Cooperative Extension: St. Lawrence County, Betsy Hodge: 315-379-9192,
315-379-0607 (messages); Jefferson County: Ron Kuck, 315-788-8450
Northern NY Sheep Days Set for November 18-19, 2008
High prices, feeding alternatives to save money, and the latest Cornell
research are on the agenda for sheep meetings set for 6:30 pm November
18 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County office in
Watertown and 6:30 pm November 19 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension
of St. Lawrence County Learning Farm in Canton.
Dr. Michael L. Thonney of the Cornell Sheep Program at Cornell
University in Ithaca, NY, will share recent information that was
presented at the Cornell Sheep Symposium.
Thonney, a professor at Cornell University since 1975, oversees the
management of a 700-ewe flock of sheep at Cornell. The flock is
evaluated for animal management, nutrition, health, selection, labor
management and marketing practices for highly production sheep
production systems. Purebred Dorset and Finnsheep flocks are managed for
selection and fertility evaluation. There is also a commercial crossbred
flock. Cornell practices winter grazing with its flocks.
At thje November meetings in Northern New York, Thonney will present
options for minimizing feeding costs, while providing proper nutrition.
With increasing feed and hay prices, producers need to feed their sheep
a proper winter ration to maintain herd productivity and profits.
The sheep industry in Northern New York has grown, according to the U.S.
Census of Agriculture, from 209 farms with 5,147 sheep in 1997 to 236
farms with 6,640 sheep in 2002.
Sheep Days organizer Betsy Hodge, a community educator and sheep and
goat specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence
County, says North Country Shepherd’s meetings held in Canton draw
farmers from as far as an hour away.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Dairy and Livestock
Educator Ron Kuck says the sheep industry in Jefferson County have
steadily gained momentum over the past decade due to its abundant
grasslands, the formation of the Jefferson County Sheep Association and
the Sheep and Wool Festival sponsored by the association.
For more information and to register for the sheep programs, contact
Betsy Hodge or Anita Morrill, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St.
Lawrence County, 315-379-9192 or Ron Kuck, Cornell Cooperative Extension
of Jefferson County, 315-788-8450. For more information on raising
livestock, visit the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program
website at www.nnyagdev.org.
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