Iowa Sheep Industry Association 9th Annual Sheep and Wool Festival

Last weekend Miss A, Cousin T’s Daughter, and I traveled to Iowa see my Sister.  My good travel companion made the 10 hour trip almost fly by.  We went to help at the Iowa Sheep Industry Association’s (ISIA)Annual Sheep and Wool Festival at Adel, Iowa.

Saturday was a big day full of activities.  There was a fleece judging contest.  After the wool was evaluated the fleeces were sold in a silent auction.  The judge did a great job of adding an educational aspect to the judging process.

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There were several Fiber Classes and Educational Speakers.  I didn’t sit in on any of the classes.  In passing, I saw the ladies learning about spinning, dyeing fiber, weaving, felting and more.

June 13

Several speakers talked about sheep industry issues.  I sat in on these two presentations:  The Supply Manager from Mountain State’s Lamb Cooperative talked about “The Ideal Market Lamb You Should be Raising” to meet industry needs.  Dr. Dan Morrical, Iowa State University Extension Sheep Specialist, visited with producers about “How I Improve the Genetics of My Flock.”

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These Guild Ladies set up their spinning machines and enjoyed an afternoon of spinning and fellowship.

June 13

ISIA has a Food Truck/Lunch Stand.  They set up at the Festival and at the Iowa State Fair.  Lamb burgers, walking tacos and gyros are regularly on the menu.

A Mother-Daughter team shared cooking tips at the Lamb Cooking Demonstration Saturday afternoon.  These Ladies made kabobs, meatballs, fajitas, stir-fry and chili, all with lamb.  Sunday afternoon, two individuals faced off in the Lamb Cook-off Contest.

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Sheepdog Trials and a Training Seminar were also part of the festivities.

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Saturday evening was the Lamb Lovers’ Social.  There was plenty of good lamb to eat!  Two types of meatballs, leg of lamb, grilled chislic, liver pate and sheep cheese were all prepared for the banquet.

The Social included silent and live auctions.  Many neat items were donated for the fundraiser.  Thank You and recognition awards were presented at the banquet.

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Miss A and I enjoyed the opportunity to take in this celebration of Sheep, lamb and fiber.  We met a lot of great people and spent time with my Sister.  It’s fun to try something new and different; to grow our life experiences.

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7 Responses to Iowa Sheep Industry Association 9th Annual Sheep and Wool Festival

  1. Kim says:

    Looks like you had a busy and fun weekend!

  2. Jona says:

    Looks like a great time – so sorry I missed it! I need to find a supply of lamb meat so I can practice…

  3. Candy C. says:

    That looks like a fun event! I would like to learn felting…in my spare time! LOL!!
    We have recently started buying ground lamb at the Farmer’s Market and really, really like it! 🙂

  4. Okay, that looks like too much fun 🙂 I love spending the day at Fiber Festival/Sheep Festivals.

  5. Buttons says:

    Miss A and you were in an incredibly interesting to me enviroment I would have enjoyed this. I am so happy you went and shared this with us. Welcome back home. Have a nice weekend. B

  6. My sister (one of two) has her own spinning equipment and was involved with a Fiber Arts Guild for a while in recent years. (I’m not sure if she’s still involved, I haven’t heard much about it in a while – but they’ve been busy with job changes, a giant tree falling on their house last summer, remodeling & adding on since then.) She is the same sister who worked for many years for the UofM North Central Experiment Station, with cattle. I learn a lot from their community of farm friends.
    She had taught our kids a lot about felting, dying, types of wool, and more. We all have felted inserts for our winter boots made by her. Wool is a wonderful thing!
    I don’t think I’ve ever had lamb. We did cook up some of the wild sheep the guys got in Texas, but I don’t think that is the same!! From what I’ve heard from my goat farming friend, the older rams are NOT good eating. We found them to be awfully tough.

    • Robyn says:

      Right away I picked up that fiber is a world of its own. Spinning is just the tip of the iceberg. I visited with one Lady that was an avid spinner. She has spun everything that can be spun: wool, buffalo hair, horse hair, llama, rabbit, rose stems, bamboo and more.

      A wild old ram probably is not the best eating. A sheep that is 1 1/2 years old or younger is the way to go. To be honest, beef vs. lamb is not a dramatic difference for me. There is a lot more taste difference between beef and pork or chicken. I could easily eat an equal amount of beef and lamb. My husband flat out does not like lamb. He has tried it several times and different cuts of lamb. It just does not work for him.

      I hope that you get a chance to try good lamb soon.

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