Shepherds lead the way at annual Sheep and Wool Festival 
By: Travis R. Morin
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture
Original content from     

DEERFIELD — For the organizers of the 42nd annual New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival, it was all about the shepherds.

Andy Rice, a livestock fencing and sheep-shearing consultant who’s been involved with the festival since its beginnings, says seasoned shepherds have an obligation to teach younger generations whatever they can.

The festival is the largest yearly event staged by the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Grower’s Association (NHSWGA), a non-profit organization that focuses on teaching sheep management skills to new shepherds, educating the general public, and providing a forum for sheep wool and alpaca fleece artisans to meet and exchange ideas.

In addition to shepherds, the festival boasted more than 80 vendors with goods like handspun wool, alpaca fleece, knitted clothing and dairy products made from sheep’s milk.

Trixie Vasquez of Manchester said she first visited the festival a few years ago when she was learning to handspin her own yarn. On Saturday she purchased a pound of fleece from an alpaca named Nymeria.

“I’m going to spin it, but I don’t know what I’m going to make it into yet,” said Vasquez.

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