Marketing your Wool
Posted: May 11, 2011
Most sheep in the United States get shorn in the spring. We want to harvest the wool in spring when it is at its highest quality and before the hot weather hits, so our ewes are more comfortable. Consequently, once we shear our wool, we need to think about selling it.
The large flocks in the western part of the country have the luxury of dealing directly with wool buyers because they harvest enough tonnage to attract a bid. Shepherds in the East generally have small flocks, and, consequently, don’t produce enough wool to interest a woolen mill or wool broker. That’s where Wool Pools come in.
Wool Pools originated over 50 years ago as a way to cobble together enough tons of wool to interest wool buyers, and get a competitive price for their member’s wool. The Bucks/Montgomery Wool Pool started back in the 1940’s and is still serving their members today. In 2010, eighty shepherds from 15 different counties marketed over 25,000 pounds of their wool through the Bucks/Mont Wool Pool.
The number of wool cooperatives has decreased over the past decade, but there are still a few still functioning in Pennsylvania. In addition to the Bucks/Montgomery Pool, Berks and Chester counties also have Pools.