Report on April 17-18 Demonstration at Kline Creek Farm

Mirk and grandson, Jock, work the sheep. Photo by Mike Gezing.

Sheep Dogs Entertain and Educate Crowds at Kline Creek Farm

The Border Collies and sheep of Heatherhope helped show thousands of people what it takes to clothe the world in wool at a weekend-long demonstration at Kline Creek Farm in Winfield, Illinois.

On April 17 and 18 the historic farm put on free demonstrations of sheep shearing; hand scouring, carding and spinning of wool, and herding with dogs.

Connie gave commentary as I demonstrated along with Spot, Jock, Abbie, Cap and Mirk. An appreciative crowd of young and old watched and asked an abundance of questions. The people took home with them an explanatory brochure, information about the history of herding dogs, sheep and how the making of wool has had a huge impact on the history of the world.

The weather was cool, sunny and ideal for sheep, dogs and observers, making it perhaps the biggest weekend crowd the historic farm, which is part of the DuPage County Forest Preserve system has yet seen.

Connie and I thoroughly enjoy sharing the blessing of these hard working and clever dogs. Children smile and their eyes open wide with excitement. There are always a number of people who own Border Collies or other herding breeds and seek to understand them better. Others are city dwellers who take delight in being able to breathe the fresh air and connect or reconnect with the spirit of farm life.

We especially thank Mike Gezing and his wife Gloria. Mike enjoyed the presentation so much that he took photos and passed some of them on to us. They are great photos and Mike has given us permission to share them on our web site.

Abbie patiently waits her turn as John explains to the crowd. Photo by Mike Gezing.

About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.
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