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November 29, 2012

Sheep, goat conference scheduled

NORMAN — Agricultural producers interested in diversifying or expanding their operations can register now to attend the Jan. 8 Oklahoma State University Hair Sheep and Meat Goat Conference in Okemah. 

The conference is sponsored by OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, according to a news release from Heath Herje of the Cleveland County office of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

The conference will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Okfuskee County Fairgrounds. Cost is $20 per participant. Lunch will be provided, according to the release.

“Multi-species animal management is increasingly becoming a feature in many operations in Oklahoma and surrounding states,” Zack Meyer, OSU Cooperative Extension agricultural educator for Okfuskee County, said in the release. “The hair sheep and meat goat industry has really grown the past few years, with more and more producers becoming interested in the potential opportunities raising the animals may provide them.”

Conference topics will include an overview of the hair sheep industry and informative sessions about parasites for sheep and goats, general herd management practices and animal mortality management, among others.

“A session about the correct use of FAMACHA, a tool for diagnosing the level of anemia and the presence of stomach worms in small ruminants, should be of particular interest,” Meyer said.

Participants are asked to pre-register no later than Jan. 2. Registration forms are available through all OSU Cooperative Extension county offices, according to the release.

Meyer suggested pre-registration because the event will be limited to 200 people.

Pre-registration helps organizers ensure that sufficient numbers of refreshments, meals and conference materials are on hand, which helps promote the best possible conference experience for all participants, he said.

To get to the Okfuskee County Fairgrounds from the Okemah exit off Interstate 40, take Woody Guthrie Boulevard — State Highway 27 — north to the second stop sign, which intersects with Columbia Street. Turn right and travel east for about three-quarters of a mile. The fairgrounds are on the south side of the highway.

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