Small acreage sheep and goat production workshop series starts soon


Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, s-byrns@tamu.edu

SAN ANGELO – The Texas AgriLife Extension Service, in cooperation with several other entities, will conduct three workshops in June for small-scale sheep and goat operators.

The Small Acreage Sheep and Goat Risk Management Workshops have the same curriculum and last from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. They are all scheduled on Saturdays to accommodate as many people as possible, said Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist at San Angelo and workshop coordinator.

Dates, meeting sites, and registration/information contacts are:

– June 9, Granbury, Hood County Reunion Fairgrounds, Marty VahlenKamp, 817- 579-3280.

– June 23, Burnet, Burnet County Fairgrounds, 1301 Houston Clinton Drive, Wade Hibler,  512-756-5463.

– June 30, Seguin, Guadalupe County AgriLife Extension Meeting Room, 210 East Live Oak Street, Travis Franke, 830-379-1972.

“Changing land-use patterns are creating a new and growing class of small acreage livestock producers hungry for information,” Thompson said. “Many may not be familiar with animal husbandry skills, production costs, range or pasture management, marketing strategies or agency resources. Our whole goal is to provide that knowledge base and to guide them on to other tools to help them learn even more in the future.”

At each workshop, Thompson will discuss the livestock and forage insurance-type products now available, small-scale production budgets for crops and livestock, and basic marketing.

Dr. Frank Craddock, AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist at San Angelo, will join Thompson to discuss sheep and goat management and species selection.

“I’ll speak mainly on hair-sheep and meat-goat production, because they are ideally suited to the small-acreage producer,” Craddock said. “Both species are hardy, efficient, easily managed and if properly handled, can and do make money.”

Thompson said the workshops are timely since  much of the state has gotten at least some rainfall and many landowners are thinking about what animals should be used for restocking.

“The last two years of rising sheep and goat prices has increased interest among small acreage landowners,” Thompson said. “But last year’s drought and a bit of softening in the market recently illustrates the level of risk facing all Texas producers now, regardless of the size of their operation. These workshops will help them make the right long-term decisions for themselves and their property.”

AgriLife Extension is conducting the workshops in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s  Risk Management Agency, the American Sheep Industry Association and the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association.

Individual preregistration is $20 due the Monday before each Saturday workshop. The fee includes a noon meal. Late registration is $35.

For more information on the complete workshop series, contact Thompson at 325-653-4576, w-thompson@tamu.edu .

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