Monday, July 25, 2022

Texas A&M digital education sheep, goat course


white sheep in a range setting with trees in the back
The digital education course Sheep and Goat Ranching 101 
is available through AgriLife Extension. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Reid Redden)

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offers a digital education course, Sheep and Goat Ranching 101. The series of 12 videos cost $25 and allows participants to learn at their own pace.

“This online course is for people new to the sheep and goat industry,” said Reid Redden, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension sheep and goat specialist and director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service Center at San Angelo. “This course covers the basics of what people need to know, everything from how much animals typically cost to the type of facilities you’ll need to have to raise sheep and goats.”

Getting started with sheep, goats
AgriLife Learn

This online course is geared toward beginners and taught by AgriLife Extension specialists, agents, and graduate students. Using instructional videos, the experts walk viewers through the first steps to getting an operation started. They also provide viewers with the basic knowledge needed to maintain an operation. 

Redden said the course provides essential information for small farms or ranches with less than 100 acres, new landowners or managers, and retirees moving back to the homestead who may be thinking of raising small ruminants.

An Advanced Sheep and Goat Ranching online course is currently being developed and will also be available at the Texas A&M AgriLife Learn website,, when completed.

Texas A&M AgriLife Learn offers online courses and flexible digital solutions to meet the training and educational needs for learners in Texas and beyond. AgriLife Learn serves adult and youth learners of every type and offers a catalog of courses over a broad range of topics and skills, including Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education unit courses, professional development courses and free educational courses.

2022's Best States for Pioneer Women


By John Schmidt
Lawn Love Communications Manager

Growing your own crops, herding your cattle, heating your bathwater on the stove — “The Pioneer Woman” star Ree Drummond proves that any city dweller can transition to self-sustaining rancher.

So, where in America could you live like a modern-day Laura Ingalls Wilder or Anne of Green Gables?

To find out, Lawn Love ranked 2022’s Best States for Pioneer Women by comparing the 50 states based on their suitability to a “Little House on the Prairie” lifestyle.

We looked at eight different factors indicating a state’s friendliness toward farming (especially for women) and surviving off the grid.

Key insights:

  • Alone in the Lone Star State: If you dream of being a cowgirl (and isolating yourself from society), it doesn’t get better than Texas, our No. 1 Best State for Pioneer Women. Earning nearly 11 points more than Oklahoma, our silver medalist and Drummond’s home state, the Lone Star State is most ideal for living off the grid.

    Texas leads in renewable energy use. Farming and ranching promise to be a breeze here, too. Texas ranks an impressive fourth in this metric but loses points in the Female Farmer-Friendliness category for employing fewer women at its farms than in nearly half of the other states.

  • Pioneer for a Day in Utah: You’d think the only state to officially celebrate Pioneer Day would fare well, but the Beehive State finished at a disappointing 44th place.

    In the state’s defense, Pioneer Day remembers the bravery of the first Mormon settlers in the Salt Lake Valley who sought freedom from religious persecution in Nauvoo, Illinois. In other words, the state holiday has little to do with celebrating the pioneer way of life.

    Objectively speaking, Utah is not an ideal state for wannabe pioneer women. It ranked below average in nearly every metric except for solar energy use at No. 12.

  • Rusty States: Think twice before literally putting down roots in Rust Belt states like New York (No. 43), Indiana (No. 49), and Pennsylvania (No. 50). These states make up the super majority of our bottom 10. 

    Turns out this region is a bit rusty when it comes to welcoming pioneer women, too. It’s easy to blame the region’s poor rankings on its cold climate, but our worst states simply lack the right conditions for pioneer women.


Our full ranking and analysis are available here:   

More from Lawn Love:

Friday, July 8, 2022

2 Free Webinars on Farm Tax Preparation and Resources


Filing taxes for an agricultural operation can be challenging, and many producers may not have the funds to hire accountants or tax professionals to assist. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee are offering two free webinars:

  • Tuesday, July 12, 2 p.m. Eastern: An Introduction to Ag Taxes: What New Farmers Should Know. Learn more about who is considered a farmer for IRS tax purposes and how to choose a tax professional. Register here.
  • Monday, August 15, 2 p.m. Eastern: Using the Tax Calculator. The Farm Tax Estimator Tool is an interactive spreadsheet that producers can download to estimate tax liability. Register here.

Find other resources at

Friday, July 1, 2022

Information on FDA Guidance Ending Over-the-Counter Antibiotics

Over-the-Counter Antibiotics will require Veterinary Oversight (Rx) beginning in June 2023 – Start Planning Now!

In June of 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that all medically important antimicrobials will move from over-the-counter (OTC) to prescription (Rx) only as of June 2023. The Center for Veterinary Medicine guidance for industry #263 (GFI 263) outlines the process.

This means that the injectable, oral, intramammary, and topical forms of antibiotics will require a prescription from a licensed veterinarian.

What species are included?

This applies to all companion and farm animal species.

When do these new changes become effective?

Beginning in June of 2023, or sooner, depending on when the manufacturer changes their labeling.

What do this mean to you and your livestock operation?

By June of 2023, all medically important antibiotics currently available at most feed or farm supply stores will now require veterinary oversight (written Rx) to be used in animals, even if the animals are not intended for food production.

Examples of affected antibiotics include injectable penicillin and oxytetracycline.

In addition, some retail suppliers who were able to sell these drugs/products in the past may no longer sell them after June of 2023.

This means in order to continue using medically important antimicrobials, you will need to establish a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR). Consult your veterinarian for more information.

What is a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship?

veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) is defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association as the basis for interaction among veterinarians, their clients, and their patients and is critical to the health of your animal(s). The practical explanation is that it is a formal relationship that you have with a veterinarian who serves as your primary contact for all veterinary services and is familiar with you, your livestock/animals, and your farm operation. This veterinarian is referred to as your Veterinarian of Record (VoR), and both the VoR and the client should sign a form to document this relationship.


How will this work?

That means producers will need to have veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR), in order to get affected antibiotics like penicillin, oxytetracycline and erythromycin.

The new guidance does not require producers to purchase antibiotics through their veterinarian. Producers can use online pharmacies as long as they have a prescription.

The guidance does not affect antiparasitic drugs.

Helpful Resources: