Wood County WVU Extension Slate Shop for Sheep and Goat Producers | News, Sports, Jobs

MINERAL WELLS – West Virginia University Extension will be offering a Small Ruminant Workshop for Sheep and Goat Producers from 6-8 p.m. on April 7 at the Wood County 4-H Campground at 2203 Butcher Bend Road in Mineral Wells.

The small ruminant workshop is the first in a three-part series of agricultural field days in the Ohio Valley supported by a USDA grant from the Farm Service Agency. The series will include workshops on backyard poultry and specialty crops.

Programs are in partnership with WVU Extension in Wood, Roane, Ritchie, Calhoun and Wirt counties.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Stephanie Ringler from the USDA Animal Plant and Health Inspection. Ringler will teach about parasite control in sheep and goats, in addition to discussing the scrapie eradication program.

She is an expert in parasite resistance to dewormers and is a Designated Scrapie Epidemiologist for the USDA. She is also certified to teach FAMACHA certification courses through the Small Ruminant Consortium.

Ed Smolder, representing the West Virginia Shepherds Federation, will discuss low-cost lamb production on grass. Smolder raises Cheviot sheep near Ripley and will teach rotational grazing management, breed selection and other best practices to increase farm profits.

“Grass production, whether through pasture or hay, is our number one crop in West Virginia. It is the most profitable method of raising sheep and goats. Often we take this for granted and don’t really maximize our potential. » JJ Barrett, WVU agricultural extension officer for Wood County, said. “Rotational grazing will increase the amount of forage a farm can produce. We can grow weed as good here as anywhere else in this great United States. Whether we produce cattle, sheep, goats or horses, pasture production should be our number one priority on our farms.

Worms, gastrointestinal parasites, are the most important health problem affecting sheep and goats. They cost farmers millions of dollars every year in lost production, treatment costs and deaths. For sheep and goat farmers, especially those who are inexperienced, knowing how to control internal parasites in their flocks and herds can be frustrating.

Ringler will discuss pest control, including FAMACHA. It is a management tool for sheep and goat producers to identify animals that are anemic (low iron in the blood) and need to be dewormed. FAMACHA educates producers on drug resistance of parasites, proper deworming techniques and management to reduce parasite loads on pastures. The FAMACHA eye chart helps identify animals that need deworming.

Incorporating FAMACHA training into a producer’s management strategy will delay the development of on-farm drug resistance of parasites and allow producers to identify individual animals that are parasite resistant (thus requiring less deworming). ).

“Sheep and goat producers can greatly benefit from the use of FAMACHA” said Barrett. “They can treat animals that need deworming and not waste medicine and money on healthy animals. Additionally, it can identify animals that show resistance to internal parasites.

The goal of the workshop is to provide the underserved audience with production training and information about available FSA programming.

The workshops are in partnership with the Farm Service Agency, USDA, WVU Women in Agriculture Network, Little Kanawha Conservation District, and Lisa Jones, director of the WVU Extension Small Farm Center.

For more information or to pre-register, call the Wood County WVU Extension Office at (304) 424-1960, or Barrett directly at (304)-483-4257 or email dd. barrett @mail.wvu.edu with questions.

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