Recent News and Upcoming Events
17th Annual Great Lakes Dairy Sheep Symposium, November 2011
The 17th Annual Great Lakes Dairy Sheep Symposium, partly sponsored by The Babcock Institute, was held in California this year. Featuring educational presentations by leading producers, university researchers, industry experts, marketing specialists and artisan cheese makers, the symposium was attended by individuals from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Read more about the Symposium here.
Past News and Events
New and Improved VAPG NOFA Issued:
On Tuesday, September 1, USDA republished the 2009 Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) for Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG), an NSAC priority program. The opening of the program for applications was originally published in the spring, but without key components of the 2008 Farm Bill included. Following a protest by NSAC and by the Chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, the original notice was withdrawn and today has been reissued with substantial improvements. Read the NSAC press release here.
August 22, 2009 Sheep Producers Field Day in Richland County:
The Richland Area Sheep Producers hosted a Sheep Field Day at the Richland County Fairgrounds, Richland Center on Saturday, Aug. 22 beginning at 9 a.m.
The two featured key speakers were Dick Cobb and Gene Schriefer. Dick Cobb is the Sheep Extension Specialist for the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension. He discussed sheep behavior and handling, and facilities. Gene Schriefer, UW-Extension Iowa County interim agriculture agent and commercial sheep producer, discussed strategies for a successful breeding season.
In addition to the two speakers, there were demonstrations of felting and spinning by the Ocooch Mountain Spinners, needle felting by Dick and Joellyn Cobb, a wall of breeds, hands -on body condition scoring workshop, and showmanship demonstration. The Richland Area Sheep Producers had a food stand featuring lamb brats.
2008 Mountain-Plains Sheep & Goat Conference:
Download a PDF brochure about the 2008 Mountain-Plains Sheep & Goat Conference to be held in Greenley Colorado on Novermber 14-15.
Babcock Institute provides a selection of downloadable PDF documents dealing with a variety of aspects of the dairy sheeping industry:
- What You as a Producer Need to Know About the New Scrapie Eradication Program
This publication assists producers in understanding the new Scrapie Eradication Program and provides a step-by-step guide to assist producers in determining identification requirements for sheep and goats.
- Raising lambs on milk replacer
This presentation addresses common misconceptions about raising lambs on milk replacers as well as outlining methods for optimal use of milk replacers.
- Breeds of Dairy Sheep
This presentation examines the traits of some of the best breeds of sheep – both dairy and non-dairy – but with an emphasis on the best dairy sheep. A summary with reference photos is provided for each breed.
- Economics of Dairy Sheep
This presentation focuses on the economics of dairy sheeping by analyzing real world economic figures comparing the dairy sheep to commercial industries.
- Handling of Milk
Proper milk handling is critical to any dairy sheep milking operation. This presentation offers guidelines for proper milk handling and detailed step-by-step guide to freezing and storing frozen milk.
- Milking equipment for dairy ewes
The full spectrum of dairy sheep milking equipment is illustrated in this presentation. Milking tips, photos of various milking equipment configurations and information about additional equipment necessary to the milking process are shown.
- Questions to ask before starting a dairy sheep operation
This presentation addresses frequently asked questions common to dairy sheeping newcomers.
- Weaning systems for optimum commercial milk production
This presentation examines the Day30, Mix and DY1 weaning systems with an eye toward maximum milk production.
- Impressions of Dairy Sheep Production in the UK and France (1996)
This examination of dairy sheep operations in the United Kingdom and France offers a comparison to dairy sheep operations in the United States.
- NADSA-The North American Dairy Sheep Association, What is it and what does it do (1996)
This paper focuses on the history of the North American Dairy Sheep Association (NADSA) and the information the association provides to dairy sheep operations.
- Opportunities for Genetic Improvement of Dairy Sheep in North America (1996)
This paper examines the feasibility, opportunities and current status of genetic improvement of dairy sheep in the U.S. and abroad, with special attention to Wisconsin.
- The U.S. Commercial Dairy Goat Industry, A Brief Historical Account (1996)
This paper provides a history of the dairy goat industry in the United States from the 1970s to the present.
- Milk and Lamb Production of East Friesian-Cross Ewes in Northwestern Wisconsin (1998)
This publication examines the milk and lamb output of east-friesian-cross ewes and presents the results of studies conducted with this breed-cross in Northern Wisconsin.
- Brief Update on Research in Nutrition of Dairy Sheep (1999)
This publication summarizes recent research and study findings from examinations conducted on Mediterranean dairy sheep production systems.
- Farm Adapted Breeds: A panel presentation of flock performance records – Lacune Diary Sheep (1999)
This case study of the Lacaune Dairy Sheep provides insight into the nature of sheep dairying for farm adapted breeds around the world.
- Comparison of east-friesian-crossbred and lacaune-crossbred ewe lambs for dairy sheep production (2000)
This publication presents of studies conducted on milk production of east-friesian-crossbred and lacaune-crossbred sheep.
- Design and Implementation of a Genetic Improvement Program for Comisana Dairy Sheep in Sicily (2000)
In Italy, the Comisana is the second most important dairy breed of sheep after Sarda. This paper examines the design and implementation of genetic improvements to the Comisana dairy sheep in Sicily.
- Physiologic factors that modify the efficiency of machine milking in dairy ewes (2000)
This publication presents the results of research into the effects of physiologic factors and various milking machine configurations on dairy sheep milk production.
- New Developments in the Genetic Improvement of Dairy Sheep (2001)
This document examines the latest developments in genetic manipulation of dairy sheep and provides detailed statistical information of a wide variety of dairy sheep breeds.
- Factors Affecting the Quality of Ewe's Milk (2001)
Many factors can affect the quality of a ewe's milk. This document details those factors and investigates methods for avoiding some of the negative effects that can affect sheep milk and cheese quality.
- Choice of Breed for Dairy Sheep Production Systems (2001)
Deciding which breed of dairy sheep to invest in is one of the main decisions facing any dairy sheep operation. This publication provides a comparative analysis of the various foreign and domestic breeds available and looks at milk yield and milk quality of these breeds.
- Breeds for Commercial Production (2004)
DThis publication focuses on the popular dairy sheep breeds available in the United States and looks at the various factors involved in deciding which breed is best for a dairy sheep operation.
- Dairy Sheep
The sale of sheep milk or milk products is often more profitable than selling only lamb or wool. This publication explores the dairy sheep business and helps producers decide whether it is a viable option for their farms.
- Sustainable Sheep Production
This publication introduces concerns and practices specifically related to sustainable sheep production. Topics covered include breed selection, controlled grazing, pasture lambing, alternative health management, and innovative marketing of meat and wool products.
- Managing Internal Parasites in Sheep and Goats
Internal parasite management, especially of Haemonchus contortus (barberpole worm, stomach worm), is a primary concern for the majority of sheep and goat producers.
- Small Ruminant Sustainability Checksheet
This checksheet is designed to stimulate critical thinking when evaluating a farm that produces sheep or goats.
- Small Ruminant Checksheet Quick Start
These questions are bottom-line questions about components of your farm.
- Small Ruminant Resources
This resource list is designed to complement the Small Ruminant Sustainability Checksheet. Organized by type of resource and kind of information, this list offers sheep and goat farmers, as well as educators, help with livestock, health, forages, marketing, and other topics.
- National LIvestock Producers Assocation Sheep & Goat Fund
A revolving loan fund available to the sheep and goat industry.
- USDA Value-Added Producer Grants
The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program awards grants to agricultural producers, businesses owned by a majority of agricultural producers, and organizations representing agricultural producers for business planning or working capital expenses associated with marketing a value-added agricultural product. Agricultural producers include farmers, ranchers, loggers, agricultural harvesters and fishermen that engage in the production or harvesting of an agricultural commodity.
- North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Proposals
The R&E grant program provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through in-depth research projects or education/demonstration projects.
- Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Cooperative
The Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Coop (WSDC) is a premier maker of artisinal sheep milk cheese and the single largest source of high quality sheep milk for cheese plants in the United States. Comprised of 15 family farms, the coop ships sheep milk as far east as New York State and as far west as California. WSDC has the most stringent quality standards in the industry and a great affinity for the cheese-maker's perspective and requirements.