Goat, sheep webinars to educate farmers on drought, nutrition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Extension will present two webinars to educate goat and sheep farmers on feeding practices following the drought, managing forage shortages and the production of commercial versus show goats.

The webinars will run 7-9 p.m. (EST) Nov. 28 and Dec. 5 at various Extension county offices in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

 Goats and sheep are small ruminants, so they rely on forage-heavy diets. Indiana’s extreme heat and drought this spring and summer greatly reduced forage supplies. Those challenges, combined with a growing interest in sheep and goat production, are the impetus behind the webinars.

“We’ll be talking about what this year’s drought did to pastures and the lack of feed for farmers,” said Mark Kepler, Purdue Extension educator in Fulton County and webinar organizer. “More and more farmers are starting to raise goats and sheep because they require less space and maintenance than larger farm animals. We’re gearing this program toward those who are novice or beginners, but the information is really important to all sheep and goat producers.”

The Nov. 28 webinar will cover:
* Dealing with shortages and alternative forages following the drought, by Ken Andries, Kentucky State University Extension goat specialist.

* Feeding sheep and goats following the drought, by Mike Neary, Purdue Extension Small Ruminant specialist.

The Dec. 5 webinar will cover:

* 2013 pasture considerations following the drought, by Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension Forage specialist.
* Differences between raising show goats and commercial goats, by Kepler.

In Ohio, Extension county offices currently signed up to host the webinars are Clermont, Clinton and Morrow.

ore information about the webinars is available on the Purdue Extension Fulton County website at http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/fulton/pages/default.aspx. Contact any of the host county offices or Kepler (574-223-3397, mkepler@purdue.edu) with questions. 

Current Purdue Extension county offices signed up to host the webinars are Brown, DuBois, Elkhart, Fulton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Huntington, Jasper, Jefferson, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Montgomery, Morgan, Owen, Spencer, Switzerland, Vermillion and Warrick.

Ohio State Extension county offices currently signed up to host the webinars are Clermont, Clinton and Morrow. Current University of Kentucky Extension county offices hosting the webinars are Pike, Grant, Whitley and Marion.

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