Eva Hoelzler demonstrated spinning boucle yarn this month at the Williams Lake Harvest Fair. Members of the Williams Lake Spinners

Eva Hoelzler demonstrated spinning boucle yarn this month at the Williams Lake Harvest Fair. Members of the Williams Lake Spinners

Lakecity hosts 2016 B.C. sheep breeders conference

Sheep breeders from all over the province are gathering in Williams Lake this week for the B.C. Sheep Federation Conference 2016.

Sheep breeders from all over the province are gathering in Williams Lake this week for the B.C. Sheep Federation Conference 2016.

Mike Doherty, president of the Cariboo Sheep Breeders Association says the public is invited to visit the trade show taking place in conjunction with the conference.

In addition to pens of live sheep, members of the Williams Lake Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists Guild will be there giving demonstrations.

Sharon Hoffman says guild members will be demonstrating their craft both days as they are available and there will be items on display from the rawest of fleeces to finished products.

Members will be carding wool, spinning wool and possibly weaving as well, Hoffman says.

The conference takes place at the Pioneer Complex on Hodgson Road Friday, Sept. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

About 75 sheep breeders from around the region and province including Vancouver Island, Prince George, Vanderhoof, and Dawson Creek are registered for the two-day conference, Doherty says.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Woody Lane from Oregon.

Doherty says Lane is a professional square dance caller and a sought after inspirational speaker.

In addition to his keynote speech titled Shepherding in a Facebook World, Lane will hold a workshop on nutritional requirements of ewes during the year and things that can go wrong.

He says sheep breeding is on the rise in B.C. and part of the program will be dedicated to the understanding of best practices related to fencing and other predator control responsibilities of the sheep farmers along with the new predator compensation program for sheep breeders.

Lori Vickers from the Ministry of Agriculture will be there to talk about the program.

Brian Shaw from the Canadian Co-operative of Wool Growers will talk about wool production and preparation for shipping.

Market lamb judging will also be part of the conference program and some 4-H Club members will also be participating in the workshops, Doherty says.

People may notice the life-size cutouts of sheep at the entrances to the city welcoming attendees to the conference, he notes.

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