Friday, August 18, 2017

Upcoming Programs in Virginia

The 42nd  Annual Virginia Performance Tested Ram Sale, Ewe Lamb Sale, and Sheep Field Day will be held Saturday, August 26 at the Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research & Education Center near Raphine, Virginia. The educational program starts at 10:30 am, with the ram and ewe lamb sale starting at 1 pm. Information is available on the Virginia Sheep Producers Association web site at www.vasheepproducers.com.


The Virginia Tech Sheep Center will be hosting its 18th annual Production Sale on Saturday, September 2 at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena on the campus of Virginia Tech. Approximately 50 head of Suffolk and Dorset ram lambs and ewe lambs will be offered. Additional information is available at http://www.apsc.vt.edu/extension/sheep/.

On Friday, September 22, a Sheep Field Day and Katahdin Ram Sale will be held at the Southwest Agricultural Research & Education Center in Glade Spring, Virginia. This is the fifth year for this hair sheep ram performance test which includes evaluation of parasite resistance. The educational program will center around this activity, and the top end of the rams will be sold. The Field Day will begin at noon with sale to follow. Details and information will be forthcoming on the Southwest AREC web site at https://www.arec.vaes.vt.edu/arec/southwest-virginia.html.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A New Era in Western Maryland

The Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test was initiated at the University of Maryland’s Western Maryland Research & Education in Keedysville (Washington County) in 2006.

The purpose of the test was to evaluate the post-weaning performance of meat goat bucklings consuming a pasture-based diet, with natural exposure to internal parasites. Identifying bucks that were resistant and resilient to internal parasites was the trademark of the test.

The test was conducted for eleven years. Almost 800 bucks were evaluated. While the test was open to any breed or cross of goat, it gradually evolved into a “Kiko test.”  Over the span of the test, more than 100 producers from 20 states consigned bucks. Top-performing bucks were sold (as far away as California) or returned to farms for breeding.

Bucks from the 2012 test
Over the years, many programs and activities were held in conjunction with the test, including field days, tours, sales, skillathons, and carcass evaluation. In 2014, the BluegrassPerformance Invitational in Frankfort, Kentucky, was established as a place to sell performance tested goats, including the top-performing bucks from the Maryland test. This year's sale is September 1-2, 2017.

Now, the goat test era is over (in  Maryland). Goat producers will be encouraged and assisted in their move to the next step in performance testing: within and across-herd EBVs. EBV stands for estimated breeding value and is a measure of genetic merit, The data is far more accurate than the data from buck tests.

A sheep research program will be initiated at the Western Maryland Research & Education next spring (2018). The pastures are being re-established and new infrastructure is being put in, as the hoop house that was installed several years ago was completely destroyed this past winter.

Internal parasites (GI worms) will likely continue to be the focus of the research program, as it is a logical follow-up to the goat test and parasites remain a major obstacle to profitable small ruminant production. We also plan to plant different forages for grazing.

Bucks from the 2014 test
I’d like to express appreciation to my “Goat Team”: Jeff Semler, David Gordon, Pam Thomas, and Mary Beth Bennett. Others who played key roles include E. Nelson Escobar, Niki Whitley, Willie Lantz, Chris Anderson, Jeanne Deitz-Band, Lexie Simmons, and Amy Garza.

Dr. Dahlia O’Brien at Virginia State University (previously at Delaware State University) was instrumental to the success of the test, as she performed all the fecal egg analyses.

Thanks to the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board for providing funding for the pen vs. pasture studies.

Thanks to everyone who supported the goat test over the years, including all the consigners and buyers of bucks.

Susan Schoenian
Sheep & Goat Specialist
University of Maryland Extension

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Webinar: Selection for Parasite Resistance

Dr. Joan Burke
Image from USDA ARS
The next ASI Let's Grow Webinar will be held Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at 8 p.m. The topic is Selection for Parasite Resistance. The speaker is Dr. Joan Burke. The host is Dr. Jay Parsons. Dr. Burke is a USDA-ARS Research Animal Scientist at the Dale Bumper's Small Farm Research Center in Booneville, Arkansas. Dr. Parsons is from the University of Nebraska.

To register, to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/regist…/1611123568671444227. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The webinar is made possible with funding support from the Let's Grow Committee of the American Sheep Industry Association. The Let's Grow mission is to support and ensure the future of U.S. wool and lamb production.

Link to previous Let's Grow webinars

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Goat Producers: Share Your Opinion

The USDA National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) is conducting needs-assessment surveys for its upcoming Goat 2019 study of the goat industry.  To help NAHMS craft the most informative study possible and obtain data that will be most beneficial to the goat industry.  The survey should take 10 minutes or less to complete.

NAHMS Goat 2019 Needs Assessment:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NAHMSGoat2019


The survey asks what you consider to be the most important health issues facing the U.S. goat industry.  It also asks you to help identify the information that is needed regarding health-management practices used in the U.S. goat industry sectors.  The survey will be available through September 8, 2017.

The goat study will initiate data collection in 2019. This will be the second NAHMS study of the goat industry. The data from the study will be reported only in summary form; individual responses will be confidential.  Results from the preliminary survey linked above will help determine the priorities and objectives for the goat study.

Additional information about NAHMS, including reports from prior goat studies, is available at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/nahms

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer 2017 Wild & Woolly

The Summer 2017 issue of Wild & Woolly has been published to the web. It is available as a PDF file or via ISSUU.

Wild & Woolly is a quarterly  newsletter for sheep and goat producers. It is published by the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center.


To receive an email when a new issue of the newsletter has been published, subscribe to the newsletter listserv by sending an email to listserv@listserv.umd.edu. In the body of the message, write subscribe sheepandgoatnews.

PDF: http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/aded98_48d3ee266e304746973db9642128399c.pdf
ISSUU: https://issuu.com/mdsheepgoat/docs/summer2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

So. MD FAMACHA© Workshop: Aug 13

There will be an Integrated Parasite Management (IPM; FAMACHA©) workshop on Sunday, August 13, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Zekiah Farm, 5235 Bryantown Road, Waldorf, Maryland.

Participants (over the age of 16) will become certified in the use of the FAMACHA© eye anemia system. The workshop will consist of two hours of lecture/discussion and two hours of hands-on activity (FAMACHA© + fecal egg counting).  Participants will receive a FAMACHA© card and resource booklet. Additional cards may be purchased for $10.

Pre-registration is required by Tuesday, August 8. The registration fee is $35 per person, family, or farm. Register at https://famacha2.eventbrite.com. The registration fee can be paid online with a credit card or a check (payable to University of Maryland) can be sent to the Western Maryland Research & Education Center, c/o FAMACHA workshop, 18330 Keedysville Road, Keedysville, MD  21756.

The FAMACHA© system, along with the Five Point Check©, is a proven system for helping producers make deworming decisions for their small ruminants.

For information about the workshop, contact Susan Schoenian at (301) 432-2767 x343 or sschoen@umd.edu.

https://famacha2.eventbrite.com

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

FAMACHA© & Precision Farming

There will be an Integrated Parasite Management (IPM; FAMACHA©) workshop on Saturday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Vista View Farm, 28301 Clarksburg Road, Damascus, Maryland.

The workshop will also include a demonstration of precision farming techniques, including use of electronic ID and automatic scales. Along with the University of Maryland, Northeast SARE is a co-sponsor of the workshop. Vista View Farm received a SARE grant to use realtime generated gain-of-gain to determine anthelmintic need in lambs.

Workshop participants (over the age of 16) will become certified in the use of the FAMACHA© eye anemia system. The FAMACHA© system, along with the Five Point Check© is used to determine the need for deworming small ruminants. Only animals with clinical signs of parasites should be dewormed.

The workshop will consist of two hours of lecture/discussion and two hours of hands-on activity (FAMACHA© + fecal egg counting).  Participants will receive a FAMACHA© card and resource booklet. Additional cards may be purchased for $10.

Pre-registration is required by Monday, July 17. The registration fee is $35 per person, family, or farm. Register at https://famacha1.eventbrite.com. The registration fee can be paid online with a credit card or a check (payable to University of Maryland) can be sent to the Western Maryland Research & Education Center, c/o FAMACHA workshop, 18330 Keedysville Road, Keedysville, MD  21756.

For information about the workshop, contact Susan Schoenian at (301) 432-2767 x343 or sschoen@umd.edu.

https://famacha1.eventbrite.com

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Subscribe to the WORMINFO listserv

A listserv is an application that distributes messages to subscribers on an electronic mailing list.

WORMINFO is a new listserv for the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC). Subscribers will receive an email when something new has been posted to the consortium's web site:  acsrpc.org or wormx.info.  The listserv may also be used to distribute general information about internal parasite control in small ruminants.

To subscribe to the listserv, send an email message to listserv@listserv.umd.edu.

In the body of the message, write subscribe WORMINFO

To unsubscribe, send an email message to the same email address, but instead, write unsubscribe or signoff WORMINFO.

The WORMINFO listserv is intended for one-way communication. Subscribers should not respond to messages received from the listserv administrator.

The American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC) is a group of veterinarians, scientists, and extension specialists dedicated to developing novel method of parasite control. It was organized almost 15 years ago in response to emerging dewormer resistance.

The University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program maintains several other listservs:  Wild & Woolly Newsletter, Shepherd's Notebook blog, Meat Goat Test blog, and sheep and goat webinars. Go to www.sheepandgoat.com/listservs to learn more.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Composite Fecal Sampling

One of the methods for determining anthelmintic (dewormer) resistance is the Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT). Fecal samples from individual animals are compared before or after treatment or to a control group after treatment. It is recommended that at least 15 animals be sampled.

As an alternative to individual fecal samples, researchers at the University of Georgia compared using pooled composite samples with individual samples. The results of their research were recently published in the Journal of Veterinary Parasitology, "Using composite fecal samples when testing for anthelmintic resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes of cattle."

Their research showed the mean fecal egg counts from the composite and individual fecal samples to be 98.9% in agreement. The fecal egg count reduction of the composite and individual samples was 95.9% in agreement.

The researchers concluded that composite sampling is a practical tool for producers to assess resistance and that is should improve parasitological testing among producers. Methods of composite sampling are discussed in the article.

Read journal article 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Skillathon Winners Announced

About sixty youth competed in the 2017 Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon, held recently at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Youth and teams competed according to their ages as of January 1:  Junior, 8-10; Intermediate, 11-13; and Senior, 14-19.

The first place junior was Matthew Simpson from West Virginia. Eddyn Molden from Frederick County, Virginia, placed second. Brooke Crandell from Pennsylvania was third. The first place junior team was the team from Frederick County, Virginia. Howard County (Maryland) had the second place junior team.  Montgomery County was third.

Junior winners

In the intermediate division, Lizzy Miller from Montgomery County was first. Ana Clemmer from Howard County was second and Jordan Kelly from Frederick County (Virginia) was third. The first place intermediate team was the team from Frederick County (Virginia). Frederick County, Maryland, was second.

Intermediate winners

In the senior division, Brietta Latham from Howard County placed first. Two Charles County 4-Hers placed second and third, respectively:  Hayley Tanner and Taylar Burch. Howard County had the first place senior team, followed by Frederick County, Virginia, and Frederick County Maryland.

Senior winners

The Maryland Sheep Breeders Association provided ribbons and premiums to the top 10 individuals in each age division and Festival t-shirts to the top-3 teams.

Special thanks to Chris Anderson, 4-H Youth Animal Science Specialist with University of  Maryland Extension, for running this year's skillathon, while Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, was on sabbatical.

The skillathon is always held the first weekend of May (Sunday) at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Competition is open to individuals and teams of youth (age 8-18) from any state or province.

Images by Chris Anderson

http://www.sheepandgoat.com/skillathon