Friday, December 19, 2014

Kentucky small ruminant grazing conference Feb. 7

FAMACHA  training also will be offered

The 2015 Kentucky Small Ruminant Grazing Conference will be held Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Logan County extension Service in Russellville, Ky. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Three hours of continuing education are available for veterinarians. Certificates will be distributed by mail after the conference. The registration deadline is January 24.

Conference sponsors include the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office, Kentucky Goat Producers Association, Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association, Kentucky State University, UK Cooperative Extension Service and the UK Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability.

For more information, contact Kenneth M Andries, Ph.D.
Office: 502-597-5094
Cell: 502-229-7707


8:30 a.m.   Welcome - Dr. David Ditsch, Director, UK Robinson Center of Appalachian Resource Sustainability

Economics/Marketing Update
8:40 a.m.   Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Tess Caudill, KDA Market Specialist

Forage Management
9:15 a.m.   Fescue Toxicosis – Is it a problem for small ruminants? - Dr. Glen Aiken, USDA-ARS
10:00 a.m.  Fencing Options – Jeremy McGill, Gallagher Fence

Parasite Management
10:45 a.m.  De-worming Decisions – Dos and Don’ts - Dr. Anne Zajac, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
11:45 a.m.  Lunch
12:30 p.m.  Pasture Management in Parasite Control - Dr. Anne Zajac

Producer Panel Discussion – Forage Systems
1:30 p.m.   Moderator – Ken Andries, KSU Extension Small Ruminant Specialist
Mary Kessler, Sheep & Cattle Producer, Springfield, KentuckyAl Dilley, Goat Producer, Glasgow, KY
Shawn Harper, Goat Producer, Hickory, KentuckyJim Mansfield, Sheep Producer, Salvisa, KY

2:30 p.m.   Adjourn

2:45 p.m.   FAMACHA Training (Optional, Cost $15.00)– Dr. Beth Johnson, DVM


The Logan County Extension Office is located at 255 John Paul Road, Russellville, between traffic lights 7 and 8 on the US68-KY80 bypass. The build- ing has a distinctive UK blue roof. It is very easy to see from the bypass.

From Bowling Green: Turn right onto the US68- KY80 bypass; proceed west 2.5 miles. The building will be on your left.

From Morgantown: Turn right onto the US68-KY80 bypass; proceed west one mile. The building will be on your left.

From Greenville: Turn left onto the US68-KY80 by- pass proceed west one mile. The building will be on your right.

From Franklin: Take Kentucky100 into Russellville, turn right onto US 68 business, proceed east one mile, turn left onto the US68-KY80 bypass and proceed west 2.5 miles. The building will on your left.

From Elkton: Turn left onto the US79-US68-KY80 bypass, proceed east 4.1 miles. The building will be on your right.

From Clarksville, TN: Turn left onto the US79-US68- KY80 bypass; proceed east 4.1 miles. The building will be on your right.

From Springfield, TN: Turn left onto US79, proceed west one mile, turn right onto the US79-US68-KY80 bypass; proceed east 4.1 miles. The building will be on your right.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holidays spur demand for lightweight goats

By Terry Hankins
Goat Rancher Editor

Some of the highest prices ever for meat goats have been reported this month. On December 11 at the Tennessee Livestock Producers Graded Goat and Sheep Sale in Columbia, Tenn., 25-35 pound Selection 2 kids brought from $3.20 to $5.15 a pound. The somewhat heavier kids weighing 36-50 pounds brought up to $4.35 a pound. Even the skinny Selection 3 kids in the 25-35 pound range brought as much as $4.95 pound.

That trend continued this week in San Angelo, Texas, with Selection 1 30-40 pound kids bringing $3.02 to $3.18 per pound; 40-60 pounds brought $2.60 to $$2.94 with a few bringing around $3.10 a pound.

Even heavy weights were holding their own with 80-100 pound kids bringing $2.10 to $2.28 a pound.

“These super prices recur, in very small numbers, just before Christmas and again just before Easter,” Dr. Frank Pinkerton said. “(Producer and order buyer) Bob Herr and I were at New Holland, Pa., some years ago and 20-pound Saanen twins sold to Bob for $4 a pound. He was filling special orders from two Italian and Greek businessmen for Christmas dinner goats.”

“It is also apparent that, in high demand times like holidays, the prices for Selection 2 goats are almost equal to the price for Selection 1 goats,” Frank said. “Also note that the bigger the goat across all categories, the lower the price per pound — no matter the grade.”

To see the complete market reports, go to

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sheep and goat expert Jodie Pennington retires

Jodie Pennington, PhD
Long-time friend of the sheep and goat industry Jodie Pennington, PhD, has announced his retirement as Southwest Region Small Ruminant Educator, Lincoln University (Mo.) Cooperative Extension. December 4 was his last day at work. A retirement reception was held at the Newton County Extension Center in Neosho, Mo., on December 1.

“I don’t have any specific plans for retirement except to rest, work on the endless tasks around the house, and visit children, grandchildren, and family,” Jodie said. “I do hope to see you at sheep and goat events as I travel here and there.”

Southwest Missouri Extension calls about sheep and goats now will go to the farm outreach workers in the region, Randy Garrett (417-850-9391) and David Middleton (417-466-8056), who work out of their homes near Mt. Vernon, Mo.  Charlotte Clifford-Rathert (573-681-5169) also will be available from Jefferson City.   

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Forage expert Jim Gerrish to speak at Mo. symposium Dec. 6

Jim Gerrish

Forage production and animal management are key components to profitability in many livestock operations. According to Garry L. Mathes, chair of the 2014 Missouri Livestock Symposium, producers have benefited from an outstanding year in forage production, coupled with high livestock prices, there hasn’t been a better time to invest in cost-effective improvements and plan for the future. “As a result, our planning committee wanted to address topics aimed at helping producers make smart investments and explore opportunities for the future.” In order to accomplish this objective, a great lineup of nationally acclaimed speakers will be on hand to address these topics and answer questions.

The Missouri Livestock Symposium welcomes back the featured forages expert Jim Gerrish from Patterson, Idaho. Jim will address four topics in the forages section including: “From Row Crops to Grass Farming,” “When Should You Be Calving,” “Making Cost-effective Pasture Improvements” and “Why You Should Be Out of the Haying Business.” Jim’s experience includes over 20 years as a researcher at the University of Missouri Forage Systems Research Center in Linneus, MO, where he co-founded the popular grazing school model still used to educate producers today. 

Jim has authored two very popular forage management books, “Management Intensive Grazing” and “Kick the Hay Habit.” Jim currently dedicates his time operating a private consulting business, American GrazingLands Services, LLC, where his focus is to aid farmers and ranchers to more effectively manage their grazing lands for economic and environmental sustainability.

Also speaking in the forages section will be Mark Kennedy, retired NRCS state grazinglands specialist, addressing the topics of “Extending the Grazing Season” and “Multispecies Grazing-Opportunities and Pitfalls.”

Mathes notes that in addition to the forage programs, there is a full lineup of nationally acclaimed speakers on beef cattle, sheep, meat goats, stock dogs, farm succession, backyard poultry and beekeeping. The Symposium also features a free trade show and two free meals—a beef supper on Friday evening at 6 p.m. and a Governor’s Style Luncheon on Saturday at noon.

The Symposium will run from 4-10 p.m. on Friday, December 5 and from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 6. The event will be held at Kirksville’s William Mathew Middle School, 1515 S. Cottage Grove in Kirksville, MO. No pre-registration is needed and there is no cost to attend. Mathes notes, “If there is a better deal anywhere I want to know about it!”

Additional details about speakers, topics, lodging, meals, trade show and more can be found at the Missouri Livestock Symposium website at or call Garry Mathes at 660-341-6625, the Adair County Extension Center at 660-665-9866 or you can also email Zac Erwin at Please put MLS in the subject line.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Taking a closer look at Australian feral goats

You can read much about goat meat at   In an article entitled  “What Kind of Goat Are You Getting?,” it is mentioned that about 50% of the goat meat in the U.S. is imported from Australia, and the source is that country’s huge feral goat herds. As the goat industry expert Dr. Frank Pinkerton says, “Australian production of goats for export is primarily based on ‘catch, kill, store and ship’ operations featuring very low-cost feral goat harvest.”  
The article notes that the quality of that product has to be variable, since in this kind of feral “catch and kill” system, you inevitably end up harvesting animals who are older or who are bucks (or both!), and thus the meat will be tough, or have that strong “bucky” flavor to it. The author says: "We suspect this is one reason we see so many different descriptions online of what goat meat supposedly tastes like. When half the goat meat in this country comes from feral animals harvested like this, it’s no wonder. Can you imagine if 50% of the beef that Americans ate came from feral cattle herds, captured and slaughtered in the same random way?"
Recently, there was a BBC News story on Australia’s feral goat industry, and the video shows lots of large, older feral goats in these capture pens — goats who are clearly not kids and yet are being harvested for the export meat market. The Munching Meadows website noted that Australia’s own livestock industry marketing board acknowledges problems with the “inconsistent supply and quality” of their goat meat … and interestingly enough, the BBC reporter mentions the exact same thing in his report.
Here is the link to the BBC report: