The 2nd Annual Florida Sheep and Wool Festival
(Sponsored by the Meat Sheep Alliance of Florida)
April 12-14 2013
Click for News Clip About Festival
Click for News Clip About Festival
|Setting up Wheel|
|Spinning Fine Wool|
|Dr Jack Gaskin|
Herding Dog Trials and Demonstrations
A review of our event by Janice Cox:
I didn't get to attend last year. I think this is the best idea we've had in a long time! We've morphed the spring MSA meeting into a festival with all the food, educational classes, fun and entertainment, plus several services.
Had I known there would be someone available to sharpen my shears and blades, I would have brought those items from home to have that taken care of rather than mail them off to Ohio or Alabama to have them sharpened. I thought that was a wonderful service offered for our benefit.
Lewis and I attended on Friday so he could be in the shearing class. Lots of ladies and not many men were taking the class. He learned a lot from the demonstrations. We had our blades on Friday, but the professional sharpeners from Apopka had to be in their shop on Friday. There was a wonderful food vendor with BBQ and several other delicious choices. Classes on crocheting, knitting, spinning, rug hooking and a few other neat things were available.
I took my spinning wheel on Saturday to get some help fine tuning it, and I had a group of women AND men giving it the "once over", finding several areas that needed adjustment, oiling it, trying it out to be sure it would work properly. They instructed me on how to adjust the tension. Then I spent some time visiting with spinners and I received so much great information that will help me as I learn to spin better.
I never even got over to the show barn, where a LOT of action was going on on Saturday and will be today. I didn't catch up with the people in the FAMACHA class on Saturday, but I saw their line of microscopes where they had been doing fecal egg counts. I missed the dog trials Friday and Saturday, which were going on in another area. But I did see some really nice border collies and a couple of other kinds of herding dogs.
There was an opportunity to sell raw wool fleeces to the hosts of hand spinners who came mainly to purchase it from producers. There was a really nice woman who showed me how to skirt my fleece and valued my wool on Saturday. On Friday there were two spinners who compared two of my fleeces and explained why one fleece was better that the other. I just really had a good experience both days.
There were families everywhere, little children showing sheep, big people showing sheep, some really fun activities for EVERYONE on Saturday that I didn't get to see but wanted to: sheep sack races (?) and sheep jumping (?). A lot of effort was put into this festival to make it nice for everyone. And the Ocala Dog Club is the perfect place for the MSA to have our spring meetings! There are pavilions and enclosed buildings, open fields for dog trials, wooded areas to have sheep displays. This is the place we have been looking for for years! I was very pleased with all of it. There were hundreds of people who attended. REALLY! Hundreds of people. And this event covers the full scope of sheep interests: education on meat, wool, and care, the herding dog events, show events, home industries with wool, plus the lamb cookoff, fun and fellowship. Everything balanced out. Most of all, it's something families can get involved in together and it crosses generations. Lots of youngsters with their parents, lots of seniors sharing their expertise, and everyone having a lovely time.
Fall 2012 MSA Conference Highlights