April 22, 2010

Beginning a new venture is a challenge for anyone, especially if it involves livestock. For those considering raising sheep and goats in Kentucky, a new online course is now available to help them get started.

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and the Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program are now offering a class, titled Sheep and Goat Production in Kentucky, thanks to funding from the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Project.

“The course is an introduction to the sheep and goat industry in Kentucky,” said Ricky Yeargan, UK senior extension associate for agriculture and natural resources. “It offers an overview of the basic anatomy and nutrition specific to sheep and goats as well as lessons targeted to the use of forages and feedstuffs in the production of these animals.”

Yeargan said herd health is also a major portion of the course which allows participants to familiarize themselves with the specific diseases and other health issues that may affect the animals.

Although the course is aimed at beginning producers or those with just an interest, Yeargan said established producers could also benefit from the information as a review of their production practices.

“Developing the online course facilitated the training of farmer-instructors,” he added. “They are knowledgeable in small-ruminant production and were able to assist fellow producers by assisting with field delivery of course content to interested producer groups.”

For more information about the course, contact Yeargan at ryear2@email.uky.edu.

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