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David Sparks Ph.d Sheep Shearing
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: March 22, 2018

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The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service states that there are 255,000 sheep in the state of Idaho. What that means around this time of year is that there are a lot of sheep that need to be sheared. Enter the sheep shearing truck. Based in Wyoming, Glenn Hoopes runs mobile sheep shearing trucks across the western half of the United States, removing the annual wool crop from thousands of sheep. This truck is parked in Letha, Idaho where a six man crew, made up of mostly H2A guest workers will shear 4500 sheep in five days. “We have a Peruvian, an American, another Welsh guy and three New Zealanders. We all come over here at the end of February and start working for Cliff. We go from the beginning of February to the middle of May.” Crew chief Greg Haiaweea, a New Zealand native, has been shearing for over 30 years. He says sheep, in general, around the world, but especially American sheep, are getting bigger. That makes shearing, a little tougher. “The sheep in general has gotten bigger. Everyone seems to be wanting to breed a bigger breed. I don’t know what it is. It’s all part of the job. It’s a tough job.”

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