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World-class sheep shearing school offered at Moses Lake

Annual event planned for April 1.

The Washington State Sheep Producers (WSSP) in conjunction with Washington State University Cooperative Extension is accepting applications for the 25th Annual WSSP Sheep Shearing School.

The school will be held at Parker's Sheep Ranch in Moses Lake, during the first week of April.

The advanced class is a one-day class, April 1, targeted at commercial sheep shearers looking to improve their overall shearing techniques and speed. This is also an ideal class for competition shearers seeking pointers and critiques to decrease shearing time and improve the quality of "shear job" needed by world-class competitors.

Students enrolled in the Advanced Tune-Up class are encouraged to stay over to April 2 to help start the beginners class.

The beginners class is a five day training, April 2-6, geared for the novice sheep shearer. Students will obtain instruction and educational material pertaining to proper shearing techniques, equipment handling and care, wool production and marketing, sheep husbandry, and quality assurance issues.

World-known shearing instructor, Mike McWilliams, from Myrtle Point, Ore., will train students in a state-of-the-art "commercial shearing trailer."

McWilliams has competed in several shearing competitions since the 1970s and was a member of the U.S. Sheep Shearing Team in 1994 and 1996. McWilliams has successfully instructed the WSSP Shearing School since 1993 with his vast talent, experience, and knowledge in sheep shearing and instruction.

Participants must be 15 years old or older and keenly interested in developing sheep shearing skills. Beginner class enrollment is limited to the first 16 people who register and pay the fees of $125 for WSSP members or $145 for non-members.

The advanced tune-up class is $30.

All shearing equipment for training is provided by the school. However, participants will need to provide their own housing and meals.

The Washington State Wool Growers Auxiliary is providing two full scholarships for the beginners class.

To enroll, send a check or money order to the Washington State Sheep Producers Association along with your complete name, address, phone, fax and e-mail to Carrie Christensen, PO Box 3445, Omak, Wash. 98841; phone (509) 826-6231.

Registration deadline is March 27.

More information and application forms are available on the WSU Grant-Adams Cooperative Extension web site,

For further information contact Sarah M. Smith, Area Animal Science Extension Educator at 509-754-2011, ext. 413.


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