Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Initiative Marks a Year of Helping Threatened Sheep Breeds

Just over one year ago, The Livestock Conservancy launched an initiative to build interest among fiber artists in rare breed sheep’s wool. The Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em program introduces fiber artists to rare breed fiber by sponsoring a challenge to start new projects and earn items upon completion. The Conservancy had modest hopes that perhaps a few hundred fiber artists would sign up over the course of three years, bringing business to the shepherds and increasing the populations of rare sheep breeds on its Conservation Priority List. To date, more than 1,700 fiber artists have joined and the initiative’s Facebook group has welcomed nearly 4,000 members. Additionally, more than 1,100 people are part of the Ravelry group (a social media site designed specifically for fiber artists). In addition to benefiting from increased interest in their rare sheep, the shepherds raising them have gained valuable knowledge about their customer base through this initiative.