Our next speaker provided excellent information on how to manage our pastures and correctly renovate them. Dr. Chris Teutsch, University of Kentucky Forage Specialist, discussed An Integrated Approach to Restoring Pasture Productivity. 

Something totally different, but incredibly interesting was the Wet Lab presented by Sarah Welsh, Kentucky Lexington Diagnostic Center. The Wet Lab was an interactive hands on learning experience with the tissue and bones of multiple species designed to help expand the knowledge of animal health and disease process. 

Dependable Livestock Testing

Left to Right: Anna Arthur, Molly Eby, Julie Donahue, and Patti Bridge. 

The meeting's lunch was catered by the Kentucky Goat Producers Association. We had delicious goat fajitas! 

Patrick Durham, United Producers Sales Manager in Bowling Green talked about the programs available through UPI and how producers can get maximum prices through graded sales. 

We want to thank all of our vendors and sponsors for making the day a success. Our producers appreciate their support and look forward to working with them in the future! 

Our first speaker was Warren Beeler, the Director for the Governor's Office of Ag Policy. He shared with producers the impact in which the Kentucky Ag Development Funds have helped small ruminant producers grow and the opportunities that are still out there to help producers grow in our industry. He encouraged everyone to give a little of their time to help better the industry by participating in networks like our associations and sharing your expertise. 

Dr. Beth Johnson, DVM, conducted a FAMACHA training to help producers learn the importance of this tool in parasite management.

The day started off with annual meetings of the Kentucky Goat Producers and the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association, Inc. Each association shared with their members the achievements from the past year and allowed members to share their needs/desires for upcoming plans. Each association also elected their officers. View KSWPA and KGPA officers here.

Afternoon breakout sessions gave producers a wide variety of topics that had high reviews! Dr. Teutsch discussed Forage Species for Kentucky's Small Ruminantsand helped identify forage species adapted to our state and how to properly implement them into your feeding plan. 

After lunch, attendees were able to pariticpate in the KY Make It With Wool fashion show. Contestants modeled outfits that they personally created out of 100% wool fabric. The outfits were stunning as usual! Winners of the competition will be going to nationals in San Antonio, TX in January 2018. Senior class winner was Anna Arthur and Molly Edy won junior. Patti Bridge won the adult class and Patti Bridge was runner up.

Dorothy Vale, the contest coordinator for KY for the past 21 years, announced that this year was her final year as coordinator. We all appreciate all the hard work you have put into this program over the years and are very grateful. 

In the afternoon, Sarabeth Parido, Director for the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival and the KY Fiber Trail, explained the fiber marketing efforts of the new KY Fiber Trail. 

Dr. Chris Teutsch, University of Kentucky Forage Specialist

Exit surveys show:

  • 94% of participants felt more knowledgeable about pasture management, marketing and forages after attending the conference.
  • 88% of participants intend to incorporate what they learned into their operation.
  • 66% of participants identified areas in their own operation that they now feel they can better address
  • 77% of participants said they felt more connected to industry organizations and resources by attending the event. 

Be sure to join us next year on October 27, 2018 at the Kentucky State Research Farm in Frankfort, KY! 

Tess Caudill, the small ruminant market specialist from the Kentucky Department Of Agriculture, presented Keeping Up With the Market Prices 2017. Tess encouraged everyone to look at the overall market and create a plan for your operation that allows you to take advantage of 1-2 different opportunities within the market. 

2017 Annual Producer Conference

Another successful Annual Producer Conference is in the books! This year's conference was held October 7, 2017 at the L.D. Brown Ag Expo Center in Bowling Green, KY. Over 70 small ruminant producers came together to learn from one another and gain more knowledge in the areas of marketing, forages, pasture management, diseases and parasite management.