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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Sheep Update

Livestock Update, February 2002

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, VA Tech

2001-02 Virginia Commercial Ewe Lamb Development Program Results
The 2nd Virginia Commercial Ewe Lamb Development Program concluded with a highly successful sale held in conjunction with the Virginia-North Carolina Shepherds' Symposium at the Virginia Tech Livestock Pavilion in Blacksburg, VA on January 5, 2002. The goal of the commercial ewe lamb development and marketing program is to provide a source of quality bred replacement ewe lambs with documented health, management, and genetics for Virginia commercial flocks. The program was initiated in early September when crossbred ewe lambs from 10 consignors were delivered to the Virginia Sheep Evaluation Station located at the Virginia Tech Shenandoah Valley Agriculture Research and Extension Center located near Steeles Tavern. Ewe lambs were developed on grass with supplemental grain mix provided to optimize growth and reproductive performance during the development program and breeding season. The ewes were mated to either Suffolk or Dorset ram lambs, which were selected from the 2001 Virginia Performance Ram Lamb Test. After a 45-day breeding season, pregnancy diagnosis was conducted via ultrasound. Of the 114 ewe lambs exposed, 101 were confirmed pregnant. These bred ewe lambs were sold in consignor groups of two to five head based on breed, service sire, and expected lambing date (ranging from early March to April). Sale results for the bred ewe lambs and four performance tested rams used as service sires were as follows:

  Sale Gross Sale Average
94 Bred Commercial Ewe Lambs $15,805 $168
4 Performance Tested Rams $1,570 $393

Ewe prices ranged from $140 to $200 per head. Rules and regulations, as well as consignment and entry information for the program in 2002-03 will be available late spring. The program is sponsored by the Virginia Sheep Producers Association. For more information, contact Scott Greiner at (540) 231-9159.

Corey Childs Receives Roy A. Meek Outstanding Sheep Producer Award
Corey Childs of Berryville, VA was named the recipient of the Roy A. Meek Outstanding Sheep Producer Award presented January 5, 2002 at the Virginia-North Carolina Shepherd's Symposium held in Blacksburg, VA. This award is presented annually by the Virginia Sheep Producers Association (VSPA) to recognize outstanding contributions to the sheep industry in Virginia.

Childs has been involved in the sheep industry since he was a 4-Her in Clarke County. He successfully bred and raised purebred Suffolk sheep, and sold his flock to help pay for college. Since graduating from Virginia Tech in Animal Science, he has been very involved in Virginia's sheep industry - as an educator, breeder, promoter, and manager. Currently, Corey serves as Extension Animal Science Agent in Warren County. He is well known and recognized for his talents of marketing and exhibiting sheep and working with young people interested in sheep.

Corey has served on numerous committees and activities to promote the Virginia sheep industry. The Eastern Stud Ram Sale, Ram Lamb Performance Test and Sale, Commercial Ewe Lamb Development Program and Sale, the Virginia Suffolk Sheep Association, and the Virginia Sheep Producers Association are examples of his statewide involvement. Locally he provides support to the Clarke County Wool Growers Association, the Clarke County Fair, the Glenwood Junior Livestock Show, and the Clarke County 4-H program. Corey has been chairman and manager of the Virginia Bred Ewe Sale since 1991. Corey's marketing expertise goes well beyond just purebred and registered sheep. He has been directly involved with the formation and sales of the Old Dominion Livestock Producers Association to assist producers with the cooperative marketing of lambs, sheep, and goats. This past year Corey worked to start the Eastern Elite Sale, as a source of club lambs and pigs for 4-Hers.

Childs' major contribution has been the leadership he has provided to a variety of youth sheep activities in the state. Since 1990 he has served as an Assistant Superintendent for the State Fair of Virginia Youth Sheep Show, and has been instrumental in the adoption of a state-wide nomination program for market lambs and the carcass performance division initiated at the state fair. Additionally, Childs has conducted a number of youth programs related to sheep and livestock projects, including stockman's and judging contests, workshops and clinics on the care and exhibition of sheep projects, and has coordinated youth activities in conjunction with the Virginia-North Carolina Shepherds' Symposium.

The sheep business is a family affair for the Childs'. Corey, along with his wife Janet and family operate Cornerstone Club Lambs. The sheep operation consists of registered Suffolk and Southdown sheep, and focuses on the production of club lambs. With their children actively involved in youth livestock activities, many family functions and social activities for the Childs family involve sheep. Corey and Janet are the founders of website for livestock breeders to advertise, chat about livestock issues, purchase supplies and literature, and retrieve information.

Corey wears many hats in support of the sheep industry- as an Agricultural Extension Agent, a volunteer, producer, and father. VSPA is proud to honor Corey Childs with the Outstanding Sheep Producer Award. Corey has been a very dedicated leader and has contributed a great deal of time and effort for the betterment of the sheep industry and its young people in the state of Virginia.

2002 Beginners Sheep Shearing School
The 2002 Beginner's Sheep Shearing School will be held April 23-24 at the Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center near Steeles Tavern. The two-day school is designed to help beginning shearers learn correct shearing technique and the proper maintenance and care of shearing equipment. In addition to shearing, the school will include demonstrations on proper sheep handling, shearing equipment set-up and care, and blade sharpening. The two day school is limited to the first 20 participants to register. Registration deadline is April 1. For more information, contact Scott Greiner at 540-231-9159.

April 23-24, 2002
Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research & Extension Center
Steeles Tavern, VA


Name: __________________________________________________________________

Address: __________________________________________________________________


Phone: ______________________________________

A maximum of 20 persons will be accepted for the school. This will be determined by the 20 earliest postmarks.

Mail a check for the $25 registration fee made payable to the VIRGINIA SHEEP PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION.

April 1 Deadline. Mail to:
Scott Greiner
Extension Animal Scientist
Dept. of Animal & Poultry Sciences (0306)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
fax (540) 231-3713