PA Sheep and Wool Growers Regional Workshops Feb and March 2020

Details in pdf:  2020 Sheep Regional Training Workshops

Shepherd Workshops Sponsored by:   PA Sheep & Wool Growers Association, PennState Extension, American Sheep Industry and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

February 24th and 25th “Are My Sheep Making Me Money?” Join Dr. Richard Ehrhardt, Small Ruminant Extension Specialist at Michigan State University as he shares the MSU Lamb Profit Calculator and gain a better understanding of sheep production profitability. You’ll learn to take a critical look at your operation while evaluating the profit of marketing a lamb and how it relates back to the overall profit per ewe in your flock.

Dr. Ehrhardt will also discuss “Basic Principles to Improve Production Efficiency on Your Farm.” Learn how management decisions can alter your bottom line. Discussing methods to lower feed costs, labor investments, and production traits just to name a few.

South Eastern PA Monday, February 24, 2020 Lancaster Farm & Home Center 1381 Arcadia Road Lancaster, PA

North Eastern PA Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Columbia County Extension Office 702 Sawmill Road, Suite 102 Bloomsburg, PA

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March 3rd and 4th Join Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator for the Ohio State University Sheep Team as he presents, “Grazing Systems – Finding the Balance Between Nutrition and Parasite Management.” He has experience in sheep production, welfare, and behavior as well as alternative grazing systems and parasitology from the Wooster campus.

South Western PA Tuesday, March 3, 2020 Washington County Extension Office 100 West Beau Street, Suite 601 Washington, PA

North Western PA Wednesday, March 4, 2020 Mercer County Extension Office 463 North Perry Highway Mercer, PA

Cargill Recalls Animal Feeds Sold Under Southern States Brand

Cargill pulled a variety of animal feeds with excessive levels of aflatoxins from retail shelves from February through April 2019, but the company did not announce the action until this week.

Aflatoxin is a fungal toxin that commonly contaminates maize and other types of crops during production, harvest, storage or processing, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to aflatoxin is known to cause both chronic and acute liver damage in humans. People working with or eating contaminated feeds or foods are at risk of illness.

All 14 of the recalled products were sold under the Southern States brand.

“The affected products, which were manufactured and sold in the eastern United States, were removed from retail shelves throughout February, March, and April 2019. Livestock, horses and poultry exposed to aflatoxin are at risk of exposure to several health hazards,” according to the recall notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration.

The implicated feeds were manufactured at Cargill’s Cleveland, N.C., facility. The implicated products were recalled from retail outlets and distributors in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Consumers and other end users who have any of the affected lots in their possession are urged to return remaining product to their local dealers or retailers for a replacement or full refund. Consumers can call 800-822-1012 for additional information.
Source: FoodSafetyNews.com

 

Source: ASI WEEKLY May 10, 2019

Hidden Powers of a Sheep

Nice article in the winter issue of Craftsman Quarterly:

https://craftsmanship.net/the-hidden-powers-of-a-sheep/

Judith Schwartz writes about the people who are trying to turn around the near disappearance of American wool processing within the United States.  Ecological reasons for keeping sheep (they contribute to carbon sequestrian if pastures are managed correctly), natural dying,  and efforts to make  American wool products competitive (based on value not on cost) with Chinese products made from American wool.

A swarming, exotic tick species is now living year round in N.J.

An exotic species of tick that mysteriously appeared in New Jersey last year is now here to stay.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture announced Friday that the East Asian tick, also known as Longhorned tick or the bush tick, which was discovered on a Hunterdon County farm last year, has survived the winter.

“Ongoing surveillance continued during the winter and on April 17, 2018, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the Longhorned tick successfully overwintered in New Jersey and has possibly become established in the state,” it was stated in a news release.

Last summer, a farmer walked into the Hunterdon County health office covered in thousands of the ticks after she was shearing a 12-year-old Icelandic sheep named Hannah. Experts were called in to identify the tick which was not previously known to exist in the United States. The Department of Agriculture says it still does not know how the tick made its way to New Jersey.

The sheep has never traveled internationally and has rarely left Hunterdon County, according to Andrea Egizi, a tick specialist at the Monmouth County Tick-borne Disease Lab.

The longhorn tick. The larval and nymphal stages are difficult to observe with the naked eye. Larvae can be found from late summer to early winter. (Photo courtesy New Jersey Department of Agriculture)

When the incident was first reported, steps were taken to eradicate the insect from the farm by using a chemical wash on the sheep and removing tall grass where the they are known to dwell. The exact location of the farm and the identity of the sheep farmer is being withheld by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Although the ticks are known to carry diseases, such as spotted fever rickettsioses in other parts of the world, tests performed on the ticks and the farm animals were negative for diseases.

Local, state and federal animal health and wildlife officials, as well as Rutgers University – Center for Vector Biology, are working together to eliminate the ticks and stop them from spreading. Wildlife and livestock in the area will continue to be monitored throughout the year.

The ticks are known to swarm and infest deer and animals other than sheep, so the department is warning that it has the potential to infect other North American wildlife species. The ticks reproduce asexually by cloning themselves and just one of them is capable of laying thousands of eggs.

State and federal Department of Agriculture employees will be working with the public to determine if the tick has spread and to educate the public about protecting their livestock and pets from the pest.

The nymphs of the ticks are very small, resemble small spiders and are easy to miss, according to the Department of Agriculture. They are dark brown, about the size of a pea when full grown and can be found in tall grasses.

Authorities are asking people to contact the state veterinarian at 609-671-6400 if they see any unusual ticks on their livestock.

Unusual ticks detected in wildlife should be reported to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau or Wildlife Management at 908-637-4173, ext. 120.

Any questions about tick-borne illness in humans should be directed to local health departments or the New Jersey Department of Health at 609-826-5964.

Source: http://www.nj.com/hunterdon/index.ssf/2018/04/a_swarming_exotic_tick_species_now_dwells_in_nj.html#incart_river_index

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.

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.

Recording of ASU Mineral and Vitamin Webinar Available

Dan Morrical, Ph.D., professor of animal science at Iowa State University, discussed the appropriate balance of minerals and vitamins in sheep flocks with nearly 150 attendees during this week’s Let’s Grow webinar. Refining Our Nutrition Program to Meet the Mineral and Vitamin Needs of Our Sheep, was designed to help producers understand the current problems that occur when sheep are not appropriately supplemented.

Attendee comments were very positive stating, “Great information, good use of my time. The session was just the right amount of time. The instructor was very knowledgeable. I can’t wait to attend more of these webinars.” and “This is a difficult and confusing topic that was explained and presented in a way that made sense. I learned many new things tonight. Thank you.”

Those unable to attend the webinar can access a recording of the event as well as view the slides that were used for the presentation by visiting the Resources section of www.growourflock.org.