people to become more comfortable around sheep, as it includes learning how to handle them properly. Once people know how to handle the sheep well, the sheep cooperate when they’re being sheared.”
To register for the course, contact Jim or Margaret Oosterhof at 403-317-0330 or firstname.lastname@example.org and mention ‘sheep shearing school.’