Heelside Farms puts a ‘spin’ on SCC’s sheep, goat classes

March 17, 2014

Sampson Community College has always been a longtime supporter of hands-on training. That’s one reason why Carolyn Beasley’s visit to campus last week made the classroom more special than normal.

Beasley came to the college from Heelside Farms in Four Oaks, and provided demonstrations to the ANS 170 Sheep and Goat Production class. After discussing various breeds of sheep, including Finnsheep, Border Leicester, Icelandic, and Cormo, Beasley showed students differences between types of wool and other fibers such as angora, alpaca and mohair and discussed the cleaning and dyeing of fibers.

Dr. Laurie Hamilton, fepartment vhair at SCC for Livestock and Poultry Technology, said the students not only learned a great deal but had fun too. “It’s one thing to sit in class and learn about something in particular that you didn’t know about before,” said Hamilton. “But it’s a whole other thing to be able to reach out and touch it and put your hands on it and be able to say that you’ve actually done it.”

Students later had the opportunity for some hands-on handiwork to include carding wool and spinning yarn on a drop spindle and on a spinning wheel. Students all agreed that they had gained a greater appreciation for how much work it took to turn wool into clothing back in the “old days.”

Heelside Farms offers fiber workshops throughout the year and will be at the Carolina Fiber Fest in Sanford April 4-6.