306 Borlaug Hall 1991 Upper Buford Circle St. Paul, MN. 55108

Co-Sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnership 

REGISTRATION FEE $ 30.00 ~ Scroll to bottom of page and select # of tickets. You will be sent to Membership page where you can select the $30.00 fee for online payment. 

If you wish to register by mail, please write check to The Natural Fiber Alliance and send to: The Natural Fiber Alliance 32741 County Road 17 Houston,MN. 559643 

 10am    Welcome 

              Greg Cuomo ~ Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Program University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences-CFANS


10:15    Understanding Consumer Preferences for Origin Specific Wool Products 

Professor Hikaru Peterson ~Hikaru Peterson is professor of food marketing and consumer economics in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota, where she joined in 2015 after a 15-year career at Kansas State University.

She holds a B.A. in economics from University of Tokyo, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from Cornell University.  

Her training is in market analysis, and she works on issues related to food and fiber products, as they are produced on the farm and travels through the system to reach consumers.  Consumer preferences for origin-specific products is a topic she has studied for various products and markets, including wool.

Hikaru will discuss:

After a brief overview of the wool market in the U.S., research findings on consumer preferences for various food and fiber products will be shared.  We will then look at local movements in the upper Midwest to explore marketing opportunities for local wool products. 


FUNDED BY: Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education 


11:15      Consumer Driven Demand Analysis for Locally Produced, Natural Sustainable and Organic Wool in the          

                Upper Midwest

Zhiyou ( Austin) Yang PhD Student in Applied Economics University of Minnesota

I grew up in Jilin City, a city located in the northeastern part of China. After high school, I moved to Beijing to attend college. I received my Bachelor’s degree in environmental economics and management from Renmin University of China. 

 During my undergraduate years, I worked as interns at The United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and MSCI (formerly Morgan Stanley Capital International) ESG (environmental, social and governance) Research. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student in the Health Services Research, Policy and Administration program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Even though I am switching my research interests to the healthcare industry, I am still enthusiastic about environmental issues and enjoying volunteering at NFA.

FUNDED BY University Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, Mary Page Funds & University of Minnesota Center for Urban Affairs. 

Austin will discuss: In our research, we explored the attitudes of the manufacturers and intermediates for the consumer-driven market of the locally grown and organic wool in the Upper Midwest (Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin by our definition). Based on survey analysis, we found a generally supportive environment for the development of such a market. Meanwhile, we also identified a few challenging hurdles to achieve our goals.



 12:00            Questions & Discussion of Application 


12:30            Box Lunch Provided


1:30              Concepts of Natural Fiber Products: Lessons Drawn From Palm Fiber Production 

Lauren Wustenberg Northwestern University ~ McGill University Montreal

Lauren grew up on Windswept Hill Farm, which is one of the stops on the Sheep & Fiber Farm Tour. In 2015, she received her B.A. from Northwestern University in Environmental Science, with further studies in sustainability and environmental policy. In 2014-2015, she interned with the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, IL to conduct field research in the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Basin of the Peruvian Amazon on sustainability of the palm-fiber handcraft industry.

Currently, her Master’s research at McGill University in Montreal continues her research on intersections of “environment” and “economy” in riverine communities of the Peruvian Amazon.

Lauren will speak to the concepts of sustainable production of natural fiber products and can connect her experiences with sustainable palm fiber production to the trends in sustainable wool production. Lauren will also discuss the value-add that sustainable production can give to a marketable fiber product.


2:00               The Hat Project ~ Utilizing Minnesota Wool with Minnesota Companies

Bob Padula Montana State University ~ University of Minnesota

As a private wool consultant, Bob has worked with the American Wool Council, a Division of the American Sheep Industry Association on issues relating to wool quality improvement and raw wool marketing. He has worked in area of wool production, marketing and quality improvement for over 25 years. He helped design and implement many of the nationally recognized Wool Quality Improvement programs in the United States and has experience with international wool production, wool quality assurance programs and wool marketing world-wide. 

A sheep producer for over 40 years, Bob currently maintains a flock of Highly specialized,performance test Targhee ewes and commercial Merino sheep in west central Minnesota.

Jean Mueller Winona State University Minnesota

Founder of The Natural Fiber Alliance & Sheep & Fiber Farm Tour

A sheep producer for over 40 years in SE Minnesota beginning with Suffock market lambs and currently Shetland and Merino wool breeds.

Jean and Bob will discuss the process of The Natural Fiber Alliance's pilot project in using approximately 10,000 lbs of Minnesota raw wool in a knitted hat project.


 2:30            Herd Expansion & Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers Organization

Melanie Pamp President MLWP

A sheep producer for many years. Melanie will discuss her recent expansion of her flock for natural color wool and the Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers, Minnesota.         

 3:00            Faribault Woolen Mill

 Paul Mooty/Chairman/Partner or John Leholm/Partner/VP Finance

Faribault Woolen Mill's will discuss their experience with the consumer market, current trends they are seeing in the wool market and how the company is responding to those trends. 



 3:30              Resources, Questions,Other

 4:00              End


Screen_Shot_2016-08-03_at_12.45.15_PM.png Screen_Shot_2016-08-03_at_12.45.31_PM.png











October 07, 2016 at 10am - 4pm
1991 Upper Buford Cir
306 Borlaug Hall
ST. Paul, MN 55108
United States
Google map and directions
Jean Mueller · · 507.254.1737

Who's RSVPing

Will you come?

$30.00 Wool Conference
Wool Conference

Showing 3 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.