Island Farm to host annual Sheep Shearing Day with national expert Kevin Ford

Gwen Hinman of Acworth, New Hampshire and Kevin Ford of Charlemont shear sheep at the Leyden Glen Farm. [Courtesy Island Farm]

Spring is on the way, and it’s time to shear the sheep! On Saturday, March 25, Island Farm will host its annual sheep shearing day, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Admission is $10, and children 3 and under are admitted for free. This event will also mark the start of the Farm’s 2023 season.

During the event, Island Farm’s resident sheep will be hand-shorn, just as they would have been in the mid-19th century. Shearing will take place in front of visitors, so they can witness the process up-close. This year Island Farm is thrilled to host national sheep-shearing champion, Kevin Ford. Mr. Ford hails from Massachusetts and shears over 4,000 sheep and goats per year, all by hand. He learned blade shearing in the 1970s through hands-on study in Ireland and New Zealand, and he’s been shearing ever since.

Other activities at the event will include buttermaking, blacksmithing with the Manteo Blacksmith, hearth cooking, wagon rides, wool bracelet crafts, plus washing, drying, spinning, carding, and weaving wool into useful items!

[Courtesy Island Farm]

A living history farmstead, Island Farm is a tangible glimpse into coastal history, and the realities of life on Roanoke Island in the mid-1800’s. For the 2023 season, Island Farm will be open through November, Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., where programming and activities will vary throughout the season. Admission to the site is $10, and children 3 and under are admitted for free. The site is located at 1140 N US Highway 64, north of Manteo on Roanoke Island.

Island Farm is owned and operated by Outer Banks Conservationists, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1980 to protect important natural, cultural, and historic resources along North Carolina’s Outer Banks through education and conservation. For more information, visit, or email or call 252-473-6500.