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Learn to shear

Wool will fly at MTSU school April 21 and 22

Doug Rathke, a widely known and seasoned sheep shearer from Minnesota, will return to Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro on Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22, to conduct sessions for beginners and advanced participants alike at the 2017 Tennessee Sheep Shearing School.

“The shearing school is designed for shearers who want to improve their skills,” says Mark Powell with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “Instructors will teach the most modern, up-to-date shearing methods.”

Assisting Powell in the sessions at the Tennessee Livestock Center will be Dr. Warren Gill, MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience; visiting shearer William Rick; and Caleb Fritz, an MTSU alum and local shearer.

Cost for the Shearing School — sponsored by the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association, University of Tennessee Extension Service, and MTSU School of Agribusiness — is $150 per person. Pre-registration is required, and participation is limited to the first 20 paid applicants.

Following a 10 a.m. Friday sign-in, participants will participate in a 10:30 a.m. discussion of equipment care and maintenance. Then, the hands-on shearing starts at 1 p.m., resumes at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 22, and continues until all sheep are sheared.

Visit to pre-register for the school and pay online. Or, you can use the form printed below and mail to

the address listed along with a check for $150 made payable to Tennessee Sheep Producers.

Mail to: Tennessee Sheep Producers, 4233 Poplar Hill Rd., Watertown, TN 37184.

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