about High desert shearing

Based out of Doyle, California, High Desert Shearing offers considerate, small flock shearing for sheep and goats throughout Northern Nevada including: Reno, Virginia City, Washoe Valley, Carson City, Gardnerville, Fernley, and Fallon; as well as Lassen, Sierra and Plumas Counties in California.

Sarah Lillegard was trained in the New Zealand method of shearing through the UCCE Mendocino Sheep Shearing School held at the Hopland Extension and Research Center (Hopland, CA). Both the school and the New Zealand method emphasize efficiency and animal well-being while maintaining fleece quality.

In addition to shearing, Sarah is an active participant in the region's wool and fiber community. She's a member of the Reno Fiber Guild; a writer and photographer for Fibershed; and a fiber-based artist, teaching workshops on wool spinning, embroidery, and natural dyeing.


"We belong because we are part of the work of this place." James Rebanks, A Shepherd's Life

I grew up in Gardnerville, Nevada and moved to Reno after finishing college in rural Eastern Washington. After ten years in the “biggest little”, I moved to a property in Doyle, California that is home to Great Basin Pottery and soon my own small flock of sheep.

I became interested in sheep shearing through working with wool and learning about the legacy of sheep ranching in the American West. By shearing, I am able to help support both the wool industry and regional flocks as well as play a small part in maintaining the viability of raising and grazing small ruminants in this area.