The recently started UF Vet Med Small Ruminant Extension Program is an initiative promoted by the department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences as a response to the needs of Florida’s small ruminant stakeholders.
The UF Small Ruminant Extension program aims to focus on developing and disseminating education and research material relevant to maintaining and improving small ruminant health, production, and welfare. It is our goal to promote cooperation and collaboration amongst all segments of the small ruminant industry and its stakeholders. This program is designed to adapt education and outreach efforts in order to respond to the dynamic challenges and the diverse small ruminant production systems within the state of Florida. It is our desire to promote and impact the small ruminant industry locally and beyond.
UF Small Ruminant Projects and Events
The 2nd annual UF/IFAS Small Ruminant Short Course will be held September 29-30, 2023. Producers, extension specialists, researchers, students, and allied industry members are welcome to attend this in-person, educational event. The program will include lectures on parasite control, herd health management, marketing, and more. Dr. Niki Whitley, Small Ruminant Extension Specialist at Fort Valley State University, will be bringing industry expertise as the featured speaker. Research updates will be provided by UF/IFAS Small Ruminant Faculty and Staff. The event will be held in conjunction with the 2023 University of Florida Ram Test and Sale. The 2023 sale will be conducted online through Willoughby Livestock Sales. It will be open for 24 hours, beginning September 29 at 11 AM and closing September 30 at 11 AM. Rams will be eligible for viewing on September 29-30 at the UF/IFAS Horse Teaching Unit, 1934 SW 63rd Ave. Gainesville, FL 32608 during the Small Ruminant Short Course.
We invite you to participate in the 3rd annual 2023 University of Florida Ram Test and Sale. We are very excited to initiate this unique program and to work with sheep producers to quantify the desirable qualities of their rams. We hope that this program will provide value to your operation.
This program is designed to standardize environmental conditions in order to evaluate individual ram performance, provide a source of high-quality performance-tested rams to producers, offer educational opportunities for the improvement of the industry, and facilitate networking among producers.
We encourage you to consider consigning your rams to the 2023 UF Ram Test and Sale. Please contact us for further information or to consign animals to this program. Rams must be pre-registered by May 22, 2023 in order to be enrolled in the program.
Are you interested in learning more about sheep and goat production systems and market potential in Florida? So are we! In an effort to better understand this industry and to better assist our producers, we are developing a series of surveys to 1) assess production characteristics and main challenges; 2) evaluate slaughtering and capacity and cost; and 3) understand consumer needs and perceptions about lamb and goat meat. If you are a sheep or goat producer in Florida, please give us 15 minutes of your time to help us with this project.