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Indiana sheep shearing school open for registration

The Indiana Sheep and Wool Market Development Program is sponsoring a shearing school, hosted by the Indiana Sheep Association (ISA) on Saturday February 24, at Purdue University’s Sheep Center.

The statewide workshop will take place at 5480 ASREC Drive, West Lafayette, IN. 47906, and run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m.

“There is a continuous need for new sheep shearers as the older generations retire,” said Gerald Kelly, manager of the Purdue Sheep Center and shearing school co-organizer. "The Purdue folks are happy to help the industry just as we have for more than 150 years.”

Anyone is welcome to register, regardless of experience level, to learn the skills and methods required to successfully shear a sheep. This year, ISA will be offering an “advanced” class to run alongside the beginner class, offered to shearers who have had instruction on shearing previously, can shear a sheep on their own, and have the intent of shearing professionally. All instructors will be experienced shearers, including organizer and master shearer Mat Kennedy, whose family have been great instructors for shearing schools going back to Kennedy’s grandfather.

"With the addition of the advance shearers' class, we hope to assist promising shearers with fine-tuning techniques that will decrease stress on the shearer and increase the number of head they can do in a day," Kelly said. "We also aim to give demonstrations and hands-on practice for setting up sharpening equipment and grinders and real experience sharpening combs and cutters."

For beginners, a registration fee of $50 will cover the cost of the workshop, lunch and required shearing equipment, though participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment, if they have it. The class will be capped at 20 beginners and five advanced participants. Registration forms, found at, must be mailed to ISA Executive Director Emma O’Brien at 6840 S 280 E Lebanon, IN 46052. The completed registration form with the fee enclosed must be received by February 1, 2024. As part of registration, attendees must sign a liability waiver.

Indiana S&W Background: The Indiana Sheep and Wool Market Development Program was created to support educational, promotional and research efforts involving sheep in Indiana. Funds for the council are collected from the sale of all sheep in Indiana - 0.5% of the net market price of each sheep sold. All funds collected by stockyards, sale managers, producers and others should be sent to the council’s business office at Purdue. More information is on the program’s website:

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