Hidden Powers of a Sheep

Nice article in the winter issue of Craftsman Quarterly:

https://craftsmanship.net/the-hidden-powers-of-a-sheep/

Intro copied below:

Not only is wool unusually cozy and durable, but its creators (the sheep) can help regenerate the world’s drying, fire-prone landscapes. The good news: a wool revival seems to be underway.

By JUDITH D. SCHWARTZ

Experience Wool Now on YouTube

The American Wool Council has provided fans of the all-natural fiber with a new way to Experience Wool through the creation of a YouTube page. The page currently hosts three videos produced by Brand Juice in the past year to market American wool to a wide variety of consumers.

The videos were shown on multiple occasions during the American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention last month in New Orleans, and can now be shared from the YouTube page by producers looking to promote American wool and its many benefits.

In The Luxurious Fiber, a narrator explains that the “Fabric designers choose first to achieve pure elegance, absolute luxury and unmatched style” is American wool.

The High Performance Fiber is aimed at more demanding users and offers, “There’s one time-tested, expedition-proven material you can count on. One fabric for four seasons. Experience the confidence of American wool.”

Natural and Sustainable promotes what might be the fiber’s greatest trait. “What this miracle becomes is infinitely remarkable, versatile, beautiful and in the end, sustainable.”

If you haven’t seen them yet, check out the videos. Share them with your friends, family and clients, and help the American Wool Council in promoting this natural, renewable, sustainable fiber that is perfect for any occasion in any season.

Access the YouTube Channel:   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFhONGmym_OM8ZWxPqw9Fag

For more information on American wool, visit AmericanWool.org or follow Experience Wool on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Source: ASI Weekly February 8, 2019

 

‘Shop local’ drives sales of American-made yarn

Source:  https://www.morningagclips.com/shop-local-drives-sales-of-american-made-yarn/

 

Mixed Breed Sheep for Sale Due to Death in Family

Attached please find some pictures of some mixed breed sheep that are for sale.  A friend of ours mother passed away recently and they are unable to care for the sheep.  They are asking $100 to $150, negotiable .  If interested you can either contact me (Tracy) 908-887-2630  or Lonnie King who is the contact for selling them at 1-610-745-3318.
Tracy Smith
bdtsmith@gmail.com
home- 689-1974
cell- 887-2630

Livestock Conservancy Introduces New Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Wool Program

The Livestock Conservancy is hoping to preserve endangered sheep with its Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em program that encourages fiber artists to work with wool from rare sheep breeds.

Leicester Longwool

Genetic diversity is just one reason to preserve heritage sheep. Heritage breeds have survived through the ages because they are naturally hardy. Of particular interest to fiber artists are the different types of wool that each breed produces. Some have a softer wool that’s excellent for garments, while others have wool that’s more suited to making rugs. Some have white wool that takes well to dyes, while others come in a wide variety of natural colors and patterns.

The goal of Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em is to put fiber artists in contact with shepherds who produce wool from sheep on The Livestock Conservancy’s list of endangered livestock. When fiber artists register, they will receive a passport that includes a page of information for each breed. Each page will also include space to put a stamp after they purchase wool from a particular breed. There will be a Facebook group and a Ravelry group where members can share pictures of their projects. As fiber artists work their way through the breeds, they will receive prizes for completing projects and reaching various landmarks.

In addition to encouraging fiber artists to try rare wools, the program will also educate shepherds about how to prepare their wool for sale to fiber artists. By helping shepherds market their wool, they will become more financially stable, which helps ensure the future of the sheep.

When shepherds sell raw fleece from rare breeds directly to consumers, they can earn an average of $16 per pound on Etsy.  Fiber can also be sold to fiber artists at fiber festivals that are held around the country. By turning wool into roving, it can be sold to hand spinners or felters for an average of $44 per pound on Etsy, and if they take the extra step of having it spun into yarn, it averages $80 per pound.

More information about the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em  Challenge or about sheep breeds on the Conservation Priority List are available on the Livestock Conservancy website.

Source: ASI Weekly September 7, 2018

Breed Display Exhibitors Finalized with 2 New Breeds

This year we will have 2 breeds that haven’t been displayed at our Festival in prior years: Scottish Blackface and Valais Blacknose!

The Valais Blacknose is new to the US and the sheep on display (courtesy of Stone Manor Farm) is the 1st in NJ!  Freddie is an F1 wether (50% Scottish Blackface, 50% Valais Blacknose) born this year and part of the Breed Up program in the US.  Scottish Blackface sheep are first preference for use in the program as they were one of the breeds used originally to develop the Valais Blacknose (Leister Longwool and Lincoln are 2nd and 3rd preference breeds for the program).   Since animals can’t be imported to the US, semen from Blacknose sheep in other countries (Europe) is used on US Scottish Blackface ewes to produce a  hybrid.  After 5 generations the resulting sheep are 97% Valais Blacknose.

F1 (50% Valais)
F2 (75% Valais)
F3 (88% Valais)
F4 (94% Valais)
F5 (97% Valais)

 

Valais Blacknose Sheep Introduced in North America 

 

 

Youth Ambassador Program

The Garden State Sheep Breeders organization is proud to announce the introduction of the Garden State Sheep Breeders Youth Ambassador Program. Part of our  mission as stewards of the sheep community is to develop and grow our sheep leaders of tomorrow. The program’s goal is to empower the selected candidate with the knowledge, skills and aspirations necessary to develop them into an effective advocate for the Garden State Sheep Breeders. The program will seek to strengthen and expand upon the chosen candidate’s leadership abilities so that they may serve as a positive role model while promoting sheep, build meaningful relationships and support the sheep industry.

For details and an application see the Youth Ambassador Program page.

Columbia Association Announces Video Contest

“Youth in the sheep industry can combine current technology with their passion for Columbia sheep,” says Sara Hildebrandt, President of the Columbia Sheep Breeders Association of America. “It is why the CSBA is sponsoring a program for youth to create videos of their Columbia sheep operation. We are in a day and age where it is easy to take video with the phone in their pocket when they go to the barn. Getting them to promote Columbias and combine this with technology is a progressive thing to do for the sheep industry.”

The program – a first for the association – has at its core the purpose to produce video suitable for public viewing on YouTube and Columbiasheep.org related to Columbia sheep.

Divisions and premiums are the following:

  • Promotion of the breed
  • Promotion of lamb and/or wool
  • Promotion of your own operation

Prizes in each category are $100 for first place, $75 for second place, $50 for third place, $40 for fourth place and $30 for fifth place.

To qualify to win, submissions from junior members only are to be in the form of a link to the video on YouTube, in the form of an iMovie, or .mpg file submitted by midnight EST on June 10, 2019, to dkloostra@gmail.com. Multiple submissions are allowed and all video must be original work of the junior member.

To learn more go to www.columbiasheep.org for rules and judging information.

All videos become the property of the Columbia Sheep Breeders’ Association upon submission. Timing of the contest began with the kick-off at the National Junior Columbia Sheep Association Show in Gillette, Wyo., on June 14 and ends with final judging in June 2019, prior to the 2019 National Columbia Sheep Show and Sale.

“This contest provides junior members the opportunity to showcase so many more diverse aspects of their creativity and talents along with their love for Columbia sheep,” says Manda Geerts, coordinator for the Junior Columbia Association. “We hope juniors blow us away with what we will see and hear.”

From: ASI Weekly June 22, 2018

International Heritage Breeds Week 2018 – Giving Rare Breeds their Jobs Back

Pittsboro, NC, USA  [17 May 2018] – Nearly one in five of the world’s farm animal breeds are at risk of extinction1. The reason? They’re underemployed.

For thousands of years, farmers have carefully bred and raised diverse animals perfectly suited to their corners of the world. These animals are well adapted to local environments and are designed to produce products that meet the needs of local communities. But over the past century, farming in many parts of the world has evolved into highly specialized operations designed to produce as much meat, milk, eggs, fiber, or other products as quickly as possible in order to maximize efficiency. For example, in 1927, the average American Holstein milk cow produced less than 4,500 pounds of milk per year. In 2017, she produced just shy of 23,000 pounds of milk² – more than five times that of just 90 years ago!

While numbers like these are impressive, placing too much emphasis on productivity sometimes leads to traits like drought tolerance, parasite resistance, mothering abilities, fertility, foraging instincts, and even flavor being diminished. Meanwhile, the populations of many slower growing but still incredibly valuable “Heritage” breeds have crashed. Livestock like Wiltshire Horn sheep, Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs, and Oberhasli goats can’t keep up and have now found themselves on endangered lists of conservation organizations around the world. Although Heritage livestock and poultry may not be as efficient as mainstream breeds, they are important sources for valuable genetics and traits, protecting them from being lost. In addition to animals known for food and fiber, rare equines have seen sharp declines, particularly over the past decade. But there is still hope!

20-26 May 2018 has been designated by fifteen livestock conservation organizations around the world as International Heritage Breeds Week to raise awareness about the status of rare farm animals, highlight examples of how they are still relevant to family farms, and bring choice to the marketplace. Breeds like Leicester Longwool sheep, Caspian horses, Tamworth pigs, Aylesbury ducks, Silver rabbits, Spanish chickens, and more than 1,400 other breeds worldwide need our help.

What’s the best way to support these breeds? By giving them a job! Many livestock conservation organizations have compiled directories to help consumers locate products from breeds historically used in their local regions. By purchasing eggs from Heritage chickens, pork from Heritage pigs, milk from Heritage cattle, or wool from Heritage sheep, you encourage farmers to raise more animals, and can discover the difference in the kitchen and on the loom for yourself. According to acclaimed French chef and proponent of Heritage breeds Antoine Westermann “An animal who has pure roots, the life, and food he deserves, offers it back to us in his meat.” By establishing their spot in the marketplace, biodiversity for these Heritage breedsis secured.

To learn more about International Heritage Breeds Week, how you can get involved, and where to locate Heritage breed products in your local area, visit HeritageBreedsWeek.org or call +1 (919) 542-5704. 

###

Once a breed goes extinct, its genetics are lost to history – genetics that farmers may need in the future to combat outbreaks of disease, a changing climate, or genetic issues that arise from livestock being too closely related to each other. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one domesticated livestock breed is lost every month.¹

Sources:
¹ FAO. (2015). The Second Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Retrieved from www.fao.org/3/a-i4787e.pdf
² USDA- National Agricultural Statistics Service (2018). Retrieved from https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Todays_Reports/reports/mlkpdi18.pdf

Participating Organizations

 

 


Ryan Walker
Marketing & Communications Manager
The Livestock Conservancy™
​rwalker@LivestockConservancy.org
M: PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312
P: (919) 542-5704 ext. 102

Editor’s Note:

Images of heritage breeds available for download at: https://tinyurl.com/ycjd5mdf
Interviews available upon request.

Natural Wool Biodegradable Caskets

Natural Wool Biodegradable Caskets

The Swaledale casket is made using pure virgin wool, supported on a strong recycled fibreboard frame. Wool is a fiber with a true “green” lineage that is both sustainable and biodegradable. The interior is generously lined with cotton and attractively edged in jute.

Independently tested and accredited for strength and weight bearing, the Swaledale’s unique design combines the highest environmental standards with an attractive and soft feel. Designed to differ from the traditional wooden casket, it offers a contemporary style with comfortable handling. The concept is completed with a personalized embroidered woolen name plate. All the materials used in the Swaledale casket are readily biodegradable and suitable for cremation and all types of burial.