Shearing Preparations

Before we know it fall will be knocking on our back door. Fall is also a time that is full of management tasks in all areas of livestock production that need to be accomplished prior to the new year. For the small ruminant industry, shearing is one of those important tasks. In this episode of Forage Focus, OSU faculty and staff emphasize the importance of pasture management when preparing for the shearing of fleeced livestock. The presence of pasture weeds and time spent grazing prior to shearing can negatively impact the value and quality of your wool clip. For more tips on how to appropriately preparing for shearing day, be sure to take a listen to this short clip. For those interested in participating in our up-coming sheep shearing courses, please register using the following link (2023 Statewide Ohio Sheep Shearing School).

Considerations for Selecting and Installing an Electric Fence Charger

Kable Thurlow,  Beef and Grazing Educator, Michigan State University
Thomas Guthrie, Statewide Equine Educator, Michigan State University
Timothy Harrigan, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University
(Previously published online with Michigan State University Extension: June 22, 2022)

This bulletin covers the factors involved when selecting and installing an electric fence charger system to contain your livestock safely.

If properly constructed, a good fence should keep livestock contained and last 25 to 30 years without major repairs or total replacement. The old saying, “a good fence makes for good neighbors,” is true. Choosing high-quality materials when building your fence will ensure that it will be effective and last for many years. In some cases, electric fencing may be a significant part of a livestock operation’s fencing plan.

Electric fence technology has Continue reading

In Defense of Animal Agriculture

Dr. Francis Fluharty, Professor and Head of the Department of Animal and Dairy Science at The University of Georgia and Ohio State University Professor Emeritus

When I read online media stories that blame animal agriculture for being a large part of the environmental problems we have, it troubles me that people are so far removed from agriculture and food production that they don’t realize how connected to nature farmers are. I’m thankful for animal agriculture, from the producers who raise the livestock, to the grain farmers who grow grains and other crops whose byproducts we feed to livestock and companion animals, to the companies who produce, and distribute byproducts, to the feed companies who formulate products so that animals receive the proper nutrition, to the companies and people involved in delivering high-quality animal-based products to consumers around the world. I have often considered speaking up in defense of animal agriculture, because globally protein-energy malnutrition is the largest cause of human deaths; and in 2020, the World Health Organization estimated that more than 149 million children under the age of five were too short for their age, and another 45 million were too thin for their height.  In fact, 45% of deaths of children under five years of age are attributed to undernutrition (

The agricultural system in the United States is Continue reading

Preventing Drug Residues- Record Keeping

Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health, Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab

(Image Source: Minnesota Department of Agriculture)

Why keep drug records?
There are numerous reasons to keep records regarding the medication use on your farm. For starters keeping records helps to prevent an accidental residue violation. Records can also help improve your veterinarian’s effectiveness and ensure an effective herd health plan. Records also reduce liability as drug records are required by law. In many ways keeping good records can help save money.

What should be included in drug records?

  • Treatment date
  • Name of drug
  • Animal identification
  • Dosage
  • Route of administration
  • Expected duration
  • Withdrawal time for milk and meat
  • Individual who administered the drug
  • Actual duration of therapy

Veterinarians must keep their records (written or electronic) for a minimum of two years. While it is not mandatory that producers keep records on animals treated with drugs for two years it is STRONGLY recommended they do. Some drug records are required by law. It is a sign of good management for producers to keep complete, accurate, and clear records- especially when dealing with drug use. Records can include but are not limited to: Drug inventory, drugs purchased, treatments, veterinary relevant information, and how drugs were disposed.

Examples of record keeping templates: