Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

Going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is always a fun day. Sunday's weather was just right. Temps were in the high 60's and low 70's. The skies were overcast and the winds were calm. No sunburn worries. No coats or umbrellas were necessary.
This was the fifth time I have donated a yearling Navajo-Churro ewe to the Youth Conservationist Program. Children and youths interested in raising heritage breed sheep can participate by submitting essays on why they want to raise heritage breed sheep. The donors are able to select who will receive their sheep.
The recipients have a list of requirements to fulfill within their first year of ownership. Those duties include breeding the ewe to a registered ram, showing the sheep at shows, making an item from the wool of their sheep and completing a project book of their year with their sheep. They are encouraged to keep in touch with the donor.
A young lady from Monongahela, PA received my Princess Dot. Dottie is going to be treated like a princess at her new home. I was pleased when I met the recipient and her family. I was satisfied that I had made the right choice for Dot's new home.
Best wishes to you, Callie. I can't wait to see the adventures you show Dot.
Dottie's new owner, Callie, ready to raise heritage sheep and learn to spin yarn.
Dottie, Callie and I also participated in the Parade of Breeds this year. Forty-three sheep breeds were on hand for this delightful display of diversity. Some brought rams, some brought lambs and some brought ewes with young lambs at their side.
A small sample of the many breeds taking part in the Parade of Breeds.
We got a chance to watch the Sheep to Shawl competition. We were cheering on a local group, Friends Thru Fiber. They took first place. Their shawl fetched highest bid at the auction that followed the competition.
Ladies of Friends Thru Fiber busy carding and spinning for  the weaver.
Friends Thru Fiber weaver, Michelle, displays their prize winning shawl.
A local young lady received a Navajo-Churro ewe from the Youth Conservation Program at the MDSWF a few years back. She didn't receive my ewe but received the offspring of one of my ewes from a former recipient. These youngsters have exemplified what the YCP was meant to do.  Angie gathered Navajo-Churro items for a breed display at the festival along with her 2012 lambs. She and her family spent their weekend promoting the sheep. Her display was chosen as junior champion display. It makes my heart glad to see these youngsters involved in helping others understand the role of agriculture in our lives.
Angie's thoughtful display of  Navajo-Churro lambs and assorted items garnered a champion ribbon.
I appreciate the efforts of all who helped me reach my destination Sunday. 
Thanks to dear husband, BR, for the use of his truck, for rolling out of bed bright and early to load Dot. Thank you for keeping the home fires burning. I love you and appreciate your support.
To my Mom and Dad, for always being there to cheer me on. I love you and appreciate all your support.
To N-CSA Registrar, Connie, for getting the registration paperwork moving quickly for the aspiring shepherd.
To friend, Georgie, for being my chief go-fer and photographer on Sunday.

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