Belated and final Ireland post: one of the most memorable experiences I had was watching a hearding and shearing demo at Kissane Sheep Farm. The owner of the farm, John, told us that he used to get $10 for an entire sheep’s coat, but now, only gets $2. Sheepdog hearding demos are how he supplements his wages to make ends meet. Apparently all the farmers have to pursue a side business to make ends meet these days, because their wool is being bought at an extremely low price, then made into products and sold for a ridiculous amount. They don’t see a dime of those sales. This heartbreaking story really left an impression on me, and made me realize that this is how most industries work. This in-person experience really made me realize the importance of Fair Trade programs, to ensure farmers get their pay no matter what. Farmers are humans who provide so much to the world – how are companies able to just underpay and make profits off of them without any guilt? If anyone knows how to get a Fair Trade program set up for our friends at Kissane Sheep Farm, please let me know! PS: the wool typically sold in Ireland is from New Zealand (Merino Wool) but “made in Ireland,” which often tricks tourists. Irish wool is too itchy to wear and is typically used in other products such as carpeting. I did however snag a pair of Irish wool socks for a few family members to wear during wintertime!