GFM Network News

Fleece in frame: Taking a look behind the clippers on a sheep farm

Fleece in frame: Taking a look behind the clippers on a sheep farm

Photographer Phil Hossack captures a staple skill for any sheep producer — shearing

Sheep-shearing season has a special historical note on the farm of Wayne and Marie McDonald, just a little north and west of Cartwright in southwestern Manitoba. It is, after all, how they met. Marie McDonald’s family had got into sheep when she was a teenager, leading her to take a job as a sheep shearer and spending

Anna Hunter demonstrates how to skirt a fleece.

‘Field schools’ teach fibre enthusiasts textile skills

Most people completely disconnected from the origin of their clothing, says Ste. Genevieve sheep farmer

A Manitoba sheep farm is hosting field schools to teach fibre aficionados wool and textile production skills and to connect people with the sources of their clothing. “If we can look at how we are consuming clothes and textiles in the same way that we look at how we’re consuming food, I think we’ll realize we have a huge opportunity

“The meat side of the industry right now is probably at the highest point that we’ve ever seen.” – Morgan Moore, Manitoba Sheep.

Manitoba sheep producers ride market wave

Lamb and sheep prices are giving producers plenty of reason to smile

Manitoba’s sheep producers have a lot to be happy about when it comes to marketing their animals. The sector is enjoying some of the highest meat prices in recent memory. Why it matters: Like hogs and cattle, sheep producers say their markets have been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but in a very different

Graham Rannie checks over a full body of spring-sheared wool.

Binscarth sheep producers take farming from hobby to full-time job

Graham Rannie and Janice Johnstone have been raising sheep for years

The Parkland region of the province takes pride in the quality of its grains and livestock, says a Binscarth sheep producer. Graham Rannie, along with wife Janice Johnstone, raise commercial and purebred sheep which they’ve sold to producers across Canada. Up until last July, shepherding was a hobby for Rannie, who worked at the Mosaic

Joey Fiola and Christel Lanthier and their three daughters, Olivia (6), Anne Rose (4) and Lila (1).

Resurrecting the family farm

Faces of Ag: Joey Fiola and Christel Lanthier are determined to give their girls the same farm life that shaped them

As 25 ewes and a gangly baby llama mill around Christel Lanthier, her six-year-old daughter chats to her in French, the language they speak at home. She’s wondering if you want to know anything about the cats, Christel translates for a reporter. Olivia explains the names of the three cats and shows off her stuffed

Sheep shearers are a hot commodity in Australia right now as producers try to capitalize on higher wool prices after a generations-long slump.

Falling off the sheep’s back: Why Australia can’t capitalize on record wool prices

A long-awaited surge in wool prices has met a shortage in key personnel and a low sheep count

Sheep farmers in rural Australia waited more than half a century for wool prices to come roaring back, only to find there aren’t enough shearers to trim their golden fleeces. “Once upon a time you could go down to the local pub and arrange for some fellas to come in and start almost immediately —

Janet Kroeker applies a wool batt to cotton encasement fabric as she works on product line for the family’s Rosa-area home-based business, Shepherd’s Dream.

Making their bed

A rural Manitoba family operates a leading company in the Canadian natural bedding industry from their home near the tiny village of Roseau River

Ssshhhh! People are sleeping, and very soundly, thanks to their wool mattresses and comforters. The products are handcrafted by a Roseau River-area family that’s been quietly in the bed-making business — more precisely the making of pure wool beds — since 2002. Janet and Tim Kroeker were inspired to start Shepherd’s Dream by Janet’s sister’s

Elaine Owen, Grade 6 teacher at Miami School, holds the classroom’s pet angora rabbit that spends his 
days being patted and adored by students when they’re not knitting and spinning.

Wool studies help students see value of hard work — and generosity

Grade 6 social studies students at Miami School learn to card and spin, knit and crochet

Angela Dyck and Alyssa Bruce think a little differently than most teen girls about clothing. They don’t take a full closet for granted. Earlier generations didn’t have one, and it took a long time to make anything to wear, say the two 12-year-olds at Miami School. “We have it much better than they did,” says

Cool weather brings hair lambs to auction

Cool weather brings hair lambs to auction

Strong bidding for a good selection of feeder lambs; no price difference between wool and hair types

Producers delivered 450 sheep and goats to the Oct. 5 sale at Winnipeg Livestock Auction. There was no indication that the producers had any concerns about lower prices caused by stock left over from earlier sales. Feeder lambs and ewes dominated the sale. The young meat goat kids were of show quality and drew the

New Zealand square bags, which are made of polyethylene and sourced from China are said to be a more efficient way of transporting wool.

The wool is in the bag — but which one?

Industry watchers say square packaging is becoming the norm

Some Manitoba sheep producers are balking at an industry trend towards a wool-bagging system that processors say is safer and more efficient to transport. Sheep producers generally have two options for packaging wool, long tube bags made from jute or New Zealand square bags made of polyethylene. At its annual general meeting in early March,