Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Wool Ambassador
Hi. I’m Taylor Harrison, I am currently 16, and entering my junior year of high school at Red Hook Central, and I am your 2014 Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Ambassador. I am from the tiny town of Tivoli, NY here in the Hudson River Valley. I have been the Sheep and Wool Ambassador since 2011. I love working in the sheep industry, and with the sheep themselves.
I have been working with sheep since I was old enough to hold on to their halters. Showing sheep is what I love to do. I also love using wool in fun activities like spinning and knitting. I started out with my mom’s breed of sheep which is the Tunis. The Tunis is a breed that is from northern Africa that has been in the USA since George Washington. They are my comfort breed that I am known for. I was a part of the National Junior Tunis Association, when it just started, as Region Two Director. I wanted to pick up a new breed of sheep to show, so now I am also showing the wonderful breed of Shropshires. I show all over the eastern half of the country, from Massachusetts to Michigan. And form large shows like The All American Junior Sheep Show to the local size fairs like Dutchess & Ulster County. I am a part of 3 different 4-H clubs here in Dutchess County; Sheep, Hog & Rabbit. This past year I have just recently joined the Pine Plains "Future Farmers of America", or the FFA. Among all this I have also toured several colleges. I have toured Michigan State, Cornell, Penn State, and more. I plan on picking a college that offers Agriculture, as I am looking forward to studing Ag Business and Ag Education in the future.
Over these past few years as the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Ambassador I have done so much. I have done a spinning demonstration for a local group of school kids, done needle felting and spinning at the Claremont Sheep and Wool Festival. I have gone to some schools to teach about sheep and wool to some 3rd graders. My favorite thing I do is pass out ribbons and awards to all the people that are exhibiting sheep at the fairgrounds and at the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. Its really an honor to go around and teach all these people new things that they didn't know. I have learned these things over my many years caring for sheep. I hope I get to do much more with the sheep industry as I continue.
Becoming the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Ambassador is an honor. To make my way there I had to fill out a form with questions of "what do I have to do with sheep?" and "why I want to be the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Ambassador?" After my application was submitted I had to go and be interviewed. There they were asking about school and more sheep background based questions. Finally I was invited to the annual dinner, where they would be announcing the winner. We were told that I would come back and be your Wool Ambassador for 2014, along with my runner-ups: Cosette Veedershay and Laura Muldoon.