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Sheep management practices workshop

By Jerrold Tesmer

Mon, May 28th, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

Sheep are a great animal to raise on farms both large and small, and large numbers aren’t necessary to make it worthwhile. That fact is demonstrated by the USDA Statistical Service (NASS) numbers released for 2011. Of all sheep operations in the USA, 94 percent of those were comprised of flocks in the range of 1-99 head, and farms with 1-99 head accounted for 35 percent of the inventory.

It’s fairly easy to get started with sheep, and the potential for profitability is good. Sheep numbers continue to decline throughout the USA, while demand remains strong, which has resulted in record prices for market lambs. In response to increased interest, the Small Farms U Program at the University of Minnesota is offering a workshop on basic sheep management practices that will be held on Monday, June 4, 2012, from 5:00-9:00 p.m., on the St Paul Campus, at the Beef Cattle Barn, located on the corner of Buford and Gortner Avenues.

This workshop is designed for the person who has little experience raising sheep, but is thinking about starting a flock, or already has sheep but feels that more management skills would be a worthy investment. It will be taught by Kyle Rozeboom, Livestock Specialist in the Animal Science Department. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to the following: Vaccinations - How and When to Administer, Parasite Control, Hoof Care, and Overview of a Sheep Management Calendar.

The workshop starts with a dinner of roasted lamb, prepared by the University of Minnesota Meat Science on the St Paul Campus. Dinner will last from 5:00-5:30, and then we’ll begin covering the topics listed. Students will observe, and depending on the number of participants in the class, may have the opportunity to practice the processes as well.

Pre-registration is strongly suggested. Cost of the workshop is $25/adult, $30/couple or business partners, and $10/student. Please contact Wayne Martin at marti067@umn.edu or (612) 625-6224 for questions or to register. Thanks to Wayne Martin, Extension Educator, Alternative Livestock Systems for bringing this event to my attention. For other topics on small farms, check out the Small Farm website: http://www1.extension.umn.edu/food/small-farms.

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