WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Aside from the 4-H and open sheep shows, The Indiana Sheep Association (ISA) is sponsoring additional sheep-themed competitions, vendors and educational opportunities at this year’s Indiana State Fair with assistance from the Sheep and Wool Market Development Program.
Learn all about sheep through the spirit of competition with these contests at the Indiana State Fair, which are open to the public:
- Indiana Make It With Wool (MIWW) Competition, third floor of the Indiana Arts Building
- Indiana State Fair Shearing Contest, Champions Pavilion
- Open Wool Judging, Blue Ribbon Pavilion Wool and Ewe Room
- Indiana Sheep-to-Shawl Competition, performance floor of Indiana Arts Building
Competitions will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday (July 30), with the MIWW Competition and fashion show. The competition showcases participants who have handmade outfits from wool and wool-blend fabrics. On Aug. 2 beginning at 5 p.m., the shearing contest will feature professional and amateur sheep shearers competing based on the factors of timing, handling and accuracy as they shear sheep back-to-back.
Open Class Wool Judging will be 10 a.m. Aug. 4. The public is welcome to watch and listen to the judge’s comments and placement. On Aug. 20, State Fair attendees can witness the annual Sheep-to-Shawl competition from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in which four youth teams and one adult team will rush to finish a wool shawl from scratch, beginning with spinning wool into yarn and ending with weaving the pattern together all in an allotted four-hour time frame.
Sheep can be found Aug. 4-20 in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion during open and 4-H shows. A schedule of when you can see sheep at the fair is available at the 2023 Indiana State Fair Livestock Schedule at www.indianastatefair.com.
In addition to competitions, fairgoers can enjoy other related activities. The ISA Wool and Ewe Room, located in the lobby of the Blue Ribbon Pavilion, will open Friday (July 28), the first day of the fair. Attendees can find Wool Competition entries along with products ranging from handmade goods from various Indiana-based vendors to livestock/country-themed fashion, décor and handy items of interest for any fairgoer prepared to shop. Across the street, those interested in fashion can find western, show, and country apparel and jewelry at Ewe 2, the Wool Room’s sister shop.
On Aug. 10-11 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., ISA will hand out free samples of lamb summer sausage in the Indiana Farm Bureau (IFB) Fall Creek Pavilion as part of the IFB’s Taste of Indiana Farms event. Each year thousands of fairgoers line up to receive free food samples and learn a little bit about agriculture.
The Indiana Sheep Association is one of the state’s oldest livestock organizations. It was originally founded as the Indiana Wool Growers Association in 1876 to encourage local shepherds to come together to share ideas and expertise, to promote lamb and wool in the state, and to educate communities about the value of sheep and the sheep industry.
About IN S&W
The Indiana Sheep and Wool Market Development Program was created to support educational, promotional and research efforts involving sheep in Indiana. Funds for the council are collected from the sale of all sheep in Indiana – 0.5% of the net market price of each sheep sold. All funds collected by stockyards, sale managers, producers and others should be sent to the council’s business office at Purdue. See https://indianasheep.com/checkoff.php for more information.
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