Local Morrow county 4-H and Mt Gilead FFA members helped out July 27 at the 2018 Ohio State Fair Shepherds Eastern National Sheep Shearing Contest.
FFA Advisor Matt Gompf along with his crew of Jacob Kirkland, Emma Burchett, Nick and Tyler McKinney, Taylor Stephen, Aunica Doller, Alexis McCoy and junior assistants Fletcher and Emery Gompf assisted the shearers and judges with the day’s activities.
Duties included sorting and penning the lambs for shearing, time keeping, bagging wool and assisting Judges Doug Rathke of Minnesota and Howard Strode of Ohio with scoring of the lambs during and after shearing.
The event has been in existence for 80-plus years where each shearer will shear three lambs in the preliminary contest and another three lambs in the final heat.
Scoring occurs and it is not only speed that is a key factor but also more importantly how the sheep appears after being shorn, absence of cuts on the sheep, condition of fleece, absence of second cuts in the fleece and manner of handling the sheep while shearing.
Rathke noted the interest and strong work ethic of the group and the willingness of many to learn. Several young ladies jumped in to try their hand at shearing the extra lambs after the contest.