Managing Your Flock for Success
Have sheep or thinking about getting a flock? Producers of all experience levels will find something for them in this lively, wide-ranging course. There is no one right way to raise sheep – just a palette of options for you to choose from, to suit your farming objectives and lifestyle. Taught by experienced sheep producers and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, this course covers many of these different options, and strongly encourages active student participation.
All levels – This course is designed for commercial producers seeking to build their knowledge in production, marketing, processing, and sales of lamb and sheep products, to have a more profitable enterprise. We will cover management styles and marketing, focusing on meat production. While producers from any location are welcome to take the course, those in temperate Northern climates will get more out of the course weeks that focus on forages and nutrition, housing, and grazing.
At the end of this course you will have:
- Enhanced knowledge of nutrition, health management, housing and fencing, handling, record keeping, and selection of animals.
- Identified opportunities for improving profitability through improved pasture productivity, controlling parasite issues, and reducing predator losses.
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from presenters and ask questions in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
In 2024, this course will be offered live for 6-weeks on Wednesdays from 7:00 – 8:30 PM (Eastern) from January 17 – February 21. While we encourage live attendance, so you have the opportunity to engage with presenters and ask questions, all webinars are recorded and posted in the online classroom to watch anytime. Once enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all materials indefinitely, and can return to participate in the live webinars in future offerings of the course if you wish. Join us!
Testimonials from Recent Students
-I've had sheep for a few years but wasn't making any money, and
wasn't well-educated on everything I should have known. This course
helped fill in those gaps and now I feel ready to expand my flock.
-Learning from experienced shepherds was very beneficial, especially hearing about the behind the scenes items that MUST be considered in a sheep operation.
-The course has inspired and motivated me to keep moving forward with our sheep production. I enjoyed everything from judging body condition to understanding parasite cycles and nutrition. Great value!
Betsy Hodge has worn many hats in Extension over the years (since 1984!)
from Dairy and Livestock “Agent” to County Director. Her current role
is Regional Livestock Educator for Northern New York and as a local
Extension Educator for St. Lawrence County. Her program focuses mainly
on sheep and goats but includes all livestock such as beef, poultry, and
swine. Areas covered include nutrition, management, marketing,
rotational grazing, handling, parasite management and more. Betsy also
acts as the shepherd for the Extension Learning Farm Flock in Canton and
has a small flock of her own hair sheep at home.
Lynn Bliven is the Agriculture & Natural Resource Issue Leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Allegany County, NY. She began her career in 4-H and currently works in Agricultural Economic Development, specializing in beginning farmer outreach, local food systems and livestock production. Lynn and husband Shawn operate a 52 acre farm in Rushford, NY raising grass-fed beef and lamb.
PreviewWebinar Schedule and Participant Guide
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StartFORUM: Introduce Yourself; Meet Your Peers
StartFavorite General Sheep Resources
StartFORUM: General Q & A
StartNavigating in Teachable; Getting a Course Completion Certificate; and More
StartWeek 1 Webinar Link, Slides, and Recording
StartOverview of Sheep Marketing
StartLogistics of Various Lamb Marketing Channels
StartAccelerated Lambing: Is It Right For Your Flock?
StartBody Condition, Weight, and Fat Cover: When Are Lambs Ready for Market?
StartFORUM: How Do You Sell Your Sheep?
StartACTIVITY: Forage Assessment in Preparation for Next Week's Webinar
StartLocal Meats Factsheet
StartWeek 2 Webinar Link, Slides and Recording
StartMeet Northland Sheep Dairy
StartOverview of Feedstuffs for Sheep
StartBuying Hay: What Do I Need to Know?
StartDetermining the Age and Body Condition Score of Sheep
StartACTIVITY and FORUM: Forage Comparison
StartFORUM: Describe Your Feeding Strategy
StartNutrient Requirements of Sheep