If you are a sheep producer, young or old, beginner or seasoned veteran, and you still want and enjoy learning about sheep production, then 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. 

          One of the featured presenters this year is Sandi Brock of Shepherd Creek Farms in Onatario Canada.  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 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.

          There are actually 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 we kick off with the "Shepherd's College" at the Shisler Conference Center. Presenters include the aforementioned Sandi Brock, Cameron Lauwers, a fourth generation farmer, but first generation sheep farmer from Michigan who runs a 600 ewe, accelerated lambing operation, and Dr. Luciana da Costa, OSU Extension Veterinarian with expertise in mammary health and mastitis.
  • Young Shepherd's Assembly: A Friday evening program at a local Wooster restaurant for shepherds under the age of 40.  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.
  • 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.  In addition there is a special youth program, available for ages 6-18.

          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: http://www.ohiosheep.org/osia-programs.html#symposium.

Links to Buckeye Shepherd's Symposium materials are also available on the programs and events page of the OSU Extension Sheep Team website at: https://u.osu.edu/sheep/eventsprograms/

Click on the following link for a 2019 Symposium flyer.  Note that the flyer has interactive links that will take you to forms and registration materials: 2019 Buckeye Shepherd's Symposium flyer 

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.