Friday, June 26, 2015

Busy At The Wool Pool!

Washington County Wool Pool - In Line To Unload!
We lucked out on Monday & Tuesday this week at the 2015 Washington County Wool Pool.  Monday was sunny as wool from the large flocks - 125 fleeces or more! - arrived & was unloaded.  Most of the large flocks bring their wool in large burlap wool sacks or in giant heavy duty plastic bags that are stuffed full of fleeces.
Pulling Fleeces Out Of The Wool Sack
The wool fleeces are pulled out of the sacks and are sorted into different large light weight tubular metal "baskets" by the folks doing the wool grading.  Each grade or type of wool is sold at different predetermined prices to the mill that made the successful bid for the total wool brought in to the wool pool.   The teenage 4-H & FFA workers carry the full baskets to the scales to be weighed.  Each producer gets a check based on the price paid for the amount & grades of wool that they bring to the wool pool.
The next step is loading the different grades of wool into the hydraulic wool presses and creating the individual "bales" of wool to be shipped to the mill.
Loading The Wool Press

Closing The Wool Bale
On Tuesday, the smaller flocks of less than 125 fleeces, were graded and added to the piles of wool to be baled.  The smallest flock was a group of 4 fleeces & by 4 PM, everything was baled.  The bales were weighed, marked, and logged in for shipment.
Wool Bales Ready To Ship & Wool Pool Volunteers Close Up For 2015!
 Here's a look at the marking on the graded bales of wool.  They will be cross checked against the log when they are unloaded at the mill.
Washington County Wool Pool - Graded & Weighed Wool Bale
Yes, we lucked out on Tuesday.  The pool closed at 3 PM and at 3:05 PM the skies opened up and we had a drenching downpour for over half an hour!   All of our cell phones started beeping with flash flood alerts for the area ... then the sun was shining again by 4:30 as the semi-truck was being loaded.  :)
2015 Wool Pool Prices & Rules

 

2 comments:

thecrazysheeplady said...

Interesting!

RMK said...

Yes - I volunteer & do the check in of each load. Fun way to meet the regional shepherds from hundreds of sheep to just a handful! Most wool in this area is medium wool from meat breed sheep or "light vegetable matter" from all of the hay thrown over the sheep from indoor winter feeding ...