STATEWIDE, Maine — The University of Maine Cooperative Extension reports that it has been working to equip the state’s sheep, fiber goat and camelid producers with the skills and knowledge to improve production, handling, and marketing of high quality fiber and fiber products.
UMaine Extension also is participating in several fiber-related events in advance of its statewide Focus on Fiber seminar, which will be held in October at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.
The pre-seminar events will help farmers learn about value-added processes and end products that can be produced from a herd or flock of sheep, alpacas, llamas and fiber goats.
Coming events are:
* Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29-30, National Alpaca Open Farm Weekend, at alpaca farms throughout the state. Farms are open to the public. Mainealpacafarms.com.
* 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, Friends’ Folly Farm, 319 Norris Hill Road, Monmouth. Tour of mill facility, raw fiber to finished products and meet angora goats. www.Friendsfollyfarm.com.
* Saturday, Oct. 13, Wrinkle in Thyme Farm, 106 Black Mountain Road, Sumner. Learn about farm-based CSAs, self-serve fiber processing and finished products. awrinkleinthymefarm.com/events.html.
* Saturday, Oct. 20, NEWAIM Farm and Fiber Mill, 13 Robinson Road, Waldoboro. Tour the mill facility and see all the steps from raw fiber to yarn, including a solar system for heating water and CVM Romeldale sheep. www.Newaimfibermill.com/index.shtml.
* Saturday, Oct. 27, Focus on Fiber, a daylong event in Fairfield, will include presentations, panel discussions and demonstrations led by experienced farmers, scientists, processors, fiber judges and graders, consumers and financial analysts from around the state. Topics will include the basics of sheep, goat and camelid fiber; management and genetics to improve fleece quality and quantity; preparing fleece for sale, shows and processing; primary fleece markets; and marketing and value-added processes.
For information, contact Richard Brzozowski, UMaine Extension educator, at 207-781-6099 or Richard.email@example.com.