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Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101 (4/12-4/18) OR Shearing Technique Refinement (4/18-4/21)
Hopland Research and Extension Center
4070 University Road
Hopland, CA 95449
Contact: Hannah Bird (707) 744 1424 ext1642 hbird@ucanr.edu
Sponsor: Hopland Research and Extension Center
Details:

Shearing 2024  (Website)

Spring 2024 Sheep Shearing Courses at HREC

Location: UC Hopland Research and Extension Center, Hopland CA

Dates: 

Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101: START 12pm on Fri 4/12 - END 10am Thu 4/18

Sheep Shearing: Technique Refinement: START 12pm on Thu 4/18 - END 10am Sun 4/21

Click here to apply for either class.

See below for details of each class.

Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101 (Apr 12-18th)

Cost: Equity pricing allows participants to pay between $350-$1,200 at a level that is appropriate for their personal budget.

Two scholarships (just $50 payment required) and flexible equity pricing options are made possible due to the generous support of Fibershed.

Housing for additional $15 per night bunkhouse style

Class description: The University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center “Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101” class will focus on hands-on shearing training in a small group setting (Maximum of 9 participants), with additional lecture and discussion time to consider the many elements surrounding sheep handling, husbandry, flock health, running a mobile shearing service, ethical shearing, grazing for fuel reduction and climate beneficial ranching practices.

This immersive week-long course will give you the skills and knowledge required to be able to confidently and efficiently shear sheep on your own. Using the gold standard New Zealand (AKA "Bowen") shearing method, you will be guided through each step with great care so that stress to the sheep–and to you–is limited as much as possible.

Prerequisites: No prior experience with sheep or livestock is required to attend this course.

Lead Instructor: Owner/operator of Hollenback Shearing, Trevor Hollenback has been professionally trained and employed as a shearer in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Austria. His primary focus in shearing is limiting stress to both the sheep and shearer.

Trevor is supported by Alison Smith (Head Shepherd at HREC) and Ruthie King (School of Adaptive Agriculture)

Things you will learn at Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101:

  • Low-stress livestock handling practices
  • How to quickly and safely put a sheep down onto the ground
  • Equipment selection, setup, and maintenance
  • The New Zealand style shearing pattern
  • The fundamentals of footwork
  • Caring for your body as a sheep shearer with a focus on longevity
  • How to minimize skin cuts and second cuts while shearing
  • Different breeds and their wool types
  • General disease management for sheep
  • How to make money as a sheep shearer
  • A general overview of the yearly calendar of a shepherd
  • How to mitigate the health and safety hazards that you or the sheep could encounter during shearing
  • How to prepare the sheep and workspace for shearing day
  • A yoga and stretching routine created specifically for sheep shearers
  • Adapting the shearing pattern to different shearer body types
  • Adapting the shearing pattern to sheep in various body conditions
  • Life as a small flock sheep shearer vs. life as a commercial sheep shearer
  • And much much more!

We will also have a handful of special guest lecturers throughout the week that will bring their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. The topics of these talks in the past have ranged from "Public Perceptions of Sheep Shearing" to "Atmospheric Carbon Capture in Wool Production."

At the end of the class participants will gain a certificate of completion and a copy of the course handbook “Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101 - Student Handbook” by Alison Smith and Trevor Hollenback, sponsored by Fibershed.

PLEASE NOTE: This course is very physically strenuous, requiring your body to be in uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time while shearing. Guidance will be given to reduce discomfort, but registrants should be aware of this and come with both mind and body prepared to work hard.

Registration will begin with an application process and priority will be given to those who intend to stay in the sheep shearing industry, either as producers of wool themselves, or to provide shearing services to producers. 

Applications:

The application period for our Spring 2024 courses is as follows:

Applications will start being accepted: Wednesday, February 14th at 9am

Applications will stop being accepted: Friday, March 5th at 5pm

Applicants will be notified of acceptance status by Wednesday Mar 6, 2024.

If you have any specific questions about the course, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! We hope to see you at HREC in April.

Contact: hbird@ucanr.edu or call (707) 744 1424 ext 1642.

Click here to apply for either class.

Sheep Shearing: Technique Refinement Course (Apr 18-21)

Cost: Equity pricing allows participants to pay between $200-$600 at a level that is appropriate for their personal budget.

Two scholarships are available (just $50 payment required) and flexible equity pricing options are made possible due to the generous support of Fibershed.

Housing for additional $15 per night bunkhouse style

Lead Instructor: Owner/operator of Hollenback Shearing, Trevor Hollenback has been professionally trained and employed as a shearer in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Austria. His primary focus in shearing is limiting stress to both the sheep and shearer.

Trevor is supported by Alison Smith (Head Shepherd at HREC)

Class description: The University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center “Sheep Shearing: Technique Refinement” course will be a hands-on shearing training in a small group setting (Maximum of 6 participants).  This course is designed for any student that has successfully completed “Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101” and wants to continue honing their craft.  We will continue to focus on execution of the fundamentals while correcting any bad habits that you may have formed since completion of our beginner’s course.  We will also cover ways in which you can increase your efficiency during a day’s shearing.

Prerequisites: Previous experience in sheep shearing is required to attend this course. This course is designed to accommodate a broad range of skill levels, so the amount of experience you have had since completing “Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101” is not important.  Shearers that have not completed the “Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101” course here at Hopland are not necessarily disqualified from attending this course.  Please reach out to Hannah Bird at HREC (hbird@ucanr.edu) so that we can discuss your eligibility.

Things to expect at our “Sheep Shearing: Technique Refinement” course:

  • Limiting number of blows
  • Increasing daily tally
  • Suturing and wound care for sheep
  • Footwork refinement
  • Equipment selection
  • Low stress livestock handling
  • Drills and activities that will sharpen your muscle memory of the shearing pattern
  • More techniques for pre and post-shearing body care
  • Strength and flexibility exercises specifically tailored for shearers

PLEASE NOTE: Just like our beginner’s course, this course is very physically strenuous, requiring your body to be in uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time while shearing. Guidance will be given to reduce discomfort, but registrants should be aware of this and come with both mind and body prepared to work hard.

Registration will begin with an application process and priority will be given to those who intend to continue working as sheep shearers. 

Applications:

The application period for our Spring 2024 courses is as follows:

Applications will start being accepted: Wednesday, February 14th at 9am

Applications will stop being accepted: Friday, March 5th at 5pm

Applicants will be notified of acceptance status by Wednesday Mar 6, 2024.

 

If you have any specific questions about the courses, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! We hope to see you at HREC in April.

Contact: hbird@ucanr.edu or call (707) 744 1424 ext 1642.

Click here to apply for either class.