Ohio State Extension Rebuilds Sheep Team Blog

Shepherds now have a place to find all the latest information on sheep production, industry research conducted at Ohio State, and daily management tips. The recently rebuilt The Ohio State University Extension Sheep Team blog page can be found at http://u.osu.edu/sheep/.

The site is managed by Sheep Team Program Coordinator Brady Campbell and includes contributions from the more than 25 Ohio State faculty and staff who each have unique interests in sustaining the sheep industry. Once at the site, readers will find current management information, a listing of upcoming events, research summaries and a library of resources.

Dairy Sheep Symposium Offers AI Presentations

Sheep producers who are considering the use Artificial Insemination to improve their flock genetics might want to consider attending the 2017 Symposium of the Dairy Sheep Association of North America, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Orford, Quebec, Canada.

The first day of this year’s symposium will be devoted entirely to AI. Speakers from Canada, Europe and the United States will present on AI techniques used in France, Iceland and Canada, both cervical and laparoscopic, with both frozen and fresh semen. Presenters will also discuss protocols that will improve conception rates and litter size in ewes who have been artificially inseminated.

Furthermore, a large number of dairy sheep producers who have begun using AI to incorporate European genetics into their flocks will be in attendance. Developments in AI techniques, as well as improved availability of internationally-sourced semen, are offering American sheep producers some real opportunities to broaden and improve their breed’s gene pool.

The symposium will be at the Estrimont Suites & Spa in Orford, in southern Quebec just north of Vermont. Attendees can register for just one day (i.e., for the day of AI presentations on Nov. 30th), or for the full symposium – which includes two days of presentations, a wine-and-cheese reception featuring Canadian sheep-milk cheeses, tours of two Quebecois sheep dairies and an optional cheese-making workshop.

For more details on the symposium schedule, go to www.dsana.org.

Women Shearers Featured in Vogue

“I was always acutely aware that there were less women shearers,” photographer Nich Hance McElroy said of photographing women shearers up and down the West Coast for Vogue. But last year, when he began shearing on commercial crews for a shearer and sheep rancher named Robert Irwin, McElroy noticed more and more women working on flocks – many who Irwin actively recruited. Some were already farmers or gardeners themselves, some were tech professionals in the Bay Area with a back-to-the-land mind-set, some were part-time knitters who wondered why it was next to impossible to find local wool. McElroy began photographing them, too.

“I really think, going forward, it’s going to be women doing farm work,” Irwin told me recently by phone from California. “The last five years or so, teaching guys to do this stuff, a lot of them just don’t have the mentality of waking up and thinking to themselves, ‘I’m going to get better at this.’ The women do. They’re more apt to stick with this; they’re more detail-oriented; they’re tougher.”

Read the story at https://www.vogue.com/projects/13535219/women-sheep-shearers-california-oregon-photographs-nich-mcelroy/.

APHIS No Longer Providing Free Plastic Scrapie Tags

To support animal disease traceability and scrapie eradication efforts, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has provided both metal and plastic ear tags and applicators to sheep and goat producers – at no cost – since fiscal year 2002.

After a funding reduction in FY 2012, APHIS used specific, no-year funding (for scrapie and ADT) to continue purchasing the tags and distributing them free of cost to producers. These no-year funds were exhausted in fiscal year 2017. While the Agency remains committed to ADT efforts, beginning Oct. 1 of this year, APHIS is providing only metal tags free of charge to producers and others who handle sheep and goats. Plastic tags and applicators for metal and plastic tags will remain available for purchase directly from approved tag manufactures.

These changes will reduce APHIS tag and applicator costs while still providing sheep and goat producers with a free identification device. APHIS will provide a limited number of plastic tags to producers newly enrolled in the Scrapie Free Flock Certification Program who submit tissues for scrapie surveillance in order to encourage on-farm scrapie surveillance.

The agency will continue to work closely in partnership with states and industry to achieve scrapie eradication.

For more information on how to purchase tags and applicators, visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/scrapie-tags.
Note: The American Sheep Industry Association and other stakeholder groups continue to work with USDA on alternatives to this new policy, including increasing the appropriations designated to the scrapie eradication program.

PA Extension to host farm marketing program Dec. 8

Penn State Extension along with Buy Fresh, Buy Local Greater Lehigh Valley to host session

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Farmers who have been selling direct to consumers via farmers markets and/or CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) have noticed a shift in those market channels. For the last few years, farmers markets and CSAs have been stagnant and in some cases shrinking. Are there other market channel opportunities for farmers? Are there techniques we can use to improve customer retention? What are the current trends in local food we can capitalize on?

Penn State Extension along with Buy Fresh, Buy Local Greater Lehigh Valley will host an “Intensive Marketing” program at the Nurture Nature Center, 518 Northampton Street, Easton, Pa., on Dec. 8.

Nick Burton, State of The Soil, Simon Huntley, Small Farm Central and Marilyn Anthony from Temple University Fox School of Business will help to improve and sharpen our marketing skills for this day-long workshop.

Registration and detailed information to follow soon. For more information contact Brian Moyer at 610-391-9840 or email at bfm3@psu.edu.

— Penn State Extension

Source: https://www.morningagclips.com/extension-to-host-farm-marketing-program-dec-8/

Northeast SARE Invites Farmer Grant Applications

Proposals are due online by Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The call for applications for 2018 Farmer Grants has been released by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program.

Proposals are due online by Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Funded projects will be announced in March 2018 and projects may begin in the spring.

Northeast SARE Farmer Grants are intended for farm business owners and managers who would like to explore new sustainable production and marketing practices—often through an experiment, trial or on-farm demonstration. Reviewers look for innovation, potential for improved sustainability, and results that will be useful to other farmers.

Awards are capped at $15,000 and projects may address the wide range of issues that affect farming in the Northeast. To search topics that SARE has previously funded, please access the national database of projects at: https://projects.sare.org/search-projects/.

Applicants must work with a technical advisor—typically a Cooperative Extension educator, NRCS staff, university research or extension specialist, private crop consultant, veterinarian, or other service provider—who serve the farmer applicant in a consulting capacity.

Application materials, including detailed instructions and supporting documents, are posted on the Northeast SARE website at http://www.northeastsare.org. Questions about the grants program should be directed to northeastsare@uvm.edu.

The Northeast SARE region is made up of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Northeast SARE programs are offered to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

—Northeast SARE

Source:  https://www.morningagclips.com/northeast-sare-invites-farmer-grant-applications/

NJDA Announces Farm to School Mini Grants

$10,000 in grant money available to enhance Jersey Fresh Farm To School programs

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher has announced $10,000 in competitive mini grants is available to schools or school districts for the purpose of developing Farm to School activities in New Jersey schools. The grant money can be used for the purchase of materials to support school gardens that grow fruits or vegetables, the cost to transport and pay for class trips to New Jersey farms, or the purchase of cafeteria salad bars that will increase the offering of fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals.

“The Farm to School program is a wonderful way for students of all ages to become engaged in activities that help them learn and appreciate more about fruits and vegetables and where they come from,” Secretary Fisher said. “Farm to School programs enhance what already takes place in the classroom and educate students about food and farming.”

Funds have been made available through legislation signed into law in 2014, which allows contributions to the New Jersey Farm to School Program through the Farm to School and School Garden Fund tax check-off. Additional legislation signed in 2014 created the Farm to School Donor Fund, making it possible for private donations to supplement Farm to School activities in the state. Mini grant applications will be open until Dec. 15.

More than 100 types of fruits and vegetables are grown in the Garden State. Opportunities exist for New Jersey farmers to provide agricultural products to school food service departments throughout and beyond the growing season. The object of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias is to improve student nutrition and help students make lifelong, healthy choices.

Farm to School Programs also include school garden activities that teach students where food comes from by growing it themselves. Students benefit by learning the science behind farming and the nutritional value of fresh produce to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the environment and supporting local farmers. Educators can use school garden programs to teach any subject — math, science, language arts, health and nutrition, art or social studies. In New Jersey, Farm to School Programs promote and create a sense of community for all involved.

A school or school district may apply for a mini grant on behalf of a school(s) that:

  • Currently participates and administers, in good standing, the USDA National School Lunch Program
  • Provides an explanation of how these funds will be utilized to increase Farm to School activities throughout the intended grant period
  • Submits a Letter of Support from the school Principal Administrator stating support for these efforts

For more information on mini grants click here and for information about the New Jersey Farm to School Program, visit www.farmtoschool.nj.gov.

Source: https://www.morningagclips.com/njda-announces-farm-to-school-mini-grants/

 

23rd Annual Dairy Sheep Symposium Nov 30-Dec 2 2017 Quebec

23rd Annual Dairy Sheep Symposium, Nov 30th – Dec 2nd 2017, Estrimont Suites and Spas, Orford (near Sherbrooke), Quebec.

This year’s Symposium, entitled “Profitability in Dairy Sheep Production”, will focus on genetics and nutrition of the dairy sheep flock. The Dairy Sheep Association of North America’s annual symposium travels to a different North American location every year. We are thrilled to be back in Quebec this year, in the middle of a vibrant community of sheep-milk producers and artisan cheesemakers. The 2017 symposium will include discussions on the development of long-term breeding plans, using milk data, the diet of dairy sheep, and the nutrition of youngstock; producer and cheesemaker panels; and presentations from dairy sheep researchers in Canada and the Roquefort region of France. There will also be visits to Quebec dairy sheep and cheesemaking operations — and don’t forget the banquet with dozens of DSANA members’ sheeps-milk cheeses!

For more information see Flyer  or
DSANA website (http://www.dsana.org).

Contacts:
Marie-Chantal Houde (brebislaitierequebec@hotmail.com, 819-578-7234)
Bee Tolman (info@meadowoodfarms.com, 315-655-0623)

 

WIN THE OXFORD SHEEP FOUNDATION FLOCK

WIN THE OXFORD SHEEP FOUNDATION FLOCK

Since 2007, prominent Oxford Breeders have donated lambs to establish a Foundation Flock.  The Foundation Flock is given annually to establish one new Oxford Flock.  The flock consists of quality Registered Oxford ewes   and one Registered Oxford ram.
To win the award flock, you must write an essay to the Oxford Foundation Flock Award Committee.  Include information about yourself, illustrate your goals and intentions with the animals should you win the award.  Please type your essay and e-mail it to foundationflock@yahoo.com by May 18.   Kindly include your mailing address and phone number.

The only request we ask of the Winner is to donate one ewe lamb within the first three years to a Foundation Flock. The Winner will be invited to attend the National Oxford Sale at Springfield, Illinois to receive their award.  If you cannot attend, other arrangements to  receive the flock will be made.  Good Luck!