The 2013 Tennessee Sheep Shearing School will be on April 26 and 27 at the Tennessee Livestock Center on the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) campus in Murfreesboro.  The school is sponsored by the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative, University of Tennessee Extension and the MTSU School of Agribusiness an Agriscience
Doug Rathke, a seasoned shearer and instructor for the National Shearing School Program, is returning again this year. Rathke knows what it takes to learn the art of shearing and he knows what it takes to teach it on a level so it can be understood and retained. That is why so many people have taken his sheep shearing course.  Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced shearer, there is something for everyone to learn.

Rathke will be assisted by Mark Powell, Wilson Farmers Co-op, Jim Neel, with UT Extension and Dr. Warren Gill, Director of the MTSU School of Agribusiness an Agriscience and Caleb Fritz, MTSU Student and local shearer.
The shearing school is designed for either beginner or experienced shearers who wish to improve their skills. Top sheep shearers will teach the most modern, up-to-date shearing methods. One of the most important aspects of the school is information about maintenance and care of sheep shearing equipment.
This shearing school is not designed for young children; in fact, we ask that participants be at senior 4-H (high school) level.  The Tennessee Sheep Producers Association does encourage participation by senior 4-H'ers and will pay half of the registration fee for the first six 4-H members who sign up.
The school will start at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 26, with registration. At 10:30 there will be a discussion of equipment care and maintenance and at 1 p.m. we will start shearing.  On Saturday, April 27, at 8:00 a.m. we will continue until all sheep are sheared. 
Meals and lodging are the responsibility of the participants. You can attend for one day only, but it is preferable to attend both sessions.  An American Sheep Industry wool manual will be included as a part of the school.
The location will be the Tennessee Livestock Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Take I-24 to exit 81B, go to 2nd light, turn right onto Rutherford Blvd, go to the 7th light, turn left onto Greenland Dr., TLC will be 1/2 mile on left.  Address is 1720 Greenland Drive.  Website is . The phone number at TLC is 615-898-5575.
Tips For Participants:
1.         REQUIREMENT:  Bring a small, (4' x 4' or larger) piece of old carpet or plywood (preferred) for a shearing surface.
2.         Wear "old clothes."
3.         Exercise for a few weeks before coming to the school.
4.         Bring your own shears, if possible. The first part of the school will be an in depth instruction on shearing equipment and how to set it up.  You will benefit more from the class if you let Doug help you set up and adjust your own shears.  Some equipment will be for sale at the school.
5.         Bring an oil can and some unused motor oil.
6.         Bring heavy-duty extension cords, if available.
The cost for the Shearing School is $125 per person. In order to make plans, pre-registration is required. Participation is limited to the first 20 paid applicants. For additional information or to preregister, contact  Mark Powell at 615-519-7796 or 615-237-3894.
Mark Powell, 615-519-7796 or 615-237-3894