Rathke to be at sheep shearing school slated for November
RAPHINE, Va. — A three-day sheep shearing school taught by an internationally-known sheep shearer is being held at the Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center this fall.
Doug Rathke, U.S. National Champion Sheep Shearer, will teach the classes Nov 12,-14.
He has been a leader in the world of shearing since 1988 when he became the first American to receive the Gold Seal of Shearing Excellence from New Zealand Wools, at that time the premier trainer of sheep shearers in New Zealand.
Over the years, Rathke has taught hundreds of shearing schools and trained over 2,500 people to shear sheep.
He has represented the U.S. Shearing Team for the Golden Shearers World Sheep Shearing Championships seven times between 1996 and 2019.
Rathke is currently serving as a U.S. representative to the Golden Seep Shearers World Sheep Shearing Council.
This Virginia Cooperative Extension class will be limited to 20 people so early sign-up is important. Tuition for the three-day event is $225.
Participants must bring their own shearing machine and blades.
The sponsors cautioned that participants need to be physically fit as shearing requires bending and lifting sheep, noting a person should be able to lift at least 50 pounds.
The school is not recommended for anyone with chronic back pain or spinal injury.
Those participating are advised to engage in some light to moderate exercise in the weeks prior to the school.
Extension agent Tom Stanley is the contact person for the event. He can be reached by voice or text at 540-588-0241 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.