November 21, 2019 - 10:39am -- ferencak.2

If you are a sheep producer, young or old, beginner or seasoned veteran, and you enjoy learning about sheep production, the Buckeye Shepherd's Symposium is a must attend event. The 2019 Buckeye Shepherd's Symposium has something for every level of sheep producer. The Buckeye Shepherd's Symposium is December 13-14 at the Shisler Conference Center on the OARDC campus in Wooster. 

The planning committee is excited to have Sandi Brock of Shepherd Creek Farms, Ontario Canada on the program.  Sandi is well known on social media under her handle of "Sheepishly Me" where she shares video blogs of her sheep operation, successes, failures and lessons learned. With a flock of 500 ewes in an accelerated lambing and completely housed confinement system, Sandi has plenty to share with her viewers, followers, and friends. Her videos are nearing six million views on YouTube and she posts new content each week.

Another featured presenter is Cameron Lauwers from Capac Michigan.  Cameron is a fourth-generation farmer, but a first-generation sheep producer.  The Lauwer’s farm includes 600 ewes in a mostly confinement housed, accelerated lambing system that makes fresh and finished lamb available any day of the year.  Sandi and Cameron will be presenting on various aspects of their sheep operations on Friday afternoon December 13 during the Shepherd’s College program and again on Saturday, December 14 during the Shepherd’s Symposium.  Each will give different presentations/talks each day.

          There are several program options and ways to attend and participate in the symposium.  Here is a quick synopsis:

  • Friday December 13 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. kicks off with the "Shepherd's College" at the Shisler Conference Center. Presenters include the Sandi Brock and Cameron Lauwers, along with Dr. Luciana da Costa, OSU Extension Veterinarian, discussing mammary health and mastitis.
  • Young Shepherd's Assembly: A Friday evening program at JAFB Wooster Brewery for shepherds from 18 to 40 years of age.  It is an opportunity to network and learn from one another.  This year's discussion will center around the public's perception and influence on agriculture past and present.  Cameron Lauwers and Sandi Brock will join the discussion panel.
  • Saturday, December 14: The featured all day Buckeye Shepherd's Symposium in the Shisler Conference Center from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Topics that will be covered include Accelerated housing management, Getting started in a confined housing production system, Using social media in agriculture, Nutrient and manure management, How to work with your Ag lender, an overview of OSU sheep research and a scrapie update. Some of the featured presenters include Sandi Brock, Cameron Lauwers, Dr. John Foltz, OSU Animal Science Department Chair, and Lee Fitzsimmons of Wayne Savings Community Bank. 

Saturday also includes a youth program, available for ages 6 and older.  This year’s topics include feed rations, meat cuts, understanding and managing wool and a community service project.

Participants have the option of attending only the Friday sessions, only the Saturday program or making a weekend of it and attending both the Friday and Saturday programs.  More information about the programs including registration costs and registration materials are available on the Ohio Sheep Improvement website at:  Pre-registration is requested by November 29.  Registration after November 29 includes a $10 additional late fee.

Links to Buckeye Shepherd's Symposium materials are also available on the OSU Extension Sheep Team website at: and  links to symposium information and registration materials are posted as well on the Wayne County Extension web site at  Click on the Buckeye Shepherds Symposium heading in the left-hand column.

For those who need hard copies of any of the Buckeye Shepherd's Symposium materials or registration information, contact the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722.

Rory Lewandowski is an OSU Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.

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