with a request to investigate options for the local use of their raw wool.
RI RC&D facilitated the formation of a project steering committee to move the venture
forward in 2006. Committee members include representatives from the Rhode Island Sheep Cooperative, RI Resource Conservation and Development Council, URI, USDA-NRCS and
private citizens. The Committee's project goal was to produce wool blankets by the fall of each year to have for sale during the holiday season.
Each year, wool is collected from local sheep growers and it is shipped to South Carolina for cleaning and processing before returning to nearby Massachusetts for spinning and weaving.
The woven wool then returns home to RI for fulling, napping, cutting, and finishing. Since then, over 125 producers have contributed to the production of the successful Rhody Warm
brand of quality wool blankets.
The long term goal of this project is to develop a process to produce quality wool blankets
to bring more income to farmers. Ultimately, we hope that more wool producers will participate in the project and serve to promote the sustainability of local agriculture and
agriculture products. If you have sheep and would like to contribute wool to the project, we welcome you to join the Co-operative.
Proceeds from the Rhody Warm Blanket Project have helped provide funding for 4-H Scholarships, donations to other local organizations and increased programs offered by the RI Sheep Co-Operative.
- Rhode Island Sheep Cooperative
- RIDEM Division of Agriculture
- USDA-Rural Development
- RI Resource Conservation and Development Council
- Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association
- RI Rural Development Council
- University of Rhode Island
- Southside Community Land Trust - Urban Edge Farm
- Worcester County Sheep Producers