July 16, 2004
July 16, 2004 -- Alberta, Canada, is another place experiencing a major shortage in sheep shearers. Alberta joins both the United States and Australia in acknowledging this industry obstacle.
Alberta, a province known for its cattle, has more than 255,000 sheep and less than 30 registered shearers. A professional can shear an average of 200 sheep a day.
Clive Reynolds, a registered shearer, is not surprised fewer and fewer people are entering the profession.
?It?s a hard way to make a living,? Reynolds said. ?You can make a good living, but it?s so spread out, you have to travel a lot to make any money.?
Difficulty with shearer availability was a topic at the American Wool Council and the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) meetings in July.
?ASI producer leaders recently heard from U.S. shearing crews concerned with securing sheep shearers for the upcoming season,? stated ASI President Guy Flora.
The change in the U.S. currency exchange rate is one of the contributing factors to this problem as is an overall shortage of professional shearers.