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Published March 07, 2009, 12:00 AM

Schooling shepherds

Bringing sheep producers together to interact with each other and learn about a variety of topics is the goal for the upcoming shepherd’s clinic. The clinic is a spin-off of events which used to be held in Hettinger every year, said Chris Schauer, Hettinger Research Extension Center director.

By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press

Bringing sheep producers together to interact with each other and learn about a variety of topics is the goal for the upcoming shepherd’s clinic.

The clinic is a spin-off of events which used to be held in Hettinger every year, said Chris Schauer, Hettinger Research Extension Center director.

“The Hettinger Research Center has been doing a sheep day for 50 years,” Schauer said. “We’ve also been performing one-day sheep schools throughout the state for probably about the last 20 years.”

Schauer said throughout the last few years, he and NDSU Extension sheep specialist Justin Luther have combined the old sheep day and sheep school into a program that was rotated throughout the state.

“The program now goes to Hettinger once every three or four years, but we rotate it throughout the state to try to get the sheep research done in Hettinger out to a bigger group of sheep producers than just the ones that are close to Hettinger,” Schauer said. “The shepherd’s clinic is in a long line of sheep extension programming.”

This year’s Shepherds Clinic will be March 19 at the Granville Community Center.

The program will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with lunch at noon. The morning session will provide presentations on lambing management, nutrition for growing and finishing lambs, and developing a fall lambing flock, according to a press release.

“The annual Shepherds Clinic is an excellent program for producers to interact with one another and NDSU Extension personnel,” says Justin Luther, NDSU Extension sheep specialist. “A variety of topics will be covered for making improvements to your operation.”

Luther added having the shepherd’s clinic during this time of the year is helpful, as producers are at this point looking for information due to lambing season.

“I’ll be talking about lamb nutrition, ways to decrease feed costs and increasing profitability during the back grounding and finishing phase of feedlot lambs,” Schauer said. “Historically it seems like we’ve had the turnout of about 50 people. It is targeted towards the audience of both advanced sheep producers and beginning sheep producers.”

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., attendees will take a tour of sheep producer Dustin Seright’s operation near Granville.

“We always try to incorporate a sheep facility tour,” Schauer said. “We try to find a local producer that’s fairly progressive or has a long history in the sheep industry that would provide a good tour to other producers to just get new ideas on sheep production.”

The cost of attending the clinic is $10. Preregistration is not required.

“We try to provide information to everybody,” Schauer said. “The discussion between both advanced and beginning sheep producers helps make the program work.

For more information, contact Luther at 701-231-7993 or Schauer at 701-567-4323.

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