Bill Harshbarger of Center Point received the Master's Award for Sheep Shearing and Sharpening at this year's 150th annual Indiana State Fair. According to the Indiana State Fair Master's Program, recipients of the award "represent long standing family traditions of exhibiting at the Fair and receiving top honors." The Master's Award program is sponsored by the Indiana State Fair, the Indiana Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, Indiana University and Traditional Arts Indiana.
Nominations for the Master's Awards are submitted by previous winners of the award. George Herrell, 2001 Master Wool Grader recipient, nominated Bill for this year's award. There were only two recipients of the Master's Award for 2006.
Bill has competed and exhibited at the Indiana State Fair for over 50 years. He competed in his 52nd annual sheep shearing contest Sunday, Aug. 20th. According to Bill, judging of the contest is based on time, method of handling, appearance, condition of wool, number of second cuts and number of nicks. Twenty-one participants from eight states competed in the open class division.
In addition to the Master's Award, Mr. Harshbarger received a plaque in appreciation of his continued support and exhibition at the Indiana State Fair. He continues to participate in the 4-H sheep program at the county and state level and he and his wife, Anne, operate their own sharpening and repair business.