WATCH: UW To Make Custom Blankets Using Their Own Wool
University of Wyoming keeps sheep for research on many levels, including making a better quality of wool as well as a teaching tool. What they create is also used in competition.
But what should they do with all that wool once they are done with it? Creating something the general public might enjoy would also be a teaching opportunity the could lead to a career.
At UW students learn principles of wool fiber evaluation through the inter-collegiate wool judging format.
Students also learn principles of fiber metrology, objective measurement of wool, quality characteristics, and how the quality of the raw fleece influences finished-product development.
Then there is the competition, where team members are required to enrol in the wool judging class (1 credit) and are expected to practice twice weekly during the fall semester.
Later on comes the National Western Inter-Collegiate Wool Judging Competition, this is generally the second week in January. Team members also have the opportunity to work with WY 4-H and FFA wool judging teams assisting in clinics and invitational contests on campus.
Most of the students go on to work for major companies, a few start their own companies where they take what they have learned at UW to create their own products. Some even combine what they learned from the wool class with a degree in art to create fascinating products.
In the video below you can see the award-winning quality of the wool that is produced at UW.