Friday, January 12, 2018

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Organic Agricultural Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on January 8 announced $3.8 million in available funding to address critical issues related to organic agriculture. Funding is made through NIFA’s Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants – Organic Transitions (ORG) program. 

The ORG program supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and education programs that enhance organic livestock and crop production. Organic agricultural systems provide many ecosystem services, and natural resources stewardship is a key principle in organic farming.
The deadline for applications is March 29, 2018. See the funding opportunity for details.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Lambing & kidding school in North Platte, Neb., Jan. 27

The Nebraska Sheep and Goat Producers Association and UNL (University of Nebraska, Lincoln) Extension are hosting an educational lambing and kidding school at the Kelly Burns family farm (5677 North River Road, North Platte NE 69101) on January 27, starting at 10:00 a.m.  A great lineup of speakers and hands on  demonstrations will be presented on lambing and kidding plus other industry issues. 

Dr. Kelly Burns, flock owner and UNL Educator will host a tour of his family farm where tubing of lambs, docking and castrating will be demonstrated.  In addition he will discuss weaning steps of lambs from ewes.  Dr. Brian Vander ley, UNL Extension Veterinarian at the Great Plains Education Center will discuss flock health in both lambs and ewes, as well as tips on care of lambing.  A presentation on feeding the ewe for successful lambing will be made by Phillip Berg, Pipestone, Minnesota.    Knowing your costs is very important and yet often overlooked.  This will be discussed by Randy Saner, Extension Educator, Lincoln, Logan and McPherson Counties.  Another economic – marketing topic where utilizing risk offsetting, with the use of LRP will be presented by Patty DeLeeuw of D and D insurance, Brookings, South Dakota. 

Always popular, a producer panel will finish up the day with Brad Anderson, Mountain States, Greeley, Colorado, Daniel Stehlik, Sheep producer, NCTA Curtis, and Ivan Rush, Sheep producer, Scottsbluff.  The panel members will have a short discussion of their operations and be available for an open form discussion. 

The cost of the full day program which includes lunch is $20.  For more details and to register please call 308-532-2683 or by e-mail at

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Lambing school beneficial for goat producers too

Lambing School will be held Tuesday, January 23 at the University of Kentucky C. Oran Little Research Center Sheep Unit.

This school is designed for new and prospective sheep producers, although veteran producers are welcome.  Topics of discussion, demonstration and hands-on include ewe management prior to, during, and after lambing.  Greatest shepherding expertise is required during the first week after lambing, therefore attendees will have the opportunity to work with and learn from ewes that will be lambing at the Sheep Unit on January 23, 2018.

"This would be something good for everyone, even goat producers, as much of the same procedures are needed for goats," added Ken Andries, Assistant Professor, Animal Science, Kentucky State University.

The school begins at 10 a.m. (EST), with lunch on your own from 12 to 1 p.m., and will conclude by 3 p.m.  There is no preregistration or fee.  However, the school does ask that participants call Dr. Don Ely at 859-257-2717 or email him at prior to January 19 to verify attendance.

                        Event:       Lambing School
                        Date:         January 23
                        Time:        10 a.m.
                        Location:  1171 Midway Rd., Versailles, KY  40383

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

ELD regulations delayed for livestock haulers

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has placed a 90-day delay on the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELD) for agriculture commodities.
The announcement was made by DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA) at a briefing on Nov. 20. FMCSA still plans to move forward with the ELD rule on Dec. 18, 2017. ELDs are a record keeping device synchronized to a truck engine that logs information digitally. In real-time an ELD records data such as time spent on the road, miles driven, location and engine hours.
A 90-day waiver for agriculture commodities will begin on Dec. 18 in an effort for FMCSA to evaluate issues revolving around the hours of service requirements. The primary concern for agriculture has come from livestock haulers.
Organizations like the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), have questioned the hours of service mandates affiliated with the ELD.
“The ELDs regulation poses some serious challenges for livestock haulers and the animals in their care,” says NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “This waiver will give the department time to consider our request that truckers transporting hogs, cattle and other livestock be exempt from the ELDs mandate.”
Under the ELD rule, truckers have an hours of service limit of 11 hours of driving in a 24 hour period. Drivers can be on-duty a total of 14 hours consecutively, including the 11 hours of drive time. After 11 hours are reached, drivers must rest and be off-duty for 10 consecutive hours.
The hours of service stipulations make it difficult to transport livestock long distances without either stopping to unload midway at holding facilities or keeping livestock in the trailer for the 10 hour wait time. Another option to stay within regulations would be using teams of drivers, but there has been a shortage of drivers, especially for livestock transportation.
FMCSA plans to have a comment period in the coming weeks to seek guidance on a potential hours of service exemption for agriculture commodity transport. The government organization will also help clarify the 150 air mile exemption and the related hours of service.
“We look forward to continuing this dialogue with the agency to provide relief for transporters from the restrictive hours of service rules, a regulatory burden that will have a severe impact on the ability of livestock haulers to continue to do business in a way that is both economically feasible and ensures the utmost consideration for animal welfare and safety,” Lia Biondo, director of policy and outreach at USCA.

FMCSA says in a statement, “Public participation in this guidance is essential to the process, so we ask for continued engagement from all impacted stakeholder groups across industries.”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Small Ruminant Profit School available online

The Small Ruminant Profit School is a very good program for any producer.  Please look at the information below and if you are interested, follow the link in the message to sign up.
No longer will you have to worry about scheduling 6 all-day classes on your calendar and worry about driving long distances to take this course. You can now take it at home, at your own pace and in the order that best fits your needs. How great to be able to watch Newborn Care as you are going through your lambing/kidding season or Foot Rot/Hoof Trimming when you have an animal that is lame!

SRPS consists of 15 modules- 13 online videos and 2 face-to-face classes. Wait! Thought you said this was an online course! Because topics like nutrition, body condition scoring, hoof trimming, vaccinating and FAMACHA scoring are not topics conducive to an online platform, we will still be offering these classes in person. Here is a list of the modules taught in the course:

  Module 1: Welcome to SRPS
  Module 2: Industry Overview
  Module 3: Breeds of Goats & Sheep (including pros & cons for the most popular breeds in Kentucky)
  Module 4: Market Trends & Niche Marketing
  Module 5: Facilities and Fencing
  Module 6: Guardian Animals
  Module 7: Health Management
  Module 8: Foot Care and Hoof Trimming (accompanied by an on-site workshop at the KSU Benson Research Farm and/or UK C. Oran Little Sheep Research Unit)
  Module 9: Nutrition (on-site class at the KSU Research Farm) 
  Module 10: Quality Assurance
  Module 11: Parasite Management
  Module 12: Reproduction, Genetics & Selection, Birthing Difficulties, and Care of Newborns
  Module 13: Record Keeping
  Module 14: Mating Systems
  Module 15: Annual Production Plans
   FAMACHA Training 
  Hands-on Body Condition Scoring Workshop 
  Numerous additional resources on rotational grazing, pasture management, handling, and much more! 

SRPS will be offered in two packages:

Online Only- With the Online Only Package, you will have access to all the video modules, as well as downloadable files of the presentations and SRPS notebook materials. Feel free to download/print the materials you need.
There are two prices- $75 for current KGPA and KSWPA members; $105 for non-members. (Registration fee includes the two face-to-face classes)

Online & Print- With the Online & Print Package, you will have access to all the video modules, downloadable files and receive a complete SRPS notebook via mail. Notebook will come complete with 3 ring binder, tabs and over 400 pages of materials. There are two prices- $95 for current KGPA and KSWPA members; $125 for non-members.

To register for the course, go here!

Once you register, you have access to the materials for 12 months.

Why is SRPS for You?
  Designed for Beginning Farmers (5 years or less) in goats and sheep. Of course all producers are invited to take part in the classes!
  SRPS will help you learn the basics and how to properly implement sound management practices into your operation.
  SPRS participants will have a two year, FREE membership to the Goat Herd Improvement Program (GHIP) (and this is good for sheep too!).
  Participants will receive a wide variety of resource materials including printable and handouts, links to University publications, subscription to HoofPrint Magazine, the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Management Calendar and much more!
  SRPS graduates can apply for the New Beginning Farmer Loan offered by the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Council. (Graduates are those that complete evaluations for all 15 modules and have attended the two on-site classes.)

Kelley Yates
Executive Director
Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office
PO Box 4709
Frankfort, KY 40604

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Recordings of Kentucky State programs available

Last month at the Third Thursday program we recorded the presentations conducted in the center and have the recordings available for your viewing.  
The programs were:
Creating a Sustainable Livestock Enterprise
Mineral Nutrition for Small Ruminants (was divided into 2 parts due to technical difficulties)
Using Performance Data and NSIP in your Sheep and Goats
Animal Evaluation for Health and Management.

Ken Andries
Assistant Professor, Animal Science
Kentucky State University
CEB 105/113
Office: 502-597-5094
Cell: 502-229-8719

10:10 – 10:50 am

Click links above to view recordings
Ken Andries
11:00 – 11:50  am
Mineral Nutrition for Small Ruminants part 2 (technical difficulties!)
Click links above to view recordings
Ibukun “Mike” Ogunade

1:00 – 1:50 pm
Click on link above to view recording
Description: National Sheep Improvement Program
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Click on link above to view recording
Emily Clement
Jessica Lay
Fred Bebe
and Goat Crew