Writer: Susan Himes, 325-657-7315, Susan.Himes@ag.tamu.edu
Contacts: Dr. Reid Redden, 325-653-4576, Reid.Redden@ag.tamu.edu
Dr. John Walker, 325-653-4576, email@example.com
SONORA – Texas A&M AgriLife Research recently held a two-day sheep and goat workshop in collaboration with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The workshop was held at the Sonora station, which is part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo. It helped create a dialogue between the state agencies and provided additional education for TPWD biologists about the Texas sheep and goat industry, plus explained how ranches can successfully support both wildlife and small ruminants.
“The workshop really helped the biologists understand the livestock end of ranching in addition to wildlife ranching,” said Dr. John Walker, Texas A&M AgriLife center director, San Angelo.
“As these biologists get questions from landowners in Texas, they can be more aware of the sheep and goats’ needs as that fits in with the wildlife interests of those landowners,” said Dr. Reid Redden, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service sheep and goat specialist, San Angelo.
Day one of the workshop highlighted regional ranches with in-person tours. There was also a panel discussion, which consisted of Sutton and Edwards county small ruminant ranchers, wildlife ranchers and dual category ranchers.
Speakers included Walker, Redden and Dr. Doug Tolleson, AgriLife Research rangeland scientist, Sonora.
The second day’s focus covered the history of ranching and research at the Sonora station and included a tour of the station. Topics covered included the area’s stocking rates for livestock and wildlife; economics of regional livestock and wildlife leases; how small ruminants are managed on a ranch; and markets available to producers.
“Our goal from the workshop was to help our biologists by creating a better understanding of the industry and the economics driving the decisions that landowners are making,” said Dale Prochaska, TPWD Wildlife Division II regional director, Brownwood. “ A good working knowledge of how and why livestock decisions are made will certainly help our biologists as they assist producers in making good wildlife and habitat management decisions. We appreciate the knowledge shared and the relationships that this workshop has helped to create.”