Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Successful Small Ruminant Expo

Over 140 people, including 35 youth, attended the first-ever Maryland Small Ruminant Expo. The Expo was held February 28 at the Frederick County 4-H Camp & Activities Center in Frederick.

Youth program - goat necropsy
The adult program featured concurrent educational tracks on pasture, health, marketing and alternative enterprises (dairy and fiber). There were four producer panels. Dr. Lindsay Lane was one of the featured speakers. Before attending veterinary school in the Cayman Islands and Minnesota, Dr. Lane was the farm manager for the University of Maryland College Park.

There was a separate educational program for youth, ages 8-18. It featured sessions on dairy, wool, and meat. In the dairy session, youth learned how to make soap. They felted wool and made wool grading posters in the wool session, and learned how to cook goat meat in the meat session. In the final session, "No Guts, No Glory," Dr. Lane taught the kids how to dissect lambs and kids to determine their cause of death.

Lunch was a taco bar, featuring locally-sourced goat meat and lamb and cheeses made from sheep and goat milk. Thanks to Bridgestone Manor Farm for providing the goat. The cheeses were provided by Caprikorn Farms and Shepherd's Manor Creamery. The lamb was purchased from Holsinger's Meats.

The Maryland-Pennsylvania-West Virginia Goat Producers Association and University of Maryland Beginning Farmer Success Project provided financial support for the Expo. Door prizes were donated by the University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program, Maryland Ag Experiment Station, and Kent Feeds.

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