August 19-20 events to feature the latest in sheep, goat technology, management, marketing
Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Marvin Ensor, 325-653-4576, email@example.com
Dr. John Walker, 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org .
SAN ANGELO – Plans are fast coming together for a Texas A&M AgriLife sheep and goat doubleheader featuring two events that planners tout as this year’s premier educational events for Texas sheep and goat producers wishing to stay abreast of their industry.
For the second time in as many years, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research have teamed up to produce back-to-back educational programs for sheep and goat producers on Aug. 19-20 in San Angelo. The events will feature live animal demonstrations, new technology and techniques tempered with plenty of fun, food and camaraderie, said Marvin Ensor, AgriLife Extension regional program leader at San Angelo.
The first event will be the 43rd Annual Texas A&M AgriLife Sheep and Goat Field Day, whose theme this year will be “Precision Production Practices.” The event will be conducted by and on the grounds of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, located just north of San Angelo on U.S. Highway 87. That event will start with registration at 7:30 a.m. followed by the program from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The second event is the 2nd Texas Sheep and Goat Expo, which will follow the field day on Aug. 19, and again on Aug. 20 at the San Angelo Fairground’s Wells Fargo Pavilion.
“The idea is for folks to first attend the field day, eat a great lunch at the center and then leisurely migrate to the San Angelo Fairground’s Wells Fargo Pavilion where registration and exhibits will open at 1 p.m. followed by the program from 2-8:30 p.m.” Ensor said. “Though last year’s events were both major successes, planners this year were very cognizant of the need for new topics, demonstrations and speakers to maintain the high level of interest the previous programs generated. I’m pleased to say both events will more than meet that goal.”
Dr. John Walker, AgriLife Research resident director at San Angelo, said the center field day will be dedicated to Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, who recently retired after 45 years with the agency, 32 years of which he served as superintendent of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station at Sonora.
“Honoring Dr. Taylor will be a great source of pride for me and I’m sure for many of the people attending these two events,” Walker said. “He has been a mainstay in the sheep and goat industry and has long been the driving force in the use of prescribed fire for improving range management for both livestock and wildlife throughout our area. In that capacity, he has also been the key figure responsible for organizing the highly successful Edwards Plateau Prescribed Burning Association, which serves as the keystone for many similar associations now found across the nation.”
Walker said the center field day will feature a five-stop tour of sheep equipment, feed supplementation, range management practices, herding animals with a drone, and work being done with livestock guardian dogs. The remainder of the program will be indoors and will include results of a five-year goat marketing study, a Texas A&M University Animal Science update and drought scenario planning.
The expo will begin with a general session on the current sheep and goat markets followed by a mock auction where marketing tips will be presented using live animals. The afternoon will then break into three concurrent sessions on internal parasites, cooking lamb and predation before reconvening for dinner and an address by Dr. Dennis Stiffler, chief executive officer for Mountain States Rosen.
The first day’s activities will conclude with a stockmanship demonstration.
“August 20 activities will start bright and early with a chuckwagon breakfast prepared by the Cocklebur Camp,” Ensor said. “The program will start with opening remarks and industry updates from 8:30-9 a.m., followed by four concurrent sessions broken among hair sheep, wool sheep, club lambs and meat goats, similar to last year. But the topics within each category will be new with only the class heading being familiar to last year’s attendees.”
Ensor said the sessions will meet for lunch and the presentation, What is Going to Shape the Future of Animal Agriculture? by Dr. Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist at College Station. After the lunch break, the concurrent session will resume for a final time.
The expo will conclude by 3 p.m., following a general session on consumer demands and a carcass quality evaluation presentation with representatives from various companies that market lamb products providing information on current and future opportunities.
All the activities are open to the public. The center field day and lunch are free, while the expo has an individual registration fee of $30 due by August 17 and $50 thereafter. Register online for both events at http://agrilife.org/westresults/registration/ . For more information on the Expo call Myra Marsh at 325-653-4576, Ext. 237. For information on the center field day, call Phyllis Benge, 325-653-4576, Ext. 233.