Shear en­ergy goes into teach­ing sheep course

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Alberta - BY HEATHER CAMERON

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 jm­[email protected] and men­tion ‘sheep shear­ing school.’

Pho­tos con­trib­uted

J&M Farms in Leth­bridge County (on Town­ship Road 80 east of High­way 4) will be the site of a sheep shear­ing course.

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