Tennessee Sheep Shearing School

The annual Tennessee Sheep Shearing School has become one of the top shearing instructional classes east of the Mississippi River!  Students travel hundreds of miles to get the hands on training it takes to become a person who wants to shear their own sheep or to become a professional and earn a living shearing animals.

Learn the basic skills from stretching and staying in shape to proper equipment and keeping your tools clean and sharp.  This 2 day class will teach you how to safely and effectively handling the animals so you can do the proper shearing using the most modern, up to date shearing methods. 

Doug Rathke the veteran shearer has been the class instructor for years and worth coming just to watch!


Doug has been shearing sheep for 40 years and shears with both machine and hand blades. Although he mostly shears farm flocks in the Midwestern United States, he also has had a variety of shearing experience throughout the US and abroad.

Doug has sheared in New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Wales, England, Norway, France, Australia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan (Central Asia).

In 1988, Rathke was the first American to receive the “Gold Seal of shearing excellence” from the New Zealand Wools, known today as Tectra. In 1993, he became certified in New Zealand at hand blade shearing.

Doug was selected as a USA shearing instructor and has facilitated numerous schools, teaching over 2500 students to shear sheep.  Doug has conducted shearing school in the US, Canada, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.  



The class is limited so make plans for next years event by signing up now to be informed when the time is ready to plan the class.  


Some action shots from the 2023 Shearing School in Murfreesboro, TN!