Baldwin County High School's FFA students learned about shearing sheep and the wool they produce with a hands-on lesson recently.The school has one "Gulf Coast" hair sheep on campus as part of its …
Baldwin County High School's FFA students learned about shearing sheep and the wool they produce with a hands-on lesson recently.
The school has one "Gulf Coast" hair sheep on campus as part of its Agriscience Program. Teacher David Garrett said the students like seeing Shaun the Sheep's wool grow throughout the year and how it must be sheared once a year.
"We teach our students that we wait until the weather warms up, so she does not get too cold at night," he said. "The students learn how to shear the sheep using mechanical shears and that the wool is cut in close to the skin so it will produce wool with long fibers, so the wool comes out in one single coat of wool."
Garrett said as part of the lesson, the students learn about products that come from wool production such as lanolin, and the history behind the breed and the important role these sheep had in the early days of settlement in Alabama.
"We let the students feel the wool and understand how hot she is under the wool and how much better she feels after the wool is removed," he said. "The wool then is donated to anyone who wants to use it."
The Agriscience Program at BCHS is under the direction of Garrett and Andy Jones. In addition to livestock, program participants also plant crops, complete woodworking projects and learn the business side of farming as well.
The FFA members also take part in educational excursions to working farms, tour colleges and take part in competitions and conventions.