This week on The Farm Report, Erin Fairbanks continues her exploration into the world of agricultural fiber. First on the show, Virginia Scholomiti of Yellow Farm describes the process of breeding and managing flock to produce fleeces of superior quality for hand-spinners and crafters. From artificial insemination to sheep coats, learn about everything it takes to produce high end fiber from sheep. Later on, Andy Rice of Hogget Hill Farm joins the conversation to talk about his work with the Swiss Village Foundation, the process of retaining heritage breed genetics and concerns of parasite control and diversity. Learn how the process of shearing has been perfected in New Zealand and why what’s good for the sheep is good for the shearer. This program was sponsored by International Culinary Center.




“We are always there when our lambs are born, because our sheep are very rare and we can’t afford to lose any of them.”

–Virginia Scholomiti of Yellow Farm on The Farm Report

“The idea behind preserving rare breeds is that some of these breeds, for instance the Santa Cruz breeds in California, have developed some of their own natural parasite control. If we can use some of these genetics in our modern breeds and not have to use drugs [to fight parasites], it would be a whole lot better.”


“The better a shearer gets the more relaxed the animal gets. It has nothing to do with the sheep, it’s all dependent on the shearer and how you control them. Whether the sheep like it or not is very hard to say.”

“A good blade shearer can shear 200 sheep in a day.”

–Andy Rice of Hogget Hill Farm on The Farm Report