Programs on raising sheep in Michigan

Sharpen your knowledge and skills on raising sheep profitably and sustainably through a meeting and on-farm workshop.

Photo by MSU Extension.

Improving the business and practice of raising sheep is the focus of Michigan State University Extension programs to be held in Mio, Michigan (Oscoda County). MSU Senor Academic Specialist for Small Ruminants, Dr. Richard Ehrhardt, will present an evening meeting on Thursday, Sep. 22 at Elmer Township Hall, 863 W. Kittle Rd., Mio, MI beginning at 6:30 p.m.

He will address the opportunities for sheep production in Michigan and resources for helping producers. Market opportunities and consumer demand will be highlighted. Ehrhardt will discuss production systems that fit Michigan conditions and resources and talk about the pros and cons of intensive vs. extensive grazing programs and feeding based systems.

In that meeting Ehrhardt will lead participants through a thought process on the impact of genetics and nutrition on sustainability and profitability and how sheep health affects them.

As a follow-up to the evening meeting, Ehrhardt will lead a farm discussion of pasture management and facility design and lambing management at the Galbraith Farm, 857 Galbraith Rd., Mio, MI beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Sep. 23. Hosts Marty and Barb Galbraith have graciously opened their farm to the group.

Ehrhardt will show how to evaluate sheep body condition as a tool to determine sufficiency of the feeding program, discuss vaccination programs and demonstrate hoof examination and talk about hoof care. Biosecurity, to protect sheep from diseases that can enter the farm or within-farm biosecurity will be discussed.

Whether one has been a sheep producer for many or few years, or someone interested in the potential for this enterprise, all are welcome to attend. Registration is $10 per session to cover costs of snacks and lunch on Friday.

To register, contact Phil Durst, Sr. Extension Educator at or call 989-387-5346.

While Michigan is not a leading sheep production state, it provides income for farm families and contributes to meeting the market need in the state. Opportunities exist for new well-managed sheep businesses as the demand for lamb is not met by in-state production.

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