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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Sheep Update

Livestock Update, December 2001

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, VA Tech

Shepherd's Symposium Scheduled for January 4 & 5, 2002

The annual Virginia-North Carolina Shepherd's Symposium will be held Friday and Saturday, January 4 & 5, 2002 at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center on the campus of Virginia Tech. Speakers will cover a range of production, management, and marketing topics. Highlights of the Friday program include speaker Dr. Diane Sutton from USDA-APHIS who will discuss the National Scrapie Eradication Program. Also on Friday, an in-depth session on lamb marketing will be held, and the annual lamb banquet with entertainment will conclude Friday's activities. The program on Saturday morning will include health related topics, including Dr. Robert from the University of Georgia who will discuss club lamb fungus. Concurrent youth activities are also scheduled for Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon, the 2nd Annual Virginia Bred Commercial Ewe Lamb Sale will be held at the VT Livestock Pavilion. The detailed program is as follows:

Virginia-North Carolina Shepherds' Symposium
January 4 & 5, 2002
Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

Program Overview:
Friday, January 4

9:00 am Virginia Sheep Producers Association Board Meeting (open to public)

10:30 Virginia Sheep Industry Board Meeting (open to public)

1:00 pm "National Scrapie Eradication Program: Producer Implications" - Dr. Diane Sutton, DVM, USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services, Washington, DC

2:00 "Update on Hair Sheep Research at Virginia Tech" - Dr. Scott Greiner, Department of Animal & Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech, Dr. Dave Notter, Department of Animal & Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech

2:30 Break

2:45 "Understanding the Lamb Market" - Mr. Bill McKinnon, Department of Animal & Poultry Science, Virginia Tech, Mr. Mike Carpenter, Virginia Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services

3:15 "Commercial Production Systems that Make Economic and Marketing Sense" - Mr. Bill McKinnon, Department of Animal & Poultry Science, Virginia Tech, Dr. Scott Greiner, Department of Animal & Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech

4:15 Adding Value to My Sheep Operation: Producer Panel
Wool Marketing: Rebecca Denhoff, Crescent Moon Fiber Mill, Buchanan, VA
Direct Marketing: Martha Mewbourne, Thorn Tree Farm, Nickelsville, VA
Dairy Sheep: Pat Elliot, Everona Dairy, Rapidan, VA

5:00 "Pasture Management and Renovation" - Dr. Ray Smith, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech

6:00 Social Hour and Commercial Exhibits

7:00 Lamb Banquet
Outstanding Producer Recognition
Entertainment- Six Feet Under Band

Saturday, January 5

7:00 am Virginia Sheep Producers Association Annual Breakfast Meeting Speaker: Mr. David Greene, ASI Region II Representative, White Hall, MD

9:00 "Club Lamb Fungus- Prevention and Treatment" - Dr. Robert Stewart, Department of Animal & Dairy Science, University of Georgia

10:00 "Current Concepts in Sheep Parasite Control" - Dr. Dee Whittier, DVM, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

10:45 Break

11:00 "Control of Abortion and Ringwomb in Ewes" - Dr. Kevin Pelzer, DVM, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

11:30 "Alternative Feeds for Sheep" - Dr. Mark Wahlberg, Department of Animal & Poultry Science, Virginia Tech

12:00 noon Lunch on your own

1:00 pm VIRGINIA TECH LIVESTOCK PAVILION "Pregnancy Diagnosis Using Ultrasound" - Dr. Kevin Pelzer, DVM, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
"Shepherd's Supply Inventory" - Dr. Dee Whittier, DVM, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

2:00 2nd Annual Virginia Bred Commercial Ewe Lamb Sale

Youth Session- Saturday January 5

10:00 am - 12 noon Sheep Quiz Bowl (team competition)
Lamb Promotion Presentations (individual competition)

**Youth interested in participating in these activities please contact Corey Childs at (540) 635-4359, or Dr. Scott Greiner at (540) 231-9163 for registration information and details**

Registration Deadline: December 15, 2001

For registration information contact:
Conference Registrar
Division of Continuing Education
810 University City Blvd., Suite D (0272)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: (540) 231-5182
Fax: (540) 231-3306 (for credit card registrations only)

Or register online at:

2nd Annual Virginia Commercial Bred Ewe Lamb Sale is January 5, 2002

In 2000, the Virginia Sheep Producer's Association initiated a commercial ewe lamb development and marketing program. The purpose of the program is to provide a source of quality replacement ewes with documented health, management, and genetics for Virginia commercial flocks. The program is being conducted at the Virginia Sheep Evaluation Station, located at the Virginia Tech Shenandoah Valley Agriculture Research and Extension Center located near Steeles Tavern. A total of 115 commercial crossbred ewe lambs (various crosses of Dorset, Suffolk, Columbia, Finn, and Rambouillet breeding) were delivered to the station on September 10. Ewe lambs are being developed on grass with supplemental grain mix provided to optimize growth and reproductive performance during the development program. Ewes have been allocated to breeding groups based on age, weight, and breed. Ewes are being mated to purebred rams, which have all been tested on the 2001 Virginia Performance Ram Lamb Test. Two Suffolk and two Dorset rams are being utilized, with approximately the same number of ewes mated to each ram breed. Rams will be placed with the ewes October 1 through mid-December. Breeding dates will be recorded on all ewes, and pregnancy status will be determined on all ewes in late December via ultrasound. Bred ewe lambs will be sold Saturday, January 5, 2002 at the Virginia Tech Livestock Pavilion in Blacksburg. Ewes will be sold in groups of 3-5 based on breed, service sire, and pregnancy status/due date. For more information, contact the Virginia Sheep Producers Association at 540-231-9163.

2001 Virginia Fall Bred Ewe Sale Results

The 2001 Virginia Sheep Producer's Association Fall Bred Ewe Sale was held Saturday, October 27 at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg. A total of 77 ewes sold for an average price of $294. Top-selling ewe was a Suffolk Wether Dam consigned by Meadows Suffolks of Buchanan, VA and sold to Cornerstone Suffolks of Berryville, VA for $700. Sale results by breed were as follows:

  Sale Average
3 Cheviots $233
21 Dorsets $288
1 Hampshire $300
2 Southdowns $213
15 Suffolks $277
35 Wether Dams $316
77 Total Ewes $294

USDA Announces Ewe Lamb Payment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced its intention to issue new rules to extend the Lamb Meat Adjustment Assistance Program (LMAAP) for an additional year through July 31, 2003. In addition, USDA announced plans to implement through LMAAP a ewe lamb expansion payment program that will provide incentives for producers to purchase or retain breeding ewe lambs. LMAAP is designed to help relieve economic injuries suffered by the domestic lamb and sheep industry and to help stabilize market conditions. The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) was instrumental in securing the LMAAP program, which was part of an initial $100 million industry assistance package first announced in 1999 after the industry filed a Section 201 trade case against imports. The additional assistance was announced in August when the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said the United States would comply with a World Trade Organization ruling that overturned the 1999 decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission that prompted the United States to impose restraints on lamb meat imports. Per the agreement with the 201 petitioners, USDA has allocated an additional $37.7 million for the extension of LMAAP. Of that amount, $26 million will be allocated to the new ewe lamb expansion payment program for years three and four of LMAAP, while the remaining funds will be restricted to payments for feeder and slaughter lambs marketed during year two through year four of LMAAP. To be eligible for the planned new ewe lamb expansion payment, a sheep and lamb operation must have been purchased or a ewe lamb retained to expand the sheep herd between August 1, 2001, through July 31, 2003. The producer would also have to certify that the ewe lamb meets the following eligibility criteria:

Payments for retaining or purchasing qualifying ewe lambs during years three and four are targeted at $18 per ewe lamb. Signup dates will be announced at a later date. Other program restrictions may apply. Implementing regulations will be published in the Federal Register as soon as possible. Further information on LMAAP will be available from local USDA Service Centers or on USDA Farm Service Agency's web site at: -from ASI

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