By JOHN LEIDNER
The sheep and goat exhibits will offer current and prospective small ruminant producers a wealth of information on topics uch as goat milking, herd health, nutrition and forages for goats, marketing options for meat and milk, along with information on basic production practices.
You’ll find these exhibits at location E- 11 in the northern section
of the exhibit grounds, on the eastern end of the pavilion that also
hosts a number of horse and equine exhibits.
The Expo’s sheep and goat exhibit section is named for the late Will Getz, long-time Extension animal scientist from Fort Valley State
University who coordinated
the sheep and goat exhibits
during his distinguished
Getz, who came to work
at Fort Valley State in 1997,
died last year. During his
long career, he shared his expertise in more
than 30 countries. Getz, a native of Ohio,
grew up in Oklahoma and earned degrees
from Oklahoma State University and Ohio
State University. Early in his career he conducted livestock research for Winrock International in Arkansas.
There has been big growth in Southeast
sheep and goat industries, and the Sunbelt
Ag Expo has been a big part of that, mainly
it has offered a venue to introduce the animals and the industry as a whole to a new
group of potential producers.
While there has been big growth in the industry, producers still
need information on marketing, and which animals to breed. The
Expo provides an ideal educational learning experience that has
been organized to teach new growers the basic practices they need
to be successful in raising these animals.
Expo educates new sheep and goat producers on potential
markets, and at the same time provides a great meeting place for
experienced producers who get the opportunity to learn from one
another and from small ruminant leaders who work in research and
JEFFERS JOINS EXHIBITOR LINEUP
One of the new exhibitors in the sheep and goat section will be Jeffers, which specializes in providing health and veterinary supplies
for the livestock industry. Its lineup of products for sheep and goat
producers includes disinfectants, fly and mosquito repellents, milk
pails, dewormers, colostrum supplements, trimmers and other hoof
care products, shearing equipment, fly and insect control products,
vaccines, antibiotics, and other medications.
Based in Dothan, Ala., Jeffers was founded in 1975, and has
grown to be one of the largest privately owned catalog and e-com-merce animal health supply retailers.
If you’re new to goats, the goat you get may be good for meat
or good for milk, or maybe both. The exhibitors and small ruminant
experts at the sheep and goat exhibits can give you a realistic view of
which breeds work best in various farm settings.
With more than 15 years of experience in small
ruminant production, Dr. Niki Whitley took Will Getz’s
position as Georgia’s Extension small ruminant specialist at Fort Valley State. She came to FVSU from
North Carolina A&T University.
While Whitley works primarily as an Extension
specialist for sheep and goat production, she also
person for anyone considering almost any type of livestock production.
Whitley is also an expert on FAMACHA, a diagnostic tool developed in South Africa that helps determine which animals to treat
for internal parasites. It relies on observations of anemia, as indicated by
mucous membranes in the eyes of the
animals. FAMACHA was developed for
control of the barber pole worm, the
most important internal parasite in
PARASITES A MAJOR CONCERN
Parasite management is always a
major concern, according to Whitley.
Parasites are the No. 1 reason people
get out of the business of raising sheep
There is growing interest in raising
hair sheep breeds for meat production
in Georgia, she says.
The American Dorper Sheep Breeding Association will be represented at
Robin Rau, with Shelby Acres farm
at Colquitt, Ga., raises both Dorper and
White Dorper breeds. Both are consid-farms in the Southeast.