Aug. 19-20 events in San Angelo to offer new industry technology, management, marketing aspects
SAN ANGELO – After months of planning for this year’s Texas A&M AgriLife premier sheep and goat educational events, coordinators say all that remains is waiting out the dog days of summer.
For a second year, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research coordinated two back-to-back educational programs set for Aug. 19-20 in San Angelo. The events will feature live animal demonstrations, new technology, stock handling techniques and facility tips spiced with plenty of fun, food and visiting, said Marvin Ensor, AgriLife Extension regional program leader at San Angelo.
The first event will be the 43rd annual Texas A&M AgriLife Sheep and Goat Field Day, whose theme is “Precision Production Practices.” The event will be conducted by and on the grounds of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center located just north of San Angelo on U.S. Highway 87. That event will start with registration at 7:30 a.m. followed by the program from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 19.
The field day is to be followed by the second Texas Sheep and Goat Expo also on Aug. 19, and again on Aug. 20 at the San Angelo Fairground’s Wells Fargo Pavilion.
All the activities are open to the public. The center field day and lunch are free while the expo has an individual registration fee of $30 due by Aug. 17 and $50 thereafter. Booth space and sponsorships are also available.
Register online for both events at http://agrilife.org/westresults/registration/ . The complete program guide is also available on the site as is information on booth space and sponsorships.
For more information on the Expo, call Myra Marsh at 325-653-4576, ext. 237, or for the center field day, call Phyllis Benge, 325-653-4576, ext. 233.
“We ask folks to attend the field day, eat lunch at the center and then ease on over to the San Angelo Fairgrounds where the expo registration and exhibits will open at 1 p.m. followed by the program from 2-8:30 p.m.”
Though last year’s events were both major successes, Ensor said he feels this year’s agenda will offer even more for attendees as planners have made every effort to ensure as much of the information as possible is new.
“We will offer some unique opportunities to show what’s happening in the current markets,” he said. “One session for example, will be a mock auction with live animals in the ring. The ‘buyers’ will be a panel of experts comprised of folks who own or operate sale barns, as well as order buyers, specialists and others. They’ll evaluate the animals and share their experience on what makes certain animals bring what they do currently in the market and then explain where those animals are going; either to the ethnic or conventional markets and why.
“This will be just one of the unique opportunities featured for producers to ask questions of folks who actually are buying their lambs and goats, a group that producers don’t normally have access to at one location.”
Dr. John Walker, AgriLife Research resident director at San Angelo, said the center field day preceding the expo is dedicated to Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, who recently retired as superintendent of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station at Sonora following 45 years with the agency.
“I would say that everybody who has been involved with the sheep and goat industry for any length of time knows Dr. Taylor and appreciates the work he has accomplished,” Walker said. “Honoring him during this special day is something I look forward to.”
Walker said the center field day will feature a five-stop tour highlighting sheep equipment, feed supplementation, range management practices, herding animals with a drone, and work being done with livestock guardian dogs. The remainder of the program will be inside and will include results of a five-year goat marketing study, a Texas A&M University animal science update and drought scenario planning.
The expo will begin with a general session on the current sheep and goat markets followed by the mock auction. The afternoon will then break into three concurrent sessions on internal parasites, cooking lamb and predation, before coming together for dinner and an address by Dr. Dennis Stiffler, former chief executive officer for Mountain States Rosen.
The first day’s activities will conclude with a stockmanship demonstration by Bob Buchholz, Schleicher County rancher.
“Aug. 20 activities will start bright and early with a chuckwagon breakfast prepared by the Cocklebur Camp,” Ensor said. “The program will start with opening remarks and industry updates from 8:30-9 a.m. followed by four concurrent sessions about hair sheep, wool sheep, club lambs and meat goats, similar to last year. But the topics within each category will be new with only the class heading being familiar to last year’s attendees.”
Ensor said the sessions will meet for lunch and the presentation What is Going to Shape the Future of Animal Agriculture? by Dr. Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist at College Station, before dividing again for the final concurrent sessions.
The expo will conclude by 3 p.m. following a general session on consumer demands and a carcass quality evaluation presentation where representatives from various companies that market lamb products will provide information on current and future opportunities.