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From herding to shearing to spinning, Holstein's Agro Expo puts the focus on sheep farming

Pottawatomi Spinners and Weavers Guild of Grey and Bruce Counties

Linda Collet and Mary Ann Zwarycki were part of the Here's to Ewe team competing at the Holstein Agro Expo. The team, entered by the Pottawatomi Spinners and Weavers Guild of Grey and Bruce Counties, won the Sheep to Shawl competition for the second year in a row. Photo by Lynne Turner


BY LYNNE TURNER FOR SOUTHGREY.CA — The Holstein Agro Expo was held on Friday evening, July 5 and Saturday, July 6.

Pro and non pro sheep shearing competitors from the United States, British Isles, Australia, New Zealand and Canada took part in the international sheep shearing competition. Lewis Farms provided all the sheep for the competitions.

Also part of the Expo were sheepdog trials, sanctioned by the United States Border Collie Handlers Association and the North East Border Collie Association. The timed trial challenged handlers from across Ontario and their world class sheep dogs to move three sheep through a defined course and into a pen in the fastest time. Handlers controlled their dogs either through the use of a whistle or by voice commands.

Sheep to Shaw and Drop Spindle competitions were also held as part of the Holstein Agro Expo for the second year. The Sheep to Shaw required a team of competitors to spin raw wool into yards of yarn and then use that yard to weave and complete a shawl. Solo competitors with drop spindles also competed to spin wool into the longest two-ply strand of yarn.


Sheepdog trials at Holstein Agro Expo 

A competitor gives her dog voice commands, helping it herd three sheep along a prescribed route, during the sheepdog trials at the Holstein Agro Expo. Photo by Lynne Turner


Sheep shearing at Holstein Agro Expo 

Alan Capell of Robbtown competes in the international sheep shearing competition held near Holstein lat weekend. Capell, who learned the skill at Lewis Farms nearly 20 years ago, has competed at the Calgary Stampede. Photo by Lynne Turner


Louise Hadley at Holstein Agro Expo 

Louise Hadley travelled five hours from Frankford, near Belleville, to compete in the sheepdog trials at the Holstein Agro Expo. She is pictured with Kate, an 11-year-old working dog on Hadley's farm. She also competed with her younger dog Tug. Photo by Lynne Turner


Sheepdog instructor at Holstein Agro Expo 

A handler uses voice commands  to instruct her dog to herd three sheep along a prescribed route and into a pen as part of the sheepdog trials at the Holstein Agro Expo July 5 and 6. Photo by Lynne Turner


Ellie Adams, Rachel and Wyatt at Holstein Agro Expo 

Ellie Adams, left, helps Walkerton youngsters Rachel and Wyatt try their hand at spinning wool into strands of yarn using a drop spindle at the Holstein Agro Expo.  Looking on is Rachel and Wyatt's father, Dwayne. Photo by Lynne Turner

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