Creative Shearing Competition

Join us for our first annual creative shearing competition. Not everyone can shear a sheep, but even fewer folks have either incentive or opportunity to show their imagination and expertise. This competition is intended to reward the shearer’s creativity with awards and public acclaim. This competition aspires to re-direct the shearer’s mastery as sculpture, landscaping, haute couture, or a journey of craft and art. Judging will be based on artistry, originality, humor, and skill. Shearing may be done at home or at the Festival any time prior to judging. Group efforts are permitted. Judging will be done on Saturday at noon in the Show Ring. Come see what our shearers have come up with!

To be avoided:

  1. Standard show ring conventionality of presenting a naked or nearly naked sheep in a beautiful, magazine-quality style.
  2. Heavy coloring, and especially dye, mousse, or paint that might be considered toxic. This is not a body-painting project.
  3. Any treatment that, although creative, causes discomfort to the animal. Embarrassment to the owner is okay.
  4. Entries mocking public figures and causing cultural division will be ineligible. Benign humor is, of course, what it’s all about.

All sheep must have approved interstate or Maryland health papers. See also Animal Health Regulations.


Prize money of at least $300 is guaranteed, and we hope that sponsorships will allow us to increase this amount. 1st,, 2nd, and 3rd places and Honorable Mentions will be awarded by the judges.

How to enter:

Pre-registration is required. To register, send name of owner/artiste(s), location of farm, breed of sheep, name of sheep and title of work to Peter Austin, POB 187, Ashton, MD 20861 or email .

Registration deadline is April 20.

2020 Catalog Cover Artist

Presenting our 2020 catalog cover, featuring an original woodcut done just for us by Bobby Rosenstock of JustAJar Design Press.

Schedule of Events

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Since we weren't able to have a Breed Display Barn this year, some of you might be interested in this webinar that the American Sheep Industry Association recently sponsored.

"In this webinar we explore the amazing diversity of heritage sheep breeds found in America and how many are making a remarkable comeback as interest grows in small scale shepherding and in natural fiber arts. We discuss the decades long effort to bring rare sheep back from the brink of extinction and current efforts to develop new markets for their products. Learn about the conservation work and then listen to experiences of several rare breed sheep farmers as they recount the journey they have undertaken with their amazing sheep breeds"
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1 month ago  ·  

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Attention please! We ended up with a small quantity of 2020 merchandise left over from our virtual festival order. This includes short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, sling bags, backpacks, posters, note cards and enamel pins. Sorry, no mugs, and not all sizes are available in the shirts and sweatshirts.

You can view these items at, but because of the limited quantities you CANNOT ORDER THEM ONLINE. All items will be sold by telephone order ONLY on a first come, first served basis. Orders will be accepted by Sheepman Supply at 301-662-4197 Monday-Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. I repeat, orders will be accepted by TELEPHONE ONLY at 301-662-4197 Monday-Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

This may be your last chance to get 2020 Festival merchandise!
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3 months ago  ·  

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