Michigan Great Lakes Region Sheep for Profit program runs through November

New innovative production practices contribute to farm profitability.

In an effort to help build the sheep industry in the Great Lakes Region, Michigan State University Extension will be conducting a series of programs to highlight innovative production practices in the region and how these practices contribute to overall farm profitability. These programs will introduce producers to other producers who focus on farm profitability. Richard Ehrhardt, Michigan State University Extension small ruminant specialist has coordinated the events.

September 13 – Shepherds Cross Station session will focus on Low cost lamb finishing systems.  The Wernette family will host a farm tour of their innovative lambing finishing program that utilizes grazing of standing corn and delivery of feed supplement on pasture. A discussion of lamb feeding systems and cost of gain in various feeding systems will be presented.  The meeting takes place from noon – 4 p.m. and begins at the Morton Township Library Meeting Room, Highway M 20, Mecosta, MI, 49332, followed by a tour of the Wernette Family Farm, 5356 9 mile Rd., Remus, MI, 49340. 

October 18 – MSU south campus sheep farm session will focus on forage crops to improve whole-farm forage utilization in sheep farming systems. A tour of the MSU south campus sheep farm followed by a tour of Richard Ehrhardt’s farm located 30 minutes south near Eaton Rapids,  will highlight both annual and perennial forage crops that can be used to improve whole-farm forage utilization. Unique cultivars of forage brassicas, bulb brassicas, highly digestibly sudan grass hybrids, fodder beet and herb mix plantings will be presented with a discussion on how each of these crops fits into a farm’s forage budget. This session will take place from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.at the MSU south campus sheep farm on Hagadorn Rd., East Lansing, MI, 48824, with a tour following at the Ehrhardt Farm, 6280 Kinneville Rd., Eaton Rapids, MI, 48827.

Nov. 8 – Oswalt family farm will focus on modern forage feeding systems for sheep production. The Oswalt family will host a tour of their sheep farm that is home to 1,200 ewes and a feeding system that centers on total mixed ration technology and use of by-product feeds. A discussion of feeding systems for highly productive ewes during pregnancy and lactation will be presented. Meeting location TBD, farm tour location at 10144 East XY Ave., Vicksburg, MI, 49097.

The general format for each event will be a noon to 2 p.m. presentation at a nearby meeting venue followed by a farm tour and presentation at the host farm from 2-4 p.m. unless otherwise noted. All 2014 events are free and require no preregistration. Contact Richard Ehrhardt for additional program details at ehrhard5@msu.edu, office: 517-353-2906 or cell: 517-899-0040.

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