Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium
Sustainability in Every Skein!
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Shearing Services & Speaking Engagments

 
 

Shearing Services

We offer shearing services for any breed (wool and hair), any size, any season! We specialize in the Shetland rise and small flocks. We do not charge a set up or trip fee within an hour of Shelbyville, KY, and no extra charge for rams. Additional services include: worming $1/head, hoof trimming $8/head. Fees may be incurred for the following: poor condition (obese, severely dirty fleece, hair/wool mix, severely underweight) $5, catching fee $5/head.

Madeline has over a decade of experience shearing both blade and electric. She prefers blade for a number of reasons, and shears both on the butt and on the stand. As a fiber artist, shepherdess, and fiber ambassador, her primary concern is the happiness and welfare of your sheep. Second, but equally important, is giving you the best quality clip! Limit 12 head for blade shears.

Alex prefers electric shears. He is a master at handling even the most ornery sheep! He works both on the butt and on the stand. His focus is on getting the wool off as quickly as possible and keeping everyone out of harm's way. No limit for electric shearing.

Please note that if you are showing your fleeces, or processing them yourself, you will get a better clip with blades than electric. Have your sheep sorted into categories and colors if possible. FAST YOUR SHEEP FOR AT LEAST 12 HOURS PRIOR TO SHEARING AND KEEP THEM UNDER SHELTER. We cannot shear wet sheep. We do purchase wool and accept select fleeces in partial trade.


Speaking engagements

Professional shepherdess, speaker, and instructor Madeline Rosenberg is comfortable presenting to groups of any size on a variety of topics. If there is a topic you would like to explore that is not listed below, contact us to organize it!

 
 
 

Presentations

 

Biodynamic shepherding

Journey through a shepherd's year! Learn about the selection and husbandry of fiber animals including sheep, alpacas and llamas, rabbits, and goats, and the variety of uses for their fiber. Explore various markets and the benefits of a biodynamic management system.
 

marketing for fiber producers

This course will guide the novice through the production and marketing of a quality wool product. The class will begin with an overview of the various types of wool sheep suited to the region and how classes of fleece are best used. In a breakout activity, small groups will “design” a sheep that will result in a highly marketable fleece.

Next, participants will explore practical aspects of fiber production, including methods of shearing and processing, how to get the best product out of their wool, and an overview of the various uses for wool outside handspinning and fiber arts. We will discuss how to set prices, when to change them, and why prices change depending on the stage of processing. Students will also begin to evaluate their market share as they explore various avenues of sale. Information will be given on grants, small business loans, tax breaks, and Ag Extension programs.

Finally, the class will practice building a website, registering for a breed association, creating a social media account, exploring Ravelry, and searching for local guilds, yarn shops, and knitting groups.

At the end of the day, the participant will understand how to raise a quality flock of wool sheep, produce a marketable product, and make a profit in the right market segment for them.

 

color theory for fiber artists

Whether you knit, crochet, spin, weave, or felt, the use of color is integral to your art! This workshop will provide a basic understanding of color theory and how it relates to choosing yarns for a pattern, dyeing fiber, and more!

We’ll begin by studying color wheel relationships, harmonies, values and hues, and the grey scale. We will practice creating color wheels both with watercolor paints and fibers. Then, we’ll explore how to blend colors using a blending board or drum carder. Through learning a few simple dye techniques, we will expand our color palettes and build confidence in making choices for future projects!

 

rotational and successive grazing

Most farms are home to multiple species. Did you know Nature means for them to work together to improve your pasture (and your bottom line)? Explore the principles of rotational grazing and the ways in which successive grazing benefits both you and your animals!

 
 
 

The Shepherd series

William Glasser famously stated, "We learn 10% of what we read...80% of what we experience." Give your congregation an experience they will never forget!

Designed to make Biblical principles accessible and applicable to modern-day living, this series is based around activities that involve attendees as well as sheep, encouraging your congregation to gain a more intimate perspective of the Bible and their interpersonal relationships.

All of the topics in this series can be held at your community center or synagogue, and can be presented with or without the hands-on sheep activities. Printed materials will be provided either way. You may choose to purchase single presentations or a package of four.

David the psalmist: standing naked before god

This interactive experience draws parallels between shearing a sheep and the meaning of the 23rd Psalm (The Lord is My Shepherd). Demonstrations bring to life God's rod and staff, the paths of righteousness, and the reason we should all be confident in saying "I will fear no evil".

 

The binding of isaac: a ram caught in a thicket

Having literally experienced her rams in such a thicket, Madeline is fully prepared to discuss the tricky parts of the Akedah, Why was the ram caught, and why didn't Abraham see it? What does the ram represent, literally and metaphorically? Are we the ram, or are we Abraham? This presentation does not require interaction.

 

shofar so good

How does a ram's horn become a shofar? What is the history and significance of this ancient instrument? Why does it inspire us today? This presentation involves hands-on materials, but need not involve animals.

 

leadersheep: Moses the shepherd

From humble shepherd to leader of men, Moses has been lauded as the greatest teacher of the Jewish people and a precursor to Jesus Christ. This interactive experience is suitable for both religious and secular groups as it focuses on the principles of leadership that Moses knew and that shepherds still use today. Opportunities to interact with live sheep are included, but not required.

 

jacob: there's no such thing as free love

Jacob is the most famous literal shepherd in the Bible. He worked for his father in law for 14 years and built a woolly empire from his earnings (much like some of the 20th century Basque herders in the Western states). Was Jacob a Master Shepherd, were his plans directed by God, or did he benefit from dumb luck and genetics? The topics of this presentation include man's plans vs. God's designs and fair business practices, both Biblical and modern day. Perfect for drawing parallels between interpersonal relationships then and now!

 

Ram's horns and yarmulkes: Sacred space

This interactive experience draws parallels between sheep behavior and our interpersonal conduct. The space between a ram's horns is sacred to sheep; likewise, this is the space we cover with a yarmulke or philactory. Taking the concept one step further, we will explore what 'sacred space' means in our own lives, why we need it, and how it can be maintained. Concepts will be demonstrated using live sheep and interactive worksheets.

 

rachel the shepherdess

Rachel is the only woman in the Bible listed as belonging to the profession of shepherding. Either as a talk or a dramatic presentation, this experience celebrates Rachel as a woman, shepherdess, and mother of the Jewish people.

 

building the tabernacle

This interactive experience brings the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness to life, using hands-on materials and demonstrations of some of the process. Your group will gain a more intimate perspective of what it took for the Israelites to complete such a massive project in the desert, and will gain new appreciation for their individual talents and the skills of those around them.

 
 
 

Book Your experience

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For multiple selections, please email us directly.
 
 
 

the fine print

Please note that interactive presentations including sheep are only available within a 4 hour radius of louisville, kentucky.

The price listed represents our base speaker fee for a local keynote or one-day appearance.  Fees are always subject to change and may vary based upon the length of presentation desired or the location of your event. Please contact us directly to obtain the specific speaker’s fee for your event.

It is important to discuss specific plans with us before the contract is issued. If you want to add an event after the contract is issued, please contact us for approval. Additional events may result in additional fees, and requests upon arrival will not be honored.

Additional Expenses

In addition to the speaker's appearance fee, you will also be responsible for the following expenses if the event is more than 2 hours' drive from Shelbyville, Kentucky. Expenses may vary but typically include:

  • Ground Transportation (to/from departure airport and to/from arrival airport). Typically it is the customer's responsibility to provide ground transportation. In some cases, it might be necessary to arrange for a limo service or provide a rental car. 
  • Travel: airfare or round-trip mileage at IRS allowable rate
  • Accommodations (with a host family, at a conference center where the event is held, or a nearby hotel)
  • Meals from arrival through departure. (Meals are arranged via a meal plan if at a conference center or room service/on-site restaurant for a hotel.)

After contracting the engagement, we will gladly provide a head shot, bio, and presentation title/description for your promotional efforts. 

Payment Terms
A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the appearance fee is collected at time of booking. This deposit guarantees the date will be reserved on our calendar. The remaining 80% of the appearance fee is due at the time of the event. 

Cancellation Policy

  • If cancellation by the customer occurs within 60-days of the event, 50% of the remaining speaking fee, plus any event-related expenses already incurred are payable to the Speaker and due within two weeks of cancellation date. Cancellation must be submitted in writing with specific reason given. 
  • In the unlikely event that the Speaker is unable to fulfill this event, we will notify you and work to reschedule. If no suitable date can be arranged and agreed upon, we will refund the deposit and any non-refundable travel-related expenses that have been paid by the customer within two weeks of final decision.

In the event of an unforeseen circumstance such as hurricane, tornado, flood, blizzard, fire, or other act of God that renders holding your event as stated within the contract impracticable or impossible, all parties will work together to reschedule. If the event cannot be rescheduled within 1-year of the original event date, all parties will then comply with the terms of the Cancellation Policy.

After the event, we will send you a Speaker Evaluation to complete. It is very important that you are honest and forthright in giving feedback both positive and negative about your time with Madeline and her ability to meet your needs. This information helps her improve future events!