2022 Ohio Statewide Sheep Tour

Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Hardin County

A statewide sheep production tour of Knox, Licking, and Crawford counties has been planned for Ohio Sheep Producers the weekend of Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16, 2022. This year’s tour is jointly sponsored by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) and Hardin County OSU Extension. Join us for a drive your own, sheep production tour focusing on dry lot/confinement sheep operations. There will be four tour stops on this year’s statewide tour, with each farm stop only being offered at the time listed.

The first farm stop will be at Cable Family Lamb Feedlot (10491 Canal Road, Hebron, Ohio 43025). This Licking County stop will be at 10:00 am Saturday, October 15. The Dave Cable family is the host of this stop which includes a large contract lamb finishing feedlot in Ohio feeding several thousand lambs from all over the United States. This farm has more recently added a dry lot/confinement ewe flock to produce additional lambs for the Cable Farms feedlot. Primary facilities include hoop buildings. Lunch will be on your own at 11:30 am.

The second stop on the tour will be Continue reading

Licking County Hosting Lambing and Kidding School

Dean Kreager, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Licking County

2022 Licking County Lambing and Kidding School

OSU Extension in Licking County and the Licking County Sheep Improvement Association are providing a Lambing and Kidding School on Thursday, October 20th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be no fee for this class, but we do require registration by October 17th.  Call 740-670-5315 to make your reservation. The location will be the Licking Valley Church of Christ at 158 Dayton Rd NE, Newark OH 43055.

With lambing and kidding seasons approaching, now is the time to prepare. Our class will discuss nutrition needs for nannies and ewes, pregnancy management from beginning to end and delivery techniques using hands on birthing simulators. Lunch will be included!

2022 Lamb and Wine Field Night

Dr. Brady Campbell, Assistant Professor, OSU State Small Ruminant Extension Specialist
Christine Gelley, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Noble County
Dr. Maria Smith, Viticulture Outreach Specialist

Shepherds, viticulturists, and foodies alike are welcome to join us for an evening in the vineyard to discuss how sheep and grapes can be compatible in vineyards and how lamb & wine can be compatible in the dining room. An introduction to grape production and challenges along with demonstrations of vineyard grazing, lamb preparation, wine tasting, and dinner will be included with registration for this event. The meal will consist of 4-5 cuts of lamb prepared during the live cooking demonstration, 5 Ohio grown wines, sides, and a dessert. The cost to attend this event is just $30 per person, payable to The Ohio State University, by October 15, 2022. Be sure to register quickly as registration is limited.

The event will be held at The Ohio State University South Centers: 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, OH 45661 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to register online at https://go.osu.edu/lambandwine2022You may also view the event flyer here and register using the QR code included. 

Questions about the structure of the course may be directed to OSU State Small Ruminant Extension Specialist – Dr. Brady Campbell at campbell.1279@osu.edu or (330) 263-5563 or Dr. Maria Smith, Viticulture Outreach Specialist at smith.12720@osu.edu or (330) 263-3825. Questions about the payment process may be directed to Noble County ANR Educator – Christine Gelley at gelley.2@osu.edu or (740) 305-3173.

We look forward to seeing each of you at this years event!

2022 Organic Farming Conference

Organic Farming Conference Committee

The Seventh Organic Farming Conference will be held at The Event Center in Mt. Hope, Ohio on November 10 & 11, 2022.

It has been over 50 years that then U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz said these unsympathetic words, “Before we go back to organic agriculture in this country somebody must decide which 50 million Americans we are going to let starve or go hungry.” Butz served as Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford from 1971-1976. Butz obviously wasn’t an admirer of small-scale or organic farming. His mantra was “get big or get out” and plant commodity crops (corn, soybeans, cotton) from “fencerow to fencerow.” To promote his agricultural economist mindset, Butz dismantled many New Deal-era agricultural programs that attempted to control production. Butz resigned in 1976 when he was overheard telling a vulgar racial joke. In 1981 he pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges and was sentenced to five years in prison. All but 30 days of the term were suspended. Butz’s thinking on organics may have been on par with his other failings. We need to remember a lot has transpired in the 50 years since he made his unflattering remarks on organics, which was at the time when organic farming was much more on the fringe and far from mainstream. Continue reading

Protecting Your Flock from Disease

Eastern Alliance for Production Katahdins (EAPK) Communications Committee – Roxanne Newton
(Previously published online with EAPK: September 11, 2022)

Disease Triangle

Disease is present in every flock and can reside in the animals, soil, air, and water. Producers don’t often talk about illnesses affecting their sheep because they don’t want the stigma of disease to reflect negatively on their flock. But producers shouldn’t have to deal with the problem alone. Let’s accept the fact that disease is inevitable, remove the stigma, and learn how we can prevent or mitigate disease transmission in our flocks.

Disease is defined as “a condition of the living animal that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.” Unfortunately, sheep can’t tell us how they feel or what symptoms they’re experiencing so it often becomes a guessing game for both producers and their veterinarians. Since healthy sheep are resistant to many of the pathogens already present on their own farm, they often don’t get clinically ill unless they are under stress. Previous exposure to these pathogens prepares Continue reading

The Many Faces of Forage Testing

Mike Rankin, Hay and Forage Grower Managing Editor
(Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: September 6, 2022)

As you read through this piece provided by Mike Rankin, think to yourself, “where do small ruminant producers fall?”

(Image Source: Hay & Forage Grower)

If you grow or harvest forage, develop forage products, sell stuff to people who grow forage, educate people who grow forage, do research for people who grow forage, or just buy forage, then consider yourself a card-carrying member of the forage industry.

Wherever you fit into this unique band of brothers and sisters often helps form your opinions on a variety of forage topics and issues. Sometimes, those opinions differ. I could pick any number of topics to demonstrate this, but let’s focus on forage testing and analysis. First, some full disclosure on my part. Continue reading