How can I market the wool from my goats?
Answer: Wooled sheep, Angora goats, and cashmere goats offer another “crop” in addition to meat. The natural fibers produced by these animals can be used in a variety of ways to add income to the sheep or goat enterprise. Natural fibers are a renewable resource, long-lasting, durable, comfortable, and beautiful.Fiber-producing animals are crowd-pleasers, and participating in fairs and festivals can draw attention to your farm and increase sales of items.There are several possibilities for marketing wool:In bulk: Ask your shearer for some of the possibilities in your location, which may include selling to a wool pool, warehouse, mill, or wool buyer. You can find contacts at the ASI website, www.sheepusa.org/Contacts_StateSheepAssns.? Wool pool: producers organize to assemble a large lot of wool, enabling them to have it sorted, graded, and marketed for a better price. See www.sheepandgoat.com/articles/woolpool.html for an example of how one wool pool works. You can find your local options through the ASI website listed above.? Warehouse: the Mid-States Wool Growers Cooperative is one example of a group operating this way. See www.midstateswoolgrowers.com/marketing.html for more information on warehouse marketing.? Mills: if you have a mill operating locally, they might be interested in purchasing fleeces. They might need a specific type of wool or only a large quantity, however.Direct to hand spinners: Either sell the whole, unwashed fleece, or remove dirty locks and wash the fleece to add value.Further processed: Send the fleece to a cottage mill and have the fleece made into yarn only, or made into yarn and then a finished item such as socks, hats, scarves, toys, or blankets. Items may be woven, knitted, or felted.Processed by the farmer into any of the items listed above and sold through:? CSA? Farm stand or farmers market? Local Harvest (www.localharvest.com), Etsy (www.etsy.com), or other online venue? Craft fairs? Local shopsTo learn more, review the ATTRA tips sheet Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Fiber, available at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=428. At the end of this tip sheet, you’ll find a list of additional resources where you can learn even more.