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Maple Crest Farm hosts Sheep for a Cure shearing competition

Some people traveled from Minnesota to compete in the event.
Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 4:45 PM EDT
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HERMON, Maine (WABI) - Folks gathered at Maple Crest Farm Saturday for the third Sheep for a Cure competition.

It’s a sheep shearing contest that raises money for Cancer Care of Maine.

“We are attracting shearers from out of state which is exciting. Today we saw a really wide variety, we saw shearers that have been doing it two, three, five years. I’ve been shearing about 15 years professionally,” said Edith Kershner, one of the event organizers.

Some folks like Jared Nickel traveled from Minnesota to compete in the event.

He shears sheep, llamas, and alpacas as a full time job.

Nickel walked away with second place and the sportsmanship award but not without a little hiccup.

“My equipment got lost on the plane so I didn’t have my clothes all my gear, normally I would have my own shearing gear that I sharpen and my hand blades are prepared, it takes several hours to get ready and I didn’t have any of that, but I showed up and people were willing to let me use their equipment,” Nickel said.

For Kershner and Nickel sheep shearing runs in the family.

Kershner lost her father to cancer so this event is close to her heart.

“We’re here because we’re trying to support cancer research. So if we can get together, have a fun filled day and then support a cure,” Kershner said.

Once the sheep are sheared their wool is spun and later knit into sweaters as part of the Back to Back Wool Challenge.

Kershner says animals like sheep and alpacas must be sheared at least once a year to keep them clean and cool in the summer.

“The wool itself is a great product. It’s renewable, it doesn’t hurt the animal and the lanolin in the wool has great medicinal properties. It’s a natural antiseptic, it makes great lip balm, hand cleaner,” Kershner said.

Kershner hopes to bring more awareness to sheep shearing, especially here in Maine.

“In other countries this is a sport. So England, Australia, New Zealand. In America we do it more because the sheep need it so it’s really just fun for the shearers and a way to get better,” Kershner said.

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