January 9, 2015 | By: Aimee Nielson

Kentucky’s quality forage base affords many opportunities for goat and sheep grazing pastures. With the Kentucky Department of Agriculture reporting that the state is home to nearly 68,000 goats and about 43,000 sheep, new and established producers can benefit from educational opportunities like the Small Ruminant Grazing Conference.

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is teaming up with Kentucky State University, the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office, the Kentucky Goat Producers Association and the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association to offer the 2015 conference Feb. 7 at the Logan County Extension office in Russellville.

“We always have a variety of learning opportunities for anyone who is interested in raising small ruminants,” said David Ditsch, director of the UK Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability in Quicksand. “We will present science-based research that producers can apply in their own operations.”

The daylong event begins with a welcome at 8:30 a.m. CST, followed by an economics and marketing update at 8:40 a.m. Sessions focusing on forage management and parasite management begin at 9:15 a.m. Topics include:

·         Fescue toxicosis

·         Fencing options

·         Deworming decisions

·         Pasture management in parasite control

After lunch, Ken Andries, KSU small ruminant extension specialist, will facilitate a producer panel focused on forage systems. Panel participants are Mary Kessler, a sheep and cattle producer from Springfield; Al Dilley, a goat producer from Glasgow; Shawn Harper, a goat producer from Hickory and Jim Mansfield, a sheep producer from Salvisa

The regular meeting will adjourn at 2:30 p.m. Participants may stay and attend an optional FAMACHA training at 2:45 p.m. FAMACHA is a program designed to help producers of small ruminants diagnose parasite infection.

Preregistration, due Jan. 24, is $25 for the conference and an additional $15 for the FAMACHA training.

Those planning to attend the conference should send name, address, phone number and email address along with payment to UK Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability, attn. Jackie Allen, 130 Robinson Road, Jackson, KY 41339. To pay with credit card, contact Allen via phone at 606-666-2438, ext. 291.


David Ditsch, 606-666-2438, ext. 231

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