Tentative August 18-19 dates set for statewide event
SAN ANGELO – Wheels are in motion for a third Texas Sheep and Goat Expo based on strong feedback from planners and participants of the Aug. 2016 event held at San Angelo’s Spur Arena, said the event’s chairman.
Marvin Ensor, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service regional program leader at San Angelo, said a recent planning committee meeting confirmed the momentum remains high behind conducting a third such top-tier program.
“AgriLife Extension’s Texas Sheep and Goat Expo is the premier educational event for the sheep and goat industry in Texas,” Ensor said. “The curriculum not only addresses the primary issues facing the industry, such as predator management and parasite control, but goes several steps further by providing a truly unique event offering concurrent sessions for all the major segments of the industry.”
The sessions target producers interested in wool sheep, hair sheep, club lambs and meat goats. A session for Angora goat producers is also being planned for the 2017 expo tentatively set for Aug. 18-19, Ensor said.
“Hands-on activities with live animals and programs not normally offered at sheep and goat programs have been and will continue to be a major part of the expo,” Ensor said. “This is a one-of-a-kind event. There’s no program for sheep and goats anywhere like this, where all major interests are met.”
Aside from the concurrent sessions, Ensor said some of the programs at this year’s expo held in late August included a mock auction with veteran buyers discussing various types of animals and the dollars they should fetch. There were also low-stress animal handling and stockmanship demonstrations, plus lamb and goat carcass evaluations. Ensor said participant survey results were revealing.
“We had 100 surveys returned from the 250-plus in attendance at this year’s expo, which is good,” he said. “From just those returned surveys we learned that more than 74,000 head of sheep and goats were represented and that 90 percent of the respondents anticipated they would gain an economic benefit from their participation in this program. Their combined estimate of that economic benefit was over $700,000.
“So we could easily say that if everybody had completed the survey, then we most likely attained a $1 million positive producer impact from this year’s event alone.”
Ensor said finding ways to fund the 2017 expo is of paramount importance as the committee feels the current venue and program quality are vital to maintain the program’s continued success.
“We’ve had a great facility here at the San Angelo Fairgrounds and this year’s move to the Spur Arena there just added to the quality,” he said. “But to do this program up big like we feel it must be and to offer the things that are unique and that enable us to attract speakers from across the U.S. comes at a considerable cost.
“So a major challenge will be finding the funding necessary for the 2017 edition, because the 2017 expo now being planned will be contingent on the funds being secured. It is my hope and the hope of the committee that those funds will be procured so we can book definite dates next August.”
For more information, contact Ensor at 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org .