Dairy Sheep


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 Following a protest by NSAC and by the Chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, the original notice was withdrawn and today has been reissued with substantial improvements.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.

Dairy Business Innovation Center posts Bill Wendorff's article on Uses of Whey in the Farmstead Setting.

Babcock Institute provides a selection of downloadable PDF documents dealing with a variety of aspects of the dairy sheeping industry:

Additional Resources

  • 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.