MCPHERSON, KANSAS (May 8) The Fiber Production Opportunities Workshop that was postponed from February has been rescheduled to Saturday, May 30, 2015 in Phillipsburg, Kansas. Registration will start at 9:30 a.m. in the Phillips County Annex, 784 6th Street, Phillipsburg, KS. The workshop will run from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and includes hands on fiber evaluation and an afternoon tour of The Shepherd’s Mill. There is no registration fee for this workshop and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by May 25, if possible.

Sally Brandon, Shepherd’s Mill and Rachael Boyle, K-State Research and Extension Livestock Agent, will guide participants through the world of animal fiber production, from determining which animals are right for the farm to selecting a mill and marketing the fiber.

This day-long event will offer the following class topics:
– Fiber Arts for the Non-Artist: What are the end-users seeking?
– Not all Fiber is Created Equal: Opportunities and challenges of different fiber types.
– Choosing and Working with a Fiber Mill: Asking the right questions.
– Where’s the Value in Value Added? Is this value stream for you?
– Managing a Menagerie: Selecting animals that compliment your operation.

With more than 30 years in the fiber industry, Sally works with small farms across 43 states, processing everything from alpaca to yak. She specializes in educating producers on the importance of first grasping what their customers are seeking and then managing their herd to produce fiber of the proper type and quality to meet demand. Producers will understand the opportunities they have to develop value-added product from their hair/wool-producing animals during the fiber production workshop. Often the opportunities for additional revenue from the animals are missed for various reasons unknown to the producer. Sally operates a mill that takes the raw product and turns it into a product that is very saleable to a fiber arts consumer. She will provide attendees with samples of various species and quality, so they can better analyze their own fiber. A tour of the mill will enable producers to better understand the processes available, allowing them to be better “consumers” of fiber processing services.

Rachael Boyle, Phillips-Rooks County livestock agent, has taught many sheep and goat events during her career in extension. She serves a group of producers with educational activities.

This workshop is the final event in Amazing Grazing II for Ruminants Both Great and Small. The Amazing Grazing series of workshops is a collaboration of the Kansas Farmers Union and the Kansas Graziers Association. Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Award Number 2012-49200-20065.

For more information or RSVP registration online visit AmazingGrazingKansas.com or contact Mary Howell at kfu.mary@gmail.com or 785-562-8726.

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If you would like more information about the workshop, or wish to schedule an interview with a presenter, please call Mary Howell at 785-562-8726 or email Mary at kfu.mary@gmail.com

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Graphic: Amazing Grazing II: Ruminants Both Great and Small logo at 300 dpi. Available here.