Youth Conservationist Program
The Youth Conservationist Program is a way to enable youth to experience the joys and responsibilities of conserving heritage wool sheep breeds. In 2012, 15 registered ewes were awarded to 15 aspiring young shepherds.
Youth interested in applying for the 2013 Youth Conservationist Program need to be between 9 and 18 years old. If selected, must be present to receive the ewe at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on the Sunday of the event. They must agree to exhibit the ewe at least twice in 2014 at: 1) a county fair or local sheep show; and 2) the State Fair in the state where the recipient lives. They must also agree to breed the ewe to a registered ram in the fall of 2013. And must agree to either use the ewe’s fleece to personally make a woolen item or sell the fleece to a spinner, felter, or weaver. Finally, they must submit a one-to-two page report, with pictures to the donor breeder by April 30, 2014.
Applications from interested youth must be postmarked by April 1, 2013. In the application/essay the youth should describe themselves, their experience with animals, explain their interest in sheep, and answer the question: “Why I would like to help preserve a heritage breed of sheep?” The total application/essay should be no more than 2 pages in length. The application must include address, phone and, if available, email address. The applicant should indicate if they wish to be considered for a particular breed or any of the breeds available. Each applicant must also include a “letter of recommendation” from his or her 4-H advisor, FFA Advisor, Veterinarian, Teacher, or Clergy.
Interested young people should contact Elaine Ashcraft for an updated list of breeds available, and then submit their letter of application/essay to:
or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.