I am now buying wool for Groenewold Fur and Wool Company
This Fall, 2016, I signed on to buy wool for Groenewold Fur and Wool Company based out of Forreston, Illinois (www.gfwco.com). For the past 3 years I have operated as the Maryland Wool Pool Director. In that time I have observed the many different methods that each state and buyer uses to purchase wool. My biggest concern throughout this process is to get the most money for my producers and limit labor and overhead as much as possible.
As I have witnessed cost continue to rise during my tenure as Wool Pool Director, along with safety concerns related to heavy equipment operation at the pool, issues related to the Wool Presses and their trailers and a dwindling volunteer base, I have made the difficult decision that this method of wool sales is not meeting the needs of our Maryland Sheep Breeder Members and is limitingthe opportunity for many producers to sell their wool in this manor.
Once we established that our system was outdated and inefficient it was very easy for me to sign on to operate as a Buyer for Groenewold in this region and my plan is to purchase wool not only from individuals I get the pleasure of shearing for, but also to allow for wool drop offs throughout the year, to provide flexibility for producers, and to coordinate pick ups from your farms when necessary. My work takes me all over Maryland, Virginia and Delaware and I am happy to come to farms for wool pickup.
The Groenewold system works in one of two ways, I can either pay you directly (once the wool is sorted and weighted) based off a price sheet Groenewold will send me throughout the year. Since I am usually shearing the wool, I know what is going into the bag and Groenewold trusts me to price the wool accordingly, referring to their price sheets. These price sheets are based off the current market prices and historically run about the same as our previous wool pool prices for Maryland. The only caveat is that lower grade wool ie. very short, hairy, or dirty wool will bring lower prices (lower then the "short" grade at the pool), while good quality fine wool will bring higher prices then our area has historically seen. The other method is known as "Grade and Yield". You may decide to allow the Groenewold staff to class your wool at the warehouse. This method will be utilized if there are a variety of wool grades going into your bags, or if I am unsure of how your wool fits into their price grades. Many of the pools in Pennsylvania sell to Groenewold and operate in this manor.
I have been working with Gorenewold in Iowa for several years now and have found them to be a fair and legitimate purchaser of wool. I feel that by offering this service to my clients and to all sheep producers in the Mid-Atlantic, I can provide not only a better shearing experience for you, relieve you of the hassle of storing wool, and allowing you to get paid quicker for your wool. Groenewold prefers to purchase wool in burlap sausage bags which I can provide to you, and the good news is that they are very cheap compared to the square packs we have been using. Square packs and bales are accepted by Groenewold but they do not provide them to me and so it is the responsibility of the producer to purchase them. Woolsacks Inc. located in Fredericksburg, Texas (www.woolsacks-inc.com) is one of the only places to purchase these bags and they can be contacted at (830)-997-9554, if you wish to continue packaging your wool in this manor.
If anyone has any questions about this service and would like more information, do not hesitate to call or email with questions. My goal is to make this transition as simple as possible for all producers.