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Welsh Shearer Shows Whidbey How It’s Done

When Welsh sheep farmer Eifion Morgan visited the Island County Fair in 2004 with his Whidbey-born wife, Jane Clyde, it was natural for him to make his way to the livestock area to mingle with island sheep farmers. They talked breeds, quality of fleece, and other matters of mutual interest. When it came to the subject of shearing, the talk turned to quantity; most farmers said they managed six sheep per hour. When asked how many sheep he could shear in an hour, Morgan cited a number most listeners assumed was an exaggeration: twenty. To position a sheep and remove the fleece in three minutes seemed, well, unbelievable. And to do it without ceasing, one 175-pound animal after another, for a total of 20 an hour? Farfetched, surely.

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