Send a VT farmer to S. Africa!

What a rare and unique opportunity!  Let’s send Jessica Dillner, a rural Vermont angora goat farmer to the “Mohair Capital” of the world, South Africa this November!
Wild Fibers magazine editor, Linda Cortright, has traveled the world for 15 years writing about natural fibers and the people who produce them.  Fiber farmers and fiber enthusiasts love her articles as Linda shares stories about culture, history, techniques and the science of animal and plant fibers. Linda offers tours to “fiber” destinations internationally because her followers want to share in these adventures. When Jessica discovered Linda was offering a tour to South Africa to visit angora goat farms, mohair processing mills and mohair spinning/weaving groups, she knew it was an amazing professional development opportunity SHE COULD NOT MISS!
Jessica has been a fiber farmer in the mountains of Montgomery, Vermont for 18 years.  She focuses on raising colored angora goats. She helped start a successful womens fiber cooperative in her town called Mountain Fiber Folk that currently has 10 members.  This group promotes the use of locally grown animal fibers and the enjoyment of all fiber arts.  As a farmer and artist, Jessica creates luxury handspun mohair yarns, knitwear and art pieces from her fiber.  Her family knows well that Jessica NEVER sits still but is endlessly spinning, in the barn wrangling goats, knitting and selling her products at wool festivals and various shops.
As an independent farmer/artist, professional development opportunities that include travel abroad are rare.  Farmers are busy in the field or in the barn and getting OUT in the world is a luxury.  Travel is the best form of education, sparking new ideas to make life easier and more successful.  This South African tour is expensive and Jessica knew if she were to go, she would need the support of her community to make it happen.  The travel costs breakdown as follows: 

                          Wild Fibers Tour Nov 5 – 20, 2019    $5495

                                                        Flights  $1500

          Extra day 11/4 in S. Africa to recover from 48 hrs of travel  $200

                                                Travel insurance  $525

                                                 Immunizations $175

                                                   Grand Total  $7895
Jessica’s travel experience will benefit the greater community.  She will offer presentations locally to her town and to the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association upon her return.  She will undoubtedly learn new techniques and absorb ideas for artistic expression that she will share with her fellow fiber artists. 

Jessica also commits to donating 10% of her fundraising donations to the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association for the start of a new VSGA member Professional Development Scholarship to be awarded to a qualified applicant.  Jessica loves this idea!  She didn’t want this fundraising campaign to be just about her, she wanted it to about supporting small farmers to learn more!

Please consider donating to this travel experience to help broaden the horizons of this and other small Vermont farmers. 
Thank you for sharing!

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  • Sarah Smith 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Morgan Daybell 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Blake Martin 
    • $15 
    • 3 mos
  • Lindsay Chandler 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Debra Deming Walsh 
    • $25 
    • 3 mos
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Jessica Dillner 
Enosburg Falls, VT
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