So, you want to raise sheep or goats? Attend this workshop

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Southwestern Pennsylvania provides an ideal environment to raise sheep and goats. Rolling hills may not be suitable for crop production, but they can provide high-quality pasture for sheep and goat production.

Prospective producers can learn more about what is involved with raising sheep or goats at a workshop scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, at Witt Club Lambs in Melcroft. The event is sponsored by Penn State Extension, the state Department of Agriculture, Fayette County Community Action Agency, and Republic Food Enterprise Center.

Featured topics include an overview of sheep and goat production practices. The program, titled "What Do I Need to Get Started," will discuss where to find sheep or goats to purchase as well as selection principles. This presentation also will include animal-handling principles and equipment needs.

A section titled "Reproduction Basics" will cover preparing animals for breeding through flushing and assessing breeding soundness, plus how to handle breeding and lambing or kidding issues.

"Proper feeding and nutrition is a key to profitable production and to keeping sheep and goats healthy," said Melanie Barkley, Penn State Extension livestock educator. "Common health issues, such as internal parasites and diseases, is another presentation topic. Marketing and finances, along with local grant opportunities, will conclude presentations for the day."

Barkley and Walt Bumgarner, a Penn State Extension educator based in Fayette County, will cover most of the topics at the workshop. Scott Sheely, special assistant for workforce development for the state Department of Agriculture, will cover local grant opportunities for new producers.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested by Sept. 4. For more details or to register for the meeting, visit the website and scroll down to the meeting date, or contact the Penn State Extension office in Bedford County at 814-623-4800.

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Last Updated August 08, 2017