Shearing Time With Ian McCrea


I’ve never had a sheep as curious as Asher. He couldn’t get enough of Ian’s tools, checking them all out.  Maybe he was looking for Liz who usually shears the sheep or her mother who bottle fed Asher and Issachar when they were lambs, before they came to Bedlam Farm.

The other sheep seemed to know what was coming and kept their distance.

Ian shearing Liam with Biddy looking on in the background.

Liam was the first to be shorn. I told Ian that if he could catch Liam so easily, he’d have no problem with the rest of the sheep.


Ian did a great job.  He’s just starting out after working beside his grandfather Jim McCrea, who also used to shear our sheep.  Both Liz and Ian apprenticed with him starting when they were just kids.   Ian had been to the farm during one of our Open Houses.  He said he was 16 at the time and just assisted his grandfather.

And now he’s building his own business, figuring out how to make a living as a shearer, taking odd farm jobs on the side.   After shearing our sheep he was going to cut down the poisonous Wild Parsnip growing on a nearby farm. (They were supplying him with a protective coverall.)

I have a feeling Ian’s going to do really well.  He was great with the sheep and has a true enthusiasm, dedication, and love of the work.  Ian told me the most sheep he sheared by himself was 70 in one day.  “Those are the jobs I like best, he said, because I really earn my keep.”

Even only shearing nine of our twelve sheep, Ian more than earned what he charges.

I have a feeling that Liz is going to be too busy with her own farm and work to continue shearing and Ian will be our shearer from now on.  But I did promise that I’d contact Liz about it first.  He doesn’t want to be taking her work from her.

Ian’s young and just starting out.  He said he plans on shearing sheep for the next ten years at least.  It feels good to know he’ll be there.

And I’m happy to get the word out for him to help his business grow.  He’s based near Rutland Vermont and is willing to travel, so if you have some sheep that need shearing and need someone to do it, you can give Ian McCrea a call at (802) 558-5943.


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