Instructor Margo Hanson, with the help of her husband Raymond, has been raising Border Leicesters since 2008, near Twin Valley, MN. The Hansons spent most of their adult lives in Alaska where Margo was a K-1 teacher. When they retired to MN, they decided to get a flock of sheep to keep the old pastures mowed off. With sheep came wool, and Margo decided to learn to spin and felt her own fleece. To keep the fleece clean, the sheep are coated from late fall to shearing time. The Marsh Creek Crossing flock consists of thirty-five to forty ewes and a number of rams. The flock has been OPP (ovine progressive pneumonia) test negative, CL (caseous lymphadenitis) and foot rot-free from day one. Keeping a healthy flock has been their number one priority. In an effort to reduce unnecessary worming, Margo began doing her own fecal exams five years ago.
Sheep producer and instructor Julie Zilka is a beginning shepherd in Park Rapids, Minnesota. A lifelong fascination with natural fibers and the fiber arts prompted her to take up shepherding. Julie and her husband raise a fiber flock consisting of Finn, Gotland, and Cormo wethers, along with a very opinionated Shetland ewe. Beyond the production of her own fiber projects, she is an advocate for the preservation of cultural handcraft techniques and works to promote the use of locally produced fiber and fiber products.
Trudy Delich, workshop instructor, manages the fiber preparation for TheBerryhillFarm where English Leicester Longwool sheep happily provide heritage wool. This is a relatively rare wool in the USA because the sheep are considered critically endangered. This wool has high luster, durability, and prized for it's easy handle by spinners. The management of the wool includes skirting and sorting fleeces at shearings usually open to the public and sale of some of the rams. Most of the wool is washed and hand processed with dying, sorting, or being sent to a mill for further processing.
Instructor Alethea Kenney is a traditional naturopath and small ruminant consultant for North Central Feed Products, LLC in Gonvick, MN. She also has a diploma in veterinary homeopathy. She has spent many years working with large and small animals in a veterinary setting and on the farm. With her husband, she has farmed since 1996 and now raises various fiber animals sustainably. She uses traditional methods for harvesting fleece and producing fiber art and writes about holistic animal care, herbs, homeopathy and minerals. Her book “An Ounce of Prevetion: Raising and Feeding Animals Naturally” is now available.