WOOSTER, Ohio – Experienced sheep producers or anyone interested in starting up a sheep farm can tour a series of successful Amish farms July 12 led in part by a group of livestock and forage experts from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
The tour will offer both beginning and experienced farmers tips on everything from sheep grazing management to sheep marketing, said Rory Lewandowski, an agriculture and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension.
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.
The tour is designed to provide participants a “unique opportunity to spend time on four Amish farms to get a first-hand look at their operations,” said Lewandowski, who is also helping organize the tour.
“Our goal is to give sheep livestock owners an opportunity to see other sheep grazing farms with the idea they may be able to pick up tips they can apply to their own grazing operations,” he said. “At this point, the season is off to a good start, pastures are growing well, and first cut hay production looks good.
“Most farmers are pretty encouraged at this point.”
The tour will focus on four Amish sheep grazing farms in Holmes County, Lewandowski said.
Topics to be discussed include:
- Beginning sheep farmer using low cost start-up investment
- Sheep production
- Cool season pasture species
- Warm season annuals
- Use of minerals
- Fencing and rotation management
- Breeding management
- Sheep and farm marketing
Check-in for the tour begins at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of Keim Lumber, 4465 S.R. 557, in Charm, Ohio. The tour bus will leave the parking lot at 9 a.m., returning by 4 p.m. Registration is $35 per person and includes lunch. The deadline to register is July 1 and is limited to the first 100 participants.
A registration form can be found at http://sheep.osu.edu. Payments made out to OHSIA (Ohio Heartland Sheep Improvement Association) should be sent to Velda Limbach, 14950 Stanwood Street, S.W., Dalton, Ohio 44618.
The tour is sponsored by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, OSU Extension, the OHSIA and the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council.