Sheep for Profit

January - March 2003

Dennis DeWitt , livestock field specialist
Jerry DeWitt , agriculture and natural resources extension director

Sheep producers need educational assistance to improve profit. Two important things to consider are lambing and marketing.

The northwest Iowa sheep producers association and Iowa State Extension utilize partial funding from the Iowa Lamb and Wool Promotion board to hold educational programs that will add value and improve profit to sheep producing. The programs consist of three to four ICN site conferences for the winter programs; one to two yearly workshops in the lambing barns; and one or two summer field days each year.

Only two to six persons at each site view the ICN conferences. This is low number, but the sheep producers board highly endorses the continuation of these ICN programs. Each lambing school workshops have between 11-21 participants and evaluations indicated that more than 30 different areas of lambing management were covered at each workshop. Every producer could implement something they learned at the lambing workshops immediately in their own operation.

Twenty-one producers were increasing their flock size, 12 were maintaining and only one was reducing the amount in the coming year. 28 sheep producers indicated that when they actually applied the information they learned at the lambing barn meetings they would expect their income level to increase by approximately $9,375.

Nearly 200 persons attended the two marketing wholesome quality lean lamb workshops. The workshop gave much information about posting dead sheep to determine causes of death and important methods for improving lamb carcass quality. These ideas could again be put into immediate practice by producers in their own operations, with an estimated increase in individual income by $9,550.


Page last updated: July 10, 2006
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