WOOL PROFESSIONAL, BREEDER OF SHEEP
Specialties: Breeding Wool Sheep, Wool, Sheep Ranching, Outdoors, Hunting
Bob is the guy who first spec’ed out the raw wool that makes our Fabric possible. And then he found that wool and helped us buy it. His involvement was absolutely essential for us because there is far more to know about all this than we knew at the beginning, and actually there is far more to know than we know now! Bob has been working with us since 2010, and he knows our Fabric and the fiber and sheep responsible for it better than anyone else. Padula is a well-known figure in the industry, and has provided his consulting services to ranchers in many states and abroad as well. We have a page devoted to Bob's PM Ranch, and another page on the life of the sheep on Bob's land. Bob is a family man and his wife and daughters are much involved with the ranch. Bob's daughters have also raised prize-winning sheep. Living in Minnesota and spending time outdoors for both work and recreation, Bob knows what cold and nasty weather is and he is uniquely suited to explain why wool works in awful weather and pleasant weather, too. And he is uniquely qualified to speak about the composition of our Fabrics.
Bob is a Sheep Rancher, but not in the conventional sense of the word. Bob is really a breeder of sheep, and his sales of wool are really incidental to his real business, which is the selling of his sheep to ranchers who wish to improve their own bloodlines. For Bob, the wool that we purchase from him is proof of his genetics more than actual product.
In the picture, Bob is working on a single fleece that has just been shorn from one of his sheep.
Please click here for Bob's explanation of "Comfort Factor".
Please click here for Why Sheep Don't Shrink, a paper Bob prepared for the American Wool Council.
On 23 October 2020, Bob posted the following perspective piece to WeatherWool's Chat Group on Facebook:
I recently was reading the updates on the progress for converting more wool into fabric. As Ralph Ralph DiMeo Jr. points out in his posts and explanations about WeatherWool, the US textile manufacturing base is very small these days and when you add "CoVid" to anything these days - uncertainty and delays abound. It takes time for wool "off the back" of the sheep to be made into a garment "on the rack" because of the many steps involved. When I'm asked about the time lag from "back to rack" or "sheep to shelf" - I tell people it's best to figure 2 years - if things go well. Can the time line be shortened, of course it can, but it still takes time due to the number of steps involved and coordination. Ralph DiMeo Jr. does an excellent job of explaining all the steps and challenges. My involvement in in the process - raw fiber producer - goes even further beyond that. Today and in the next month, I am reviewing data and planning which sheep to mate to each other to produce offspring (baby lambs) in 2021. These lambs will be sheared for the first time in the spring of 2022 - and then it is another "2 years" before it hits the shelf.... So for WeatherWool enthusiasts, I'm already planning for your 2024 and beyond garments. Thank you all for your dedication and support. Bob Padula - PM Ranch.
As of July 2021, Bob was awarded the American Wool Assurance Certificate of Completion. As this program grows, we expect all the Ranchers from whom we buy fiber will be certified. Bob's Certificate Number (43-162-526-0813) can be verified at the AWA site linked above. CONGRATULATIONS to Bob, the whole Padula Family and the PM Ranch!!
Please zoom in on the photo of the splendid raw fleece from Padula's 2022 shearing. Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of all Ages ... THAT is REAL FLEECE!
Over the years, we have gotten to know Bob -- and even his family! -- quite well, and we are glad to have spent time with them in summer of 2022, helping a little bit with ranch work and learning about sheep and sheep ranching.
Here is a video of Padula that I filmed during our visit in July of 2022. Bob has done this presentation a bunch of times. But he can talk this way about all sorts of sheep-things!
Thanks for the great explanation, Bob!
12 September 2022 --- Ralph & Bob