||How We Can Make the Grass More Attractive on THIS Side of the Fence?
Walking our pastures, many of us are tempted to ask ourselves if we should graze a particular paddock, leave them another day, or move them now. It’s tempting to graze every bite of grass, especially in drought conditions, but in doing so, we hurt not only animal growth, but also the future production of our pastures. With increased feed costs and facing environmental challenges, improving our pasture management to provide low-cost forage for our flocks becomes even more critical. Come learn (or re-learn!) the basics of pasture management and some practical strategies that can be applied to any farm to improve pasture and animal productivity. Dr. Kathy Soder, Animal Scientist, USDA-ARS Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research Unit, University Park, Pennsylvania.
||Sheep Dairying in America’s Dairyland
Wisconsin has been the heart of the very young sheep dairy industry since Yves Berger and Dr David Thomas of the University of Wisconsin - Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences began their work to develop the genetics and research needed to make the industry viable. Things have changed dramatically since the mid-nineties startup, and with the loss of university support, the future of the sheep dairy industry is now dependent upon the sheep dairy farmers and cheesemakers to carry it forward. The Sheep Dairy Association of Wisconsin was formed in fall 2016 to improve marketing and public awareness and to grow the industry in the greater Wisconsin area. This session will provide an overview of the current state of affairs and what SDAW is doing to increase the demand and availability of Wisconsin’s wonderful sheep milk products. Sheep Dairy Association of Wisconsin Representatives, Anna Landmark, Landmark Creamery, and Laurel Kieffer, Dream Valley Farm LLC
||Shearing Management: Overlooked & Underrated
For most shepherds wool is an unavoidable product of raising sheep, yet trying to find practical shearing management information is virtually impossible. Find out when to shear your flock, preparing for shearing, nutrition and shearing, handling sheep during shearing, what your shearer needs to get the job done right, preparation of the wool clip for your needs, effects of wool contamination on processing and more! Adding value to a wool clip starts by accepting the fact that shearing is a management tool just as much as genetics, nutrition, and health. David Kier, Professional Shearer, Eleva, WI.
||In Herriot’s Shadow - Conversations with a Country Vet
Dr. Bill Stork, graduating the University of Illinois, moved to Lake Mills, falling in love with Wisconsin, its Midwestern work ethic, friendly people and rolling countryside. He has fully evolved the notion that a person who is kind to animals is inherently good, often in the face of public perception to the contrary. Working alongside men and women whose physical strength is dwarfed by their superhuman depth of character and family values, he embraces the notion that the human-animal bond applies to all creatures, great and small. In 2014 he released his first book In Herriot’s Shadow. Enjoy the stories of a small town veterinarian, who was centered and rededicated in his profession by a 70-year-old farmer openly weeping and hugging a 21-year-old cow named Iris as the sun rose on her last day.
||Enhancing Genetic Selection with NSIP: A Clinic for Beginners!
Just the basics! It isn’t rocket science, but NSIP takes some getting used to and this clinic will get you up to speed on how and why the National Sheep Improvement Program works. For any producer considering genetic improvement through EBVs. Bring your questions! Rusty Burgett, Program Director, National Sheep Improvement Program.
||Improving Productivity & Profitability Through Genetic Selection: How EBVs Can Help the Commercial Sheep Producer
Finding that niche in marketing, whether it’s breeding stock, market lambs or milk, means going the extra mile when it comes to management. Like GPS for crop farmers, NSIP gives producers a leg up on building profitability through better genetics. Kathy Soder, K Bar K Farm in Pennsylvania, and Laurel Kieffer, Dream Valley Farm, LLC, Strum, Wisconsin, share their years of experience in developing sustainable markets for their operations. Rusty Burgett, Program Director, National Sheep Improvement Program.