Raising sheep for wool can be profitable

Sam Anderson at Tufts' Sheep School

Sam Anderson at Tufts’ Sheep School

 

 

“Nearly all wool is saleable somewhere,” said Tom Colyer, sheep farmer at Greenwood Hill Farm in Hubbardston, MA, and President of the Massachusetts Federation of Sheep Association. Wool is ranked or priced based on the thickness in microns (thin is softer and more valuable) fiber length and the crimp. Short strands create garments that pill which customers do not want. The price paid will be based on the worst wool in that bundle. Prices range from 10 cents a pound to $1.50.

Remove as much vegetable matter as possible. Colyer urged separating the various categories of wool (bellies, skirt, legs, crowns or heads and main body). You will earn much more money with separate bundles or packages than if you put all your wool together. Keep the tail sections for your water baths, as mulch or just compost them. [more]

 

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About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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