Members of Evergreen Students for Sustainable Animal Agriculture (also known as Sheep Club) lead a dual life–students by day, shepherds in their free time. Many are current or former students of Agriculture and Conservation in the Pacific Northwest, a program whose faculty encourage the students to get out of the classroom and gain hands-on experience working in agriculture.
To that end, Evergreen faculty Mike Paros keeps a flock of sheep nearby, which this year numbers 33 ewes and 48 lambs. Although Paros manages the flock, the students take the lead in their care. They are there daily to tend the animals and see to their health.
“Everything about the operation from lambing and breeding the animals, all the way up to marketing the meat and buying the feed…We can be a part of all of that,” says club member Kirsten Larsen.
This Saturday, as winter gives way to warmer weather, the students brought in professional shearer Gerry Larsen to help the animals shed their heavy fleeces. As he sheared, they trimmed the sheeps’ hooves and took mental notes. As the day progressed, a brave few picked tried their own hand at shearing under Larsen’s instruction. Evergreen photographer Shauna Bittle was on hand, and captured the day in our latest One Minute Evergreen.