24: Mary Lake – Shepherd, Shearer, Slaughterer

Mary Lake Interview
Click to watch the interview!

These days, the sheep industry is experiencing a scarcity of slaughterhouses and trained shearers, as any experienced shepherd can tell you. So it’s rare, and wonderful, to find a woman like Mary Lake who had the interest and tenacity to learn both trades and make them into her twin careers.

Join us for a look into Mary’s career path and her motivations for learning all aspects of sheep farming. We’ve also included footage of Mary in action as she shears one of our own sheep.

Learn more about Mary’s work, services, and products at her website, Mary Lake Shearing.

Mary is also involved in the upcoming Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival, held every year at the end of September in our home town of Tunbridge, Vermont.

Interested in learning more about the sheep trades? If you are in Vermont, here are some other resources:

Vermont Sheep & Goat Association – Information about sheep and goat breeds, butchers, shearers, and other related services.

Shelburne Farms and Wing & a Prayer Farm both offer shearing classes seasonally.

If you live elsewhere in the United States, contact your state extension service or Sheep & Wool Association to find a farm or professional who can guide you.

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) also has a lot of resources, and investigate Temple Grandin’s writings on humane animal handling, especially if you are thinking of raising any animals for meat.

Published by Sarah Scully

Sarah is a librarian as well as an avid knitter and occasional knitwear designer. She also enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, reading, painting, and writing with fountain pens.