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2023 DCSWGA Highlights
We are looking forward to another great year for the Association! Here are a few highlights from 2023.
We are always looking for a few new faces to join our committees, and to help “the day of” our events.
We held a free virtual class in photographing farms and farm products more effectively, for our members and their families, in partnership with the Hudson Valley Textile Project.
The Wool Pool subsidy benefited members, as we match Bartlett’s price, up to 250 pounds. For most members, this covers the cost of membership.
We once again were able to support 4-H, the All American Sheep Show, Youth Show, and ENY with funding.
Scholarship money has been awarded to several students in addition to our continued support for existing recipients.
We held three educational seminars on Zoom, followed by in-person hands on workshops the following day; they were well received. Topics included: discussion on heritage breeds, shearing, how to skirt fleeces, parasite control, pasture management, livestock management during all seasons, official identification, processing facilities, and marketing strategies for small farms.
Our fiber education classes included: a “penny rug” Easter egg class, basket-making, hands-on natural dye workshop, a snowman rug hooking class, needle felted pumpkin class which included 4-H members from Stony Kill Shepherds, a “paint with fiber” class which resulted in a farm scene with sheep. Our rug hooking group is meeting twice a month.
Dutchess Fair was a success, with livestock shows, sheep shearing, and Wool Room demonstrations and exhibits of juried garments and fleeces. A member social pizza party was held at the lower sheep barn.
The NYS Sheep & Wool Festival: we were able to hold an in-person Festival with more than 24,000 paying attendees. We held a used fiber and farm equipment sale (more successful than last year), sheep show, goat show, Fleece Sale, Breed Talks, Fiber Workshops, Skein & Garment Competition, Photo Contest, Art Contest, fiber demonstrations, Fleece to Shawl Contest, Leaping Llama contest, livestock parade and so much more, in addition to hosting approximately 270 vendors. Our efforts were documented by Backyard Green Films, livestreaming for two days. This content may be found on their Youtube channel if you would like to revisit the Festival. We were also highlighted in the New York Times, and Vogue Magazine with favorable press.
We had a capacity crowd at our Annual Dinner at the Beekman Arms. Gillian Ferguson, DVM was named Shepherd of the Year. Kathryn Tibbetts, our Wool Ambassador, spoke of her work in 2022. She will continue as Ambassador for 2023.
We held both a Spring and Fall Farm Tour, each highlighting a variety of farms. Those who participated included: Arrow M Southdowns, Clover Brooke Farm, Buckwheat Bridge Angoras, Lime Kiln Farm, Nobletown Fiberworks, Point of View Farm, Patchwork Pastures. Participating farms gave tours, some had special activities planned, and many sold fiber or meat products to visitors. Let us know if you would like to be included in future tours, we hope to have another in the Spring.