Hair sheep have expanded their role in the U.S. sheep industry over the past few years; however, more information is needed about their potential uses and place in the industry.
Industry leaders are invited to participate in the Hair Sheep Workshop at Virginia State University, June 21-23, in conjunction with the annual Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, NCR-190 Scientific Meeting. Many issues involving integration of these breeds into production systems will be addressed, as well as gathering relevant feedback from participants.
?We hope the industry leaders who attend will come ready to actively participate in the program and stimulate discussion on issues,? says Stephan Wildeus, associate research professor at the Agricultural Research Station, Virginia State University.
Topics to be covered include: marketing, breeding, performance recording, genetic evaluation, parasite control, production systems, carcass composition and quality and grazing management.
In addition, papers are invited regarding current research about hair sheep and their production for a poster presentation. The posters will be displayed throughout the workshop, and after a peer-review, accepted manuscripts will be published in a special electronic edition of the Sheep and Goat Research Journal.
The goal of this workshop is to obtain valuable information about hair sheep performance and organize it to produce a Web site for all hair sheep producers and extension personnel. In addition, it will help identify information and knowledge voids that may help direct future research efforts.
Wildeus hopes that by August 2005, the Web site will be developed and available for industry use.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) is a cooperator and plans to help provide updated scientific research about hair sheep as a result of the workshop. Once the Web site is complete, people can access the updated research through a link on www.sheepusa.org, the ASI Web site. Other sponsors include Virginia State University, the NCR-190 Regional Research Project on ?Increased Efficiency of Sheep Production? and the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, which provided the grants to fund the workshop.
Industry leaders are welcome to register for the Hair Sheep Workshop. For more information contact Stephan Wildeus (804) 524-6716 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Registrations are limited to 100 participants.