Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District

Missouri Sheep and Goat Conference

Over the past several years there has been an increase in the number of small farms in Missouri, as well as interest from producers in integrating sheep/goats into their operations. There has been a need for educating producers and building a network of communication across the state and throughout the Midwest. It has even been described that producers are "starved for information", when it comes to sheep/goat finances, production, processing, marketing, and management. There are also a large number of youth who are interested in rais ing small ruminants for various projects. They, their parents, and even youth leaders are in need of education regarding ca re and management, finances, marketing, forage management, and more, as well as information about the industry in general.

Project Objective

The Boone County SWCD board authorized staff to create an annual conference with the objectives of educating producers and other industry stakeholders, bringing stakeholders together in an effort to enhance communication and networking, and to inform producers about the Soil & Water Program and the cost-share assistance practices available to assist with grazing management and conservation efforts (including fencing, water, seeding, cover crops, and more). The first conference was held in June 2016 with 52 attendees from 4 states including MO, IL, lA, and MI. A tentative date for the next conference has been set for November 4-5, 2017.