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7811 Consolidated School Rd., Edgerton, WI 53534 •

Permit No. 203 Eau Claire, WI

A Publication of the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative

Winter 2012 Volume 24 Number 1

Arlington Sheep Day Matches Breed and Feed to Lamb Markets Arlington, Wis.—The annual Arlington Sheep Day will be held on March 10, 2012 at the Public Events Facility of the Arlington Research Station. Dr. Mike Neary, Purdue University Extension Sheep Specialist will address two topics: Should I sell my lambs as light ethnic lambs or finish them to heavier weights? and Economical diets for ewes and lambs. With rising feed costs, Dr. Neary will help producers evaluate their lamb market and how to make the most from their ewe flock. Three commercial sheep producers will share their man­ agement ideas on the following topic: What drives decisions on your sheep farm? Do breed selection and management strategies determine your market OR do market opportunities drive your management and breed choices? The panel will feature Carrie Johnson of Jordandal Farms (Argyle, WI), who use Icelandic and Clun Forest ewes to produce fine fleeces and finished

lamb for direct sales. Paul Esser (Glen Haven, WI) manages 160 to 200 Polypay ewes, selling feeder lambs from Suffolk rams. Sheep producers in 22 states participated in the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitor­ ing System’s 2011 Sheep Survey. The survey gathered data regarding management practices and the prevalence of sheep diseases such as scrapie, ovine progressive pneumonia, Johne’s disease, Mycoplasma ovipneumonia, and caseous lymphadenitis. In addi­tion, the survey collected infor­mation regarding internal parasites and anthelmintic resistance in Wisconsin flocks. A USDA APHIS veterinarian will share the latest updates on the results on this work. During these educational ses­sions, a beginner and youth session will be held concurrently at the Sheep Unit of the Arlington Research Station, featuring a Sheep Skill-athon. Please register at the Public Events Facility before proceeding to the Sheep

Unit. Following the morning educa­ tional session, the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative will hold its annual WSBC Recog­ nition Dinner beginning at 12:30 pm, followed by the annual members meeting beginning at 1:30 pm. A youth program will be held during the annual meeting. Educational sessions begin at 8:15 am and pre-registration is required by February 24, 2012. The cost to attend the educational sessions of the Arlington Sheep Day is $5 and the cost to attend the WSBC Annual Recognition Dinner is $15. All are welcome at the Recognition Dinner. Please register for the event through the WSBC website (http://www. or the University of Wisconsin Sheep and Goat Extension Website ( sheepandgoat/programs/). For more information, contact Claire Mikolayunas at 608-890-3802 or

Wynn Wittkopf is New Make It With Wool State Director Wynn Wittkopf, of Pewaukee, will succeed Carol Battenberg as the Make It With Wool State Director, beginning with the 2012 contest. Wynn and her husband, Jon, have three children: Robyn 17, Kurth, 15, and Auretta, 13. Wynn’s dad, Bob Wiese, would tell you Wynn was raised in the sheep barn. From little on, Wynn had a love for sheep and spent all day in the lambing shed with her dad. Growing up, Wynn helped her family take care of their flock of 200 ewes. While a member of the Hartland-Lakeside 4H club in Waukesha County, she enjoyed showing sheep and participating in the sewing and knitting projects. As a youth, Wynn also exhibited at the Wisconsin State Fair and especially loved the Lead-In classes. The family farm currently has a flock of 20 Dorsets and 20 Hampshires. The Wittkopfs have been participating in the Make It With Wool contest for the past seven years. Robyn was the state junior

Wynn Wittkopf, Pewaukee, will take the reins of the Wisconsin Make It With Wool program, beginning with the 2012 contest at Jefferson. She takes over from Carol Battenberg, Johnson Creek, who has been state director since 2002. Wittkopf and her husband Jon have three children and have been active in the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival. Participating in MIWW, Lead-In and the Junior Sheep Show. winner in 2009 and competed in the national contest in Nashville. The Wittkopfs and cousins, Abby Wiese and Mariah Richardson, have competed in the preteen and junior divisions for the past few years. The Wittkopfs enjoy the family atmosphere of the

Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival and enter the MIWW contest, Lead-In, and Jr. Sheep Show. The 2012 Make It With Wool contest will be held during the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival September 7-9 at Jefferson Fair Park in Jefferson.

Lower Lake, CA: Winter pasture at Shannon Ridge's Vigilance Vineyard, where 120 ewes and their lambs glean grape arbors. The lambs will be harvested in April and May by Niman Ranch, a California-based purveyor of sustainably raised lamb and other meats. Photo by Cody Hiemke, Stoughton, WI.

Bred Ewe Sale Returns – Average Way Up A year of record lamb prices, plus a little enthusiasm for the future of the industry, added up to a healthy jump in sale averages as the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Coop Bred Ewe & Ewe Lamb Sale returned after a year’s hiatus. With thirty one head selling, bidding was brisk, starting off with the Suffolks, where a yearling ewe consigned by Dick and Grace Piechowski of Waupaca, WI took champion honors and brought the sale top of $750 from Morgan and Taylor Eilers, Weyauwega, WI. She was paced by another yearling from Romaine and David Ace of Brooklyn, WI that gaveled in at $575 and sold to Mariah Richardson of Dousman, WI. Aces sold a second yearling to Shady Chestnut Farm, Sturtevant, WI at $500. Piechowskis kept the bidding moving with their

mature ewe entry selling to Shady Chestnut Farm for $450, while Aces brought on their reserve champion ewe lamb, selling it to Andrew Slack of Lake Geneva, WI for $400, followed by another Ace consignment, their second spring lamb which went to Shawn O’Donovan of Waupun, WI for $350. The Suffolks averaged over $500 for the day. In the Oxfords, there were two spring lamb entries consigned by Laura and Andy Meyer of Watertown, WI. One sold to Jillian Bingen of West Bend, WI at $400 and the other to the VanRoekel Family, Wellman, IA at $350. One Lincoln, a yearling ewe entered by David Hammer, Cuba City, WI, sold to Sarah Cooper of Mt. Pulaski, IL for $300. See Bred Ewe Sale on Page 6


The Wisconsin Shepherd

Notes from the President’s Pen As Sue Sees It: I’m hoping that every one of you had a Christmas as wonderful as ours. Kids and grandkids home for the holiday! It just doesn’t get any better than that. 2011 was a great year for the WSBC and sheep producers alike. May 2012 be as kind to us. Since I last wrote, the WSBC revived the Bred Ewe Sale and it was a success. Not a huge event, but a successful one. Consignors brought an excellent set of sheep and prices reflected the quality. This is an event that we would like to see continue, so if you have suggestions that you think would improve it, please contact Steve Bingen. It is almost time for our annual meeting which we hold in conjunction with the Arlington Sheep Day on March 10th. We will be holding the election of board members and hope that you can be on hand to cast your

ballot. If you are interested in running for the board, don’t be shy, just let Jill Alf know. It has been a great honor for me to serve this past year as the President of the WSBC. I had no idea how much is accomplished by this group. Of course, a huge thanks goes to Jill Alf, our executive secretary. Without her, I would have been lost. For over a decade, Jill has been the backbone of the WSBC. Bob & Carol Black are the mainstay of the Wisconsin Wool Works and the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. These are the 2 major fundraisers of the WSBC, and Bob and Carol are two very hardworking dedicated individuals. Todd Taylor will be completing his second term on the board and will not be eligible for re-election. I could write pages about this man and the wonderful things he does for the sheep industry of

The Wisconsin Shepherd is a quarterly publication of the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative, a non-profit organization dedicated to the diverse interests of the Wisconsin sheep industry. Inquiries about WSBC and address changes for WSBC and The Wisconsin Shepherd should be directed to Jill Alf, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, WSBC, 7811 Consolidated School Road, Edgerton, WI 53534; 608-868-2505 or EDITOR Bob Black Advertising Manager Kelli Gunderson, 9726 N. Fork Creek Rd., Shannon, IL 61078; 815-821-5905 or WSBC officers and directors are: President S  ue Rupnow: Wausau, 715-675-6894, Vice President L aura Meyer, 920-206-8445,  roy Antoniewicz, Stoughton, 608-873-6841, T Steve Bingen, West Bend, 262-629-4221, Elmer Held: Oakfield, 920-583-3084, Bill Keough, 920-596-1931, Gary Klug, 920-309-2181, Todd Taylor, Arlington, 608-846-9536, Alan Thorson, 920-344-1235,

Wisconsin, but I will refrain and just say Thank You Todd for not only what you have done for the WSBC, but also for the youth of Wisconsin, and sheep and wool producers as well. You are a great asset to our industry. My thanks also to all the board members. You are a great group and I have enjoyed working with you. Please join us as we begin preparations for the 2012 year and join us for the day on March 10th for education, fellowship with other producers and a great meal. Get involved! You’ll be glad you did. For 2012: Peace. Good health. Successful lambing. $3.00 per pound lamb! Sincerely, Sue Rupnow President, Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative

Stay Upto-Date On-Line Keep on top of sheep industry issues and news by visiting the new Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative website. Same old address, but a whole new look! Look for past and current issues of the Wisconsin Shepherd, a calendar of events, classified ads, links and much more at

Winter 2012

EWEniversity Begins February 16 A six-week program for sheep producers of all experience levels will begin on Thursday, February 16, at the Iowa County Health & Human Services Building in Dodgeville, WI (303 West Chapel Street). The course is intended for producers new to sheep production, those considering a start in sheep, or those experienced shepherds wishing to freshen up their management information. This pilot program will be held Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, February 16 through March 22, 2012. Additional courses may be held in other locations throughout Wisconsin in future years. The course will cover topics related to commercial sheep production, including breed selection, animal health, lambing management, flock nutrition, marketing opportunities and economic analysis. The handson program will include a farm visit and practical exercises for both new and experienced shepherds. In addition to the six-week program, students will be invited to follow-up meetings at sheep production facilities, such as pasture walks or processing facilities. The course is limited to 25 participants and a registration fee of $65 will be charged if registered by February 10. After that date, the registration fee will be $80 per student. The course outline includes: February 16 Course introduction, terminology, rearing and management systems, as well as matching the enterprise to the resources. February 23 Flock health – Dr. Amy Robinson, DVM and sheep producer. Genetics and selection – Dr. Dave Thomas and Janet McNally, Tamarack Sheep. March 1 Sheep Nutrition – Bill Keough, BK Nutrition and sheep producer. March 8 Grazing – How Many Sheep Can My Pasture Support? – Rhonda Gildersleeve, PhD. UWEX Grazing Specialist. Sheep, Internal Parasites and Fecal Egg Counts. March 15 On-Farm Visit Facility Design and Handling; Lambing and Early Lamb Care. March 22 Lamb Markets – Cody Hiemke, Niman Ranch; Wool Markets – Kristi Langhus, Argyle Fiber Mill; Sheep Economics and Developing a Business Plan. Course instructors are Claire Mikolayunas, UW-Extension Small Ruminant Specialist and Gene Schriefer, Iowa County Extension Ag Agent. For registration information, andgoat/ or or contact Iowa County Extension or 608 930-9850. Course information is also at

Support your sheep industry... Send in your membership now! WSBC 2012 Membership Application Family or Individual Membership Name _ _______________________________________________ Farm Name ____________________________________________ Address _ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ City __________________ State _________ ZIP________________ Telephone (_______) ____________________________________ E-mail Address _________________________________________ Fax___________________________________________________ Website _______________________________________________ Do you wish to have WSBC link its website to yours? _____ Yes _____ No Breed(s) Raised ________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________

These lambs make quite a fashion statement in their “jammies.” They would have been over-dressed most of this winter as much of Wisconsin has experienced warmer then usual weather and below average snowfall. Photo by LeeAnne Richert, Cable, WI.

Do you currently receive The Wisconsin Shepherd? _____ Yes _____ No Send a $25 check payable to: Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative and mail to: WSBC, 7811 Consolidated School Road, Edgerton, WI 53534

WSBC ANNUAL MEETING & RECOGNITION DINNER MARCH 10, 2012 UW-Madison Arlington Research Station - Public Events Facility

Winter 2012

The Wisconsin Shepherd


2012 Arlington Sheep Day Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative Annual Meeting Public Events Facility Arlington Agricultural Research Station Arlington, WI

Saturday, March 10, 2012 8:15 a.m. Registration 8:45 a.m. Welcome Claire Mikolayunas, Department of Animal Sciences, UW-Madison Public Events Facility

Sheep Unit

9:00 a.m. Should I sell my lambs as light ethnic lambs or finish them to heavier weights? Mike Neary, Extension Sheep Specialist, Purdue University 9:45 a.m. Update on NAHMS Sheep Survey USDA APHIS Veterinarian 10:15 a.m. ASI ‘Let’s Grow Program’ Bob Benson, Regional ASI Representative 10:30 a.m. Break 10:45 a.m. Economical Diets for Ewes and Lambs Mike Neary, Extension Sheep Specialist, Purdue University 11:30 a.m. Producer Panel: What Drives Choices on Your Sheep Farm? Carrie Johnson—Jordandal Farm, Argyle, WI Paul Esser—Glen Haven, WI Tom Vaasen—Lancaster, WI

9:15 a.m. Lambing Barn Management Intended for beginning shepherds— Todd Taylor, Shepherd, Arlington Sheep Unit

12:30 p.m.

10:30 a.m. Telling Your Story at the Fair Intended for youth and beginning sheep producers—Bernie O’Rourke, Extension Youth Livestock Specialist

Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative Annual Meeting Dinner

1:30 p.m. Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative 2012 Recognition Program and the 2012 Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative Annual Meeting 3:30 p.m. Adjourn Meeting

1:30 p.m. Youth Judging Contest University of Wisconsin Animal Science Graduate Students

Arlington Sheep Day is sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cooperative Extension of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, and the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative. For more information on Arlington Sheep Day, contact Todd Taylor (608-846-5858, or Claire Mikolayunas (608-890-3802, For more information on the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative Annual Meeting & Recognition Banquet or membership to the WSBC, contact Jill Alf, Executive Secretary-Treasurer (608-868-2505,

Annual Meeting Banquet & Recognition Program University of Wisconsin-Madison Arlington Agricultural Research Station, Arlington, Wisconsin

Saturday, March 10, 2012 REGISTRATION Name (s): _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Address:_ _____________________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: _ _______________________________________________________________________ Phone: Email:__________________________________________________________________________ Registration Fee



Morning Educational & Youth Afternoon Session



WSBC Annual Meeting & Recognition Dinner Leg of lamb & pork loin dinner—open to educational attendees and WSBC members



2012 WSBC Annual Membership Dues See additional membership information needed below



Registration Deadline: February 24, 2012


Total Due

Additional WSBC Membership Information: Membership Name (for listing):____________________________________________________________ Farm Name: ___________________________________________________________________________ Breed(s) of Sheep Raised: ________________________________________________________________ Website:_______________________________________________________________________________ Make checks payable to WSBC/send to: Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Co-op, 7811 N. Consolidated School Road, Edgerton, WI 53534

Public Events Facility Arlington Agricultural Research Station N695 Hopkins Rd., Arlington, WI Directions: The Public Events Facility is located east of Interstate Hwy 90 approximately 14 miles north of Madison. Arriving from the south on I-90: Exit at DeForest (Hwy V). Go left (west) on Hwy V over I-90. Take first right (north) onto Hwy I. Go north on Hwy I approximately 4 miles to Hwy K. Turn right (east) onto Hwy K. Go approximately 2 miles on Hwy K and turn right (south) onto Hopkins Rd. Go approximately ½ mile to Public Events Facility. Arriving from the north on I-90: Exit at Arlington (Hwy 60). Go right (east) on Hwy 60 approximately 3.5 miles. On the west side of Arlington, turn right (south) on Hwy I and go approximately 2 miles to Hwy K. Turn left (east) onto Hwy K. Go approximately 2 miles on Hwy K and turn right (south) onto Hopkins Rd. Go approximately ½ mile to Public Events Facility.


The Wisconsin Shepherd

Winter 2012

18th Annual Indianhead Shepherd’s Clinic Scheduled The Indianhead Sheep Breeders Association will hold its 18th Annual Shepherd’s Clinic and Trade Show on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at the Wisconsin Indian­head Technical College Confer­ence Center in Rice Lake, WI. The producer group represents twenty two counties in northwest Wiscon­sin and draws on average over 200 attendees to its yearly clinic. The all-day events features concurrent educational sessions for beginning to experienced shepherds, covering a wide variety of topics, along with a trade show, silent auction, youth program along with a lamb and baked chicken barbeque luncheon program that includes a live auction, awards and scholarship presentations. The keynote speaker for this year’s clinic program will be Dr. Mike Thonney, professor and Director of the Cornell Sheep Program, who will address accel­ erated lambing systems, barn versus pasture lambing, and form­ u­lating diets for fermentable fiber. Dr. Thonney grew up on a farm in the Palouse Hills of Washington where he had a small flock of Hampshire sheep. He graduated in

animal science from Washington State University in 1971 and received his M.S. (1973) degree in nutrition at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Thonney joined the Cornell Animal Science facility in 1975. He currently conducts research in growth, nutrition and management of cattle and sheep, and teaches Animal Science 380 —Sheep and Animal Science 360—Beef Cattle in alternating spring semesters. In 1998 he began directing the Cornell Sheep Program. He has taken sabbatical leaves in Scotland, California and New Zealand. Other clinic speakers will in­ clude Claire Mikolayunas, Small Ruminant Specialist, Univer­sity of Wisconsin-Madison, who will be discussing facilities; Justin Luther, University of WisconsinRiver Falls, who will speak on reproductive technology; Pearse Ward, President of the Wisconsin Working Stock Dog Association discussing stock dogs; Ron Role, representing the American Sheep Industry Association, and Dave Thomas, UW-Madison, who will talk about the economics of finishing out lambs versus selling light lambs. There will

also be an “Ask a Vet” session featuring Cindy Wolfe, DVM and a producer panel, including Bear Creek, WI veterinarian and producer Bob Leder. Sandi Bombard, Goldenrod Web Design will discuss website and social media usage for a business. In addition to the advanced educational program, a concurrent youth and beginner session will cover raising a market lamb for the fair, from selection to feeding and showing. All youth attendee names will be submitted for an opportunity to win a $50 voucher towards the purchase of an ISBA Spring Sale lamb. Registration fees are $30 for ISBA members, $45 for nonmembers, and $15 for youth ($45 maximum youth charge per family). Late registration fee after January 31 and at the door is an additional $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Fees include continental breakfast, refreshments and lunch. Discounted rooms are available at the nearby Rice Lake Best Western for Friday night. Reserve by calling 715 234-7017 and mention the Indianhead Sheep Breeders Association Shepherd’s Clinic. Additional information,


T he Way To Go!

spon­sorship opportunities or trade show information is avail­ able by contacting Craig Johnson at 715 667-3499. On-line regis­ tration is available at the Barron

County Extension website http:/ or download a registration form at www.indian

Central Livestock Association A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International

We sell sheep every day in Zumbrota • Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon.

We also have a sheep and goat auction on Tuesdays at 8 a.m., and a Breeding Sheep & Breeding Goat sale on the 1st Tuesday of every month, in conjunction with our regular Tuesday auction, starting at 10 a.m. Zumbrota 877-732-7305 • Tom Ostlie 612-532-0966

Wisconsin Junior Targhee Sheep Association Announces 2012 Starter Flock Giveaway The Wisconsin Junior Targhee Sheep Association will be giving away a starter flock of three Targhee ewes in 2012 to a lucky Wisconsin youth. Applicants must be aged 12 to 17 as of January 1, 2012, must be a resident of Wisconsin, and must not currently raise Targhee sheep. The winner must also be eligible and agree to exhibit their animals at both the 2112 Wisconsin State Fair open sheep show and Wisconsin Junior State Fair sheep show. The winner will receive a combination of ewe lambs, yearling ewes and/or brood ewes, and take ownership

of the animals before any 2012 State Fair ownership deadlines. The Targhee breed has a long history in Wisconsin, and the purpose of this program is to promote growth and visibility of the breed along with promoting youth involvement and education within the breed. Applications are available on-line at http://, and are due no later than April 1, 2012. For more information or questions, please contact Leslie & Jeff Nevens at 608-592-7842, or AandJNevensLivestock@frontier. com.

Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association’s Wisconsin Lamb Pool LVSURYHQDVRQHRIWKHPRVWSUR¿WDEOH forms of marketing lambs for the progressive sheep producer. We have a reputation for supplying quality lambs to our buyers. For more information or a lamb pool schedule, please call 800-362-3989, ext. 131.


401 Commerce Ave. Baraboo, WI 53913 800-362-3989

This was the cover to the first issue of the Wool Growers News, April 1935. The Depression was easing, but wool production had dropped 12 -18% from the year previous. Forty one years later, the Great Lakes Cooperative Wool Growers, successor to the Wisconsin Co-op Wool Growers Association, would cease operations and its Waukesha warehouse would be sold.

Winter 2012

The Wisconsin Shepherd

Southdown Breeders Announce Sale and Starter Ewe Program The Wisconsin Southdown Stars Sale and Symposium will be held on April 21st, 2012 at the UW Agriculture Research Center Public Events Building, Arlington, WI. Details can be found at the Wisconsin Southdown Association’s website (www. Several short educational sessions will start the day and will cover an update on genetic testing related to the Southdown breed as well as experienced breeders sharing lessons learned on feeding, fitting and management of Southdowns. Viewing of sale lots will begin at 11:00 with the sale starting promptly at 12:00 noon. The 2012 “Starter Ewe Lambs” will be awarded to several Wisconsin youth at the event. Starter ewe lamb applications are due on March 26th and can be found at the website listed above. The Starter Ewe Lamb program is in its 5th year and has been an extremely successful way for youth who currently don’t have Southdown breeding sheep to get a start in the breed. The youth are provided a high quality ewe

lamb and mentorship from the donating breeder until the lamb is of breeding age. Southdowns have become one of the most popular breeds in Wisconsin for youth sheep projects due to the strong network of breeders, the Southdown’s moderate size, good temperament and that the breed when shown is “slick sheared” by the youth before showing; eliminating the cost and time of fitting. Futurity nominated ewe lambs purchased at this sale in 2012 will be eligible for a $500 jackpot sponsored by the WI Southdown Association. The jackpot will be awarded to the highest placing ewe in the American Southdown Breeders Association (ASBA) Pot O Gold Futurities. This jackpot is in addition to any monies awarded by the ASBA. In 2011, the winner of the largest of the ASBA Futurities, the ewe lamb futurity, was purchased at this sale! If you are unable to visit the association’s website and need more details on the event, please contact Amy Jones at 920 2535473.


ISBA Schedules Spring Sale The Indianhead Sheep Breeders Association will hold its annual Spring Sheep Sale on Sunday, April 1, at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Mann Valley Farm. The sale will be conducted by auctioneer Jon Mork and will feature highquality club lambs and purebred breeding stock from some of the top breeders in Wisconsin and Minnesota. A youth clinic will be presented prior to the sale, along with a silent auction of donated products. The ISBA Spring Sheep Sale is a primary source for county and state fair market class lambs in northwest Wisconsin and

eastern Minnesota, with several county fair champions purchased every year. The UW-River Falls Mann Valley Farm is located west of River Falls, 2.5 miles west of Main Street on County Highway MM and north on S. Glover Road. Viewing and weighing will begin at 11:00 am, with the youth clinic starting at 12:00 noon, with the sale following at 1:00 pm. Cash or good checks with picture ID will be accepted. For more information or to register lambs for the sale, contact Corrine Arnevik-Hanson at 715 205-9603.

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The Wisconsin Shepherd

Winter 2012

Bred Ewe Sale continued from page 1 Bidding heated up in the wether-type sheep, with a winter ewe lamb from David and Romaine Ace going to Shawn O’Donovan for $700. O’Donovan took the gavel on a second winter lamb consigned by Brandon and Michelle Knutson of Clinton, WI for $275, and then on a spring ewe lamb from Jim and Sue Rupnow, Wausau, WI at $350. Crystal Novak of Browntown, WI chased the high bid in the wether types, taking home a Rupnow yearling at $700, while Hayden Taylor, Arlington, WI, picked up the third Rupnow entry, a spring lamb, at $400. Jillian Bingen bought the second Knutson entry, another spring lamb, at $250, rounding out the wether-type sheep with an average of almost $450. The Polypays saw spirited interest as a mature ewe consigned by the University of WisconsinMadison took the champion nod, selling to Irish Acres of Rio, WI at $550. The reserve Polypay honors went to a winter ewe lamb entered by Don and Mary

at $475 and then a winter lamb to Klas for $450. A spring ewe lamb from S & C Hamps of Juneau, WI went home with Mason and Avery Crooks of Lancaster, WI for $450, while a spring ewe consigned by Mark and Kay Suehs, Manawa, WI brought $375 from Allen Fehrman/Sky Hi Ranch of Tilledo, WI. A Suehs yearling ewe stood reserve in the class and gaveled in at $475 from Greg Whalen of Arcadia, WI. Overall, the sale averaged just under $450 per head, compared to $292 in 2009, the last year the sale was held.

Hausser of Eagle. WI, which then sold to Sarah Cooper for $325. Cooper followed up by buying Hausser’s second winter lamb entry for $325, while Hausser’s mature ewe gaveled to Colin Novak, Browntown, WI for $375 and their spring lamb to Irish Acres at $325. However, the UWMadison set the bar with a mature ewe going to Arduser Kids of Mechanicsville, IA for $500 and one to L Squared Farms, Lebanon, TN at $600, which pushed the average for the breed to $432. The Hampshires rolled up the second best average for the day of $461 on nine head. The UWMadison brought out three mature ewes, all of which sold to the Ron Cook Family of Mechanicsville, IL. Two of the ewes brought $500 each, while the third came in at $400. Dick and Mark Roembke of Cedarburg, WI entered a yearling ewe, which sold to Shady Chestnut Farm for $525. Gary Klug of Denmark, WI sold a Highland Hamps yearling ewe to Rick Klas of Cedar Grove, WI

The high-selling ewe at the recent Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Co-op Bred Ewe & Ewe Lamb Sale was consigned by Dick and Grace Piechowski, Waupaca, WI and sold to Morgan & Taylor Eilers, Weyauwega, WI for $750. The overall sale average exceeded $460, a substantial increase over the previous sale held in 2009.

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in Nationwide Overhaul The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) late Monday released what it calls its Blue­ print for Stronger Service, a widely anticipated overhaul of the agency’s operations, which among other changes will close 259 domestic offices, facilities and labs across the country and seven foreign offices. The plan is expected to save the agency about $150 million annually, USDA said in a news release. “Blueprint for Stronger Service [is] a plan that helps producers continue to drive America’s economy by streamlining oper­ ations and cutting costs,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said, in the release. Vilsack detailed the proposed changes to the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau on January 9, stressing the important achievements of American agriculture over the past three years. The Blueprint for Stronger Service is part of the Obama Administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste. The USDA office closings

Did you miss it?! Then mark your calendar for next year....

September 7-9, 2012 Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival

include: • Farm Service Agency (FSA): consolidate 131 county offices in 32 states; • Foreign Agricultural Service: close two country offices; • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS): close 15 APHIS offices in 11 states and five APHIS offices in five foreign countries; • Rural Development: close 43 area and sub offices in 17 states and U.S. territories; • Natural Resources Conservation Service: close 24 soil survey offices in 21 states; • Food Safety and Inspection Service: close five district offices in five states; • Agricultural Research Service: close 12 programs at 10 locations; and • Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services: close 31 field offices in 28 states. The Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center in Beaver, W.Va., is on the closure list. The American Sheep Industry

Association and its state members worked to change the decision about closing the Beaver center, which provides a vital service for sheep production in the East. On the chopping block in Wisconsin are a Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Marinette, and a Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) office in Madison. Notably, Illinois is slated to lose only a single Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) office in Chicago, while neighboring Indiana could lose 11 USDA offices statewide; Missouri 10; Minnesota 7 and Iowa 5. There was no estimate on how many employees would lose their jobs, retire or be forced to relocate. A complete list of locations being consolidated is at www. home?contentidonly=true&con tentid=blueprint_for_stronger_ service.html. Excerpted in part from the ASI Weekly email newsletter, January 13, 2012 and the USDA website.

Winter 2012

The Wisconsin Shepherd

2011 Make It With Wool Contest

The Wisconsin Make It With Wool Contest was held during the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival at Jefferson County Fair Park in Jefferson in September. Carol Battenberg of Johnson Creek, Wisconsin Director of Make It With Wool coordinated the event. There were twenty-one garment entries, a substantial increase from the previous year. The Novelty category continued to expand, with a wide range of entries including knitted garments, a child’s coat, felted accessories and felted artwork. Again this year, many entries included a knitted or crocheted item as part of the ensemble. Contestants competed for top prizes in the four garment divisions—Preteen, Junior, Senior and Adult. Garments must have been constructed during the contest year and made of wool or wool blend fabrics, wool yarn

or specialty fibers such as mohair and alpaca. Judging was done by three panels of judges who spoke with each contestant individually and then judged the construction of the garments. Judges were Sue Haviland of Lake Mills, Susan Putra of Watertown, Jolene Massuch of Watertown, Ann Riall of Whitewater. Susan Smith , Bentonville, Indiana, the 2010 National Make It With Wool adult winner, also served as a garment judge. Quilts and Novelty items were judged by Francette Hamilton of Evansville and Virginia Lienhard of Madison. A style show, coordinated by Becky Mehringer of Cambridge, was held during the afternoon. The Style Show featured all contestants modeling their unique and skillfully crafted garments before an appreciative audience. Winners in all categories were announced and prizes presented.

Preteen 1st Kristy Fitzgerald, Burlington Babylock sewing machine donated by M & R Sewing of Madison, WI 2nd Mariah Richardson, Dousman T-Fal iron donated by Nasco of Ft. Atkinson 3rd Brianna Jones, Big Bend Shears donated by Kari’s Sew Unique of Whitewater

Best Novelty Item 1st Carole Pine, Rio (Knitted cardigan) $50 cash award from Wisconsin MIWW 2nd Judy Almquist, Fort Atkinson (Child’s coat) $25 cash award from Wisconsin MIWW

Junior 1st Kirstin Franklin, Neenah Airfare to the National MIWW contest in Scottsdale in January, 2012 provided by Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative; Hotel accommodations paid by National MIWW 2nd Robyn Wittkopf, Pewaukee Serger donated by Wisconsin MIWW Senior 1st Chelsea Norquay, Monticello Airfare to the National MIWW contest in Scottsdale, AZ in January, 2012. Hotel accommodations paid by National MIWW 2nd Sara Sybesma, Delavan Serger donated by Wisconsin Make It With Wool Adult 1st Sara Von Tresckow, Fond du Lac $150 cash award from Wisconsin Make It With Wool Best Knitted Entry Robyn Wittkopf, Pewaukee $50 cash award from Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill, Valders, WI 1st Place Challenge Quilt Lee Anne Richert, Cable $50 cash award from Sewing With Nancy Best Quilt Overall Joan Campbell, Ft. Atkinson $100 cash award from Sewing With Nancy

Best Afghan Karen Kottwitz, Hartford $25 cash award from Wisconsin MIWW


2011 Make It With Wool winners included Adult Division, Sara von Tresckow, Fond du Lac; Preteen Division, Kristy Fitzgerald, Burlington; Senior Division, Chelsea Norquay, Monticello; and Junior Division, Kirstin Franklin, Neenah. Adult winner von Tresckow received $150 cash award from the Wisconsin MIWW program.

Senior Division MIWW winner Chelsea Norquay will receive airfare to the National MIWW contest in Scottsdale, AZ in January of 2012, along with hotel accommodations paid by National MIWW, while runner up Sara Sybesma of Delavan received a serger donated by Wisconsin Make It With Wool program.

Junior division runner-up, Robin Wittkopf of Pewaukee, received a serger donated by Wisconsin Make It With Wool, while division winner Kirstin Franklin received airfare to the national competition in Scottsdale, AZ, provided by the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative, and hotel accommodations paid by the National MIWW program.

Mariah Richardson, Dousman, placed second in the Preteens Division, receiving a T-Fal iron donated by Nasco of Fort Atkinson. Kristy Fitzgerald, winner of the Preteen division, received a Babylock sewing machine donated by M&R Sewing of Madison, WI. Third place winner Brianna Jones, Big Bend, received a shears donated by Kari's Sew Unique of Whitewater.

Most creative/innovative use of wool Nancy Lindquist, Slinger (Framed artwork using felting and needlepunching) $50 cash award from Wisconsin MIWW All garment contestants received Pendleton wool and a variety of prizes which included sewing notions, books, yarn, hand-dyed wool and gift certificates from businesses throughout Wisconsin. Junior and Senior winners Kirstin Franklin and Chelsea Norquay will travel to the national competition in Scottdale, Arizona in January, 2012. Adult winner Sara Von Tresckow will prepare a video featuring her garment and submit it to a national panel of judges. This year’s adult contest will be held in South Daklota in December. Winners will be notified with the top adult winner receiving a trip to the national contest in Scottsdale. The major sponsor of the Make It With Wool contest is the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative. Wisconsin Farm Bureau Ag In the Classroom, Jefferson County Agri-Business and Watertown Agri Business provide support to Make It With Wool along with numerous businesses and organizations throughout Wisconsin. The 2012 Make It With Wool competition will be held September 8, 2012 during the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival at Jefferson County Fair Park in Jefferson. For additional information, visit and click on Make It With Wool.

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The Wisconsin Shepherd

Winter 2012

extension news 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl and State State 4-H Meats Judging Contest Skillathon contests scheduled for Slated for February 18th The state 4-H Meats Judging Contest All of the information pertain­ing to this March 3, 2012 is scheduled for February 18th at the contest is located on the Extension Youth The 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl and State 4-H Skillathon contests will be held together on Saturday March 3, 2012 at UW Madison Animal Sciences Building, Madison, WI. Deadline for registration is Friday, Feb 24, 2012. The cost is $6 per youth. Registration starts at 9 a.m., competitions start at 9:30 a.m. Teams are encouraged to participate in both contests as they will be occurring at the same time. Senior teams will start with the Skillathon contest. Junior and Mixed teams will complete the Skillathon Contest as soon as their team is finished with Quiz Bowl and the Seniors have complete the Skillathon Contest. The planning committee reserves the right to alter schedule if needed. The teams are divided into three age divisions and teams can consist of 3 or 4 members. The junior division are youth who are under 14 years of age as of Jan.1, 2012. The senior division are youth who are all 14 years of age or older as of Jan. 1, 2012. A mixed team must contain at least one youth from each age division. Livestock Bowl is a quiz competition where all the ques­tions are about beef, sheep, swine, and meat goat topics and students use a buzzer in order to answer the questions. Teams compete in a double elimination format by giving oral answers to questions posed by a moderator. Each match has both an individual and tossup question round. The winning 4-H senior team will represent Wisconsin

at the National 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl competition in Omaha, NE at the AKSARBEN Livestock Exhibition. Skillathon contest is made up of a written quiz and learning stations such as breed identifica­tion, feed identification, equip­ment identification as well as some team activities such as demonstrating evaluation skills. The top Senior level 4-H team will represent Wisconsin at the National 4-H Skillathon Contest, held each fall in Louisville. Competition in Quiz Bowl & Skillathon encourages members to develop a more complete knowledge of animals and related subjects. This contest provides an educational program for all project members, including those who may not own a project animal, and provides a way to develop self-confidence. These programs are a great parallel to some similar programs that breed associations and other organizations conduct such as Junior Cattle Nationals, NJSA (National Junior Swine Association) and the All-American Sheep Show. For more information and registration information, contact Bernie O’Rourke, UW Extension Youth Livestock Specialist and contest coordinator at (608) 2634304, or the Animal Science Youth Website at http:// quizbowlskillathon/.

University of Wisconsin —Madison, Meat Laboratory. Registration is from 12:30 to 1 p.m. with the contest starting at 1 p.m. The highest scoring senior team will participate in the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest in Manhattan, KS. The second place senior team may participate in the National Western 4-H/FFA Meat Judging contest in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Livestock Website youth livestock/programs/4hmeats contest/. The deadline for registration is Friday, February 10, 2012. The registration form is on the website. If you have any questions please contact, Bernie O’Rourke, Extension Youth Livestock Specialist at borourke2@ansci. or 608-263-4304.

Wisconsin Youth Repeat as National Skillathon Champions For two years in a row, Wisconsin had the National Champion 4-H Skillathon Team at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louis­ville, KY! After Reserve Cham­pion finishes over the years, Wisconsin surpassed 17 teams to earn Championship honors. The skillathon team participated in individual and team stations of breed, equipment and meat identification, hay and wool evaluation, quality assurance, nutrition and marketing. “This contest captures youth’s well rounded knowledge of animal science. This is a fabulous finish for Grant County and the state of Wisconsin,” states Bernie O’Rourke, Extension Youth Live­stock Specialist. Team members were: Cordt Esser, Shea Esser, Amanda Patterson and

Brian Patterson. The team was coached by Dennis Patterson. The team was 1st overall, 1st in Identification, 5th in Evaluation and 1st in Quality Assurance. Individually Shea Esser was high individual overall, 1st in Evaluation, and 1st in Quality Assurance. Amanda Patterson was 5th overall, 4th in Identification and 8th in Quality Assurance. Brian Patterson was 5th in Identification. This team won their respective contest at the state level in order to earn the right to represent Wisconsin. A huge congratulation goes to these youth for working hard in preparation for this contest and representing Wisconsin. Contact Bernie O’Rourke, borourke2@ansci.wisc. edu, 608-263-4304, if you have questions about livestock teams.

Winter 2012

The Wisconsin Shepherd

Animal Activists Take Credit for Feedlot Fire that Destroyed 14 Trucks Arson is suspected in a fire that destroyed 14 trucks at one of California’s largest cattle feeding operations, and an anonymous group of animal rights activists has claimed responsibility for the blaze through the North American Animal Liberation Press, a clearinghouse for activists. No humans or animals were hurt in the fire, which was set between 3:30 a.m. and 3:45 a.m. Pacific Time Sunday at the Harris Farms feedlot in Fresno County, Calif. Several law enforcement agencies are investigating the incident, which also caused fire and smoke damage to several cattle trailers. According to Mike Casey, the company’s vice president of risk management and human resources, the company had not received any recent threats from animal activists. “We did not sustain any interruption in our business, and we do not have an estimate yet of the extent of the damage,” Casey said.

The feedlot typically has from 100,000 to 120,000 head of cattle on feed at any given time. In an anonymous communiqué provided to the media, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), an underground group that the FBI identifies as a domestic terrorist organization claimed to have set the fire and indicated that “containers of accelerant were placed beneath a row of 14 trucks with four digital timers used to light four of the containers and kerosene-soaked rope carrying the fire to the other 10.” The group reported that “we were extremely pleased to see that all 14 trucks were a total loss” with some being “completely melted to the ground.” The message ended with a call for other wouldbe terrorists to commit additional acts of violence against agriculture producers. Excerpted in part from the American Sheep Industry Association weekly email newsletter—January 13, 2012.

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Specialty Meat Plants in Wisconsin Can Sell Across State Lines Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has amended state inspection rules to allow Wisconsin’s specialty meat plants to sell their products across state lines for the first time. “These small, state-inspected meat processors have a vital place in our heritage, and now we can help assure they are just as important to our future,” Walker said in a statement. “This new opportunity promises to increase their investments in personnel and capital, adding jobs and building the tax base in our state’s rural areas.” Walker authorized the Wis­ consin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, to begin the process of amending the administrative rule known as ATCP 55, which governs meat inspection in the state. The process will incorporate new federal regulations into the state regulation to allow meat from state-inspected meat plants to cross state lines. Currently, only meat from plants inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture may be sold across state lines. Plants can choose to be regulated by state governments instead, but then they can sell their meat products only within their own states. Congress changed that law

in 2008 and published regulations to carry out the law last May. States must get federal approval and formally adopt those federal regulations before their meat slaughterers and processors can voluntarily participate in the program. Wisconsin has about 275 stateinspected meat plants and about 145 federally-inspected plants. Reprinted from the ASI Weekly email newsletter, January 13, 2012


Humane Castrator for Newborn Livestock Introduced The U.S. company known for inventing the premiere hightension banding castration tool on the market is now introducing a lighter, sleeker version designed to bring the same humane, userfriendly technique to newborn calves, sheep and goats. No-Bull Enterprises is unveil­ ing the next generation of innovation in bloodless castration with the Callicrate ‘WEE’ Bander™, an instru­ ment crafted from surgical quality, corrosion resistant stain­ l­ess steel. It is designed to insure proper ligation with every appli­ cation—the key to effective humane castration and a signature feature of the Callicrate Bander® which has been manufactured and distributed worldwide since 1991 with more than 50,000 units sold. Achieving adequate tightness is the single most essential com­ ponent in reducing stress during banding, according to animal welfare experts like Colorado State University animal science professor Temple Grandin. “Previously, the only banding option available for the smaller animals was the green elastrator ring,” says inventor Mike Callicrate, owner of No Bull Enterprises, based in St. Francis, Kansas. “We used the same simple technology, but combined it with a means of attaining proper tension, resulting in a complete ligation. In replacing the elastrator rings, which lack sufficient tension and are considered the most stressful method of castrating young animals, the ‘WEE’ Bander™ also provides an alternative to castration with a knife, which is probably the second most stressful method you can use.” Studies of high tension band­ing have demonstrated that the complete negation of blood flow triggers a natural analgesic effect that blocks pain while minimizing swelling and related complications. “While in New Zealand test­ ing our high tension banding technology, I castrated a set of lambs with veterinarian John Southworth,” Callicrate says. “All of the lambs receiving the elastrator rings showed extreme discomfort,” Callicrate continues. “They were rolling around bleating and kicking. The lambs with the high-tension Callicrate bands, both

Calling it the “next generation” of humane tools for bloodless castration, the Callicrate ‘WEE’ Bander TM has just been introduced by No-Bull Enterprises of St. Francis, KS. The high tension banding system can replace standard elastrator rings, significantly reducing stress levels, pain and complications while, the company claims, measuring up to public expectations on animal care and wellbeing. newborn and larger in size, were comfortable and back suckling their mothers right away. We checked on the lambs frequently. The lambs with elastrator rings were still showing signs of pain 24 hours later. The high-tension banded lambs were lying around comfortably and nursing, similar to what we would expect to see based on our results with cattle.” Those findings are consistent with research at the University of California-Davis, which showed high tension banding generated a more localized immune response with no discernible depression in appetite or rate of gain when used on young bulls. “The stress of using an elastra­ tor ring, which lacks sufficient tension to block pain, doesn’t meet the public’s heightened standards for humane animal treatment,” Callicrate says. By insuring proper application of the band, the Callicrate ‘WEE’ Bander™ measures up to the increasingly rigorous worldwide emphasis on animal care and well-being. Not only is the Callicrate method for high-tension banding the most stress-free castration method for the animal, it’s also easiest for the person performing the operation. With the Callicrate Bander®, band application is mechanically assisted to insure consistent results every time. The ‘WEE’ Bander™

is even lighter weight, just as fast, effective and bloodless, but requires no manual cutting or crimping of the rubber loop. The process works like this: the operator loads a rubber loop on a triangular nosepiece at the front of the applicator and places it around the testicles of the newborn calf, lamb or goat. Once both testicles are within the loop, the operator simply releases a small thumb tab to secure the band firmly in place. The process of tightening the band around the testicles to reach proper compression is very quick and simple and requires no cutting of the banding material. “The bands are specially form­ ulated to withstand and maintain the high tension needed for consistent results,” Callicrate says. “The correct formulation and curing of the rubber gives it the elasticity, strength and memory for fail-proof application.” Like the Callicrate Bander®, the Callicrate ‘WEE’ Bander™ is made in the USA using the highest quality materials. It is essentially maintenance free. Five loops are included with each ‘WEE’ Bander. Additional loops can be purchased in bags of 25 or 100. For more information, visit or call 1-800-858-5974.

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The Wisconsin Shepherd

Meat Animal Project Webinars Announced UW Extension will be hosting a series of Meat Animal Project Webinars this winter for Fair Board staff, meat animal project superintendents and project volunteers who help create policy and structure to county livestock projects. These webinars are held in county extension offices throughout the state of Wisconsin and run from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The topics and dates are: Feb. 6 – Livestock Industry Standards: How they are to be utilized in organizing your county fair livestock shows. This session will discuss industry standards for Beef, Sheep, Swine and Meat Goats. Speakers are: Ron Russell, UW Madison; Claire Mikolayunas, Extension Small Ruminant Specialist and Bernie O’Rourke, Extension Youth Livestock Specialist. March 12 – Does your fair get the all clear from DATCP? Sign on to this session to learn more about proper collection and record keeping of required documentation. Get all of your questions answered. Speaker:

Dr. Paul McGraw, Assistant State Veterinarian. Meat Animal Project webinar programs are provided as a service of the UW Cooperative Extension and the UW-Madison Department of Animal Sciences, and are hosted by Bernie O’Rourke, Extension Youth Livestock Specialist. The webinar system provides a two-way voice & visual communication between speakers and listeners from participating County Extension Offices in Wisconsin and are free to the public. If you wish to attend, please contact your local county Extensions office (http://www. in advance of each program to make sure the webinar site is open and program handout materials are available. The information for this program can be found at http://fyi.uwex. edu/youthlivestock/programs/ meat-animal-project-webinars/ Contact Bernie O’Rourke, Extension Youth Livestock Specialist, with questions at 608263-4304 or borourke2@ansci.

Heinold Feeds

Winter 2012

Wisconsin Wool Works! New Consignors Welcome The Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Co-op’s retail arm, the Wisconsin Wool Works! is looking for additional consignors. In its twelfth year located in the Sheep & Goat Barn at the Wisconsin State Fair, the educational and retail sales booth is a priority stop for many fairgoers, some of whom return year after year looking for the latest fiber artistry out of Wisconsin. Carol Black, manager

of the WWW! since its inception in 1999, says the popular booth saw a record resurgence of sales last year, thanks to a remodeling effort and new displays. In addition to hand-made clothing such as sweaters, scarves, hats and accessories, the booth also boasts children’s books, hand care products, toys, jewelry and art work. The emphasis is on Wisconsin fiber artists and

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small businesses says Black and she is always on the lookout for new items that would appeal to the customer base the booth has established over the years. Anyone wishing to consign to the Wisconsin Wool Works! should contact Carol Black at 920 623-3536 or email carol@ The Wisconsin State Fair runs from August 2 -12, 2012.

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Winter 2012

The Wisconsin Shepherd


Out-Wintering Pasture Walk, Lamb Futures Discussion Scheduled Cody & Ruth Hiemke will be hosting an out-wintering pasture walk, lamb futures talk and potluck lunch at their farm on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The Hiemke’s sixty ewe Mapleton Mynd Shropshire Flock is managed on 12 acres between Cambridge and Stoughton. The production-oriented flock has been on the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP, the US sheep industry’s organization that generates estimated breeding values) for four years and the focus of the flock is to sell commercially oriented stud rams. Into his second winter, Hiemke has improved his winter sheep management while still working at increasing pasture productivity and converting five acres of hardwood - under grown with buckthorn - into productive pasture. Hiemke also manages the lamb & pork programs for Niman Ranch, a natural meat company. Dave Johnson, Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales, will discuss lamb and beef futures, and a potluck lunch and round table producer discussion will follow the futures presentation. There will be lots of opportunity for questions and networking with existing graziers. Shepherds are encouraged to mark the date, bring a dish to pass and be sure to attend. Mapleton Mynd Shropshire Farm is located at 1773 Koshkonong just Nasco Farm &Road, Ranch south Wisconsin of I 90-39. Shepherd There is no 2012 registration fee to Winter attend but please contact Kirsten Jurcek,WS1202 Grazing Education Specialist, Town & Country RC&D at (920) 342-9504 or by January 27th to register. This event is sponsored by Town & Country RC&D, with funds from the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Program (GLCI) and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.


As of Jan. 1, 2011, there were 5.53 million head of sheep in the United States1. Sheep are produced in all 50 states. However, the highest sheep-producing states are located west of the Mississippi River, where most of the larger sheep ranches reside. The eastern part of the country supports a greater number of smaller, pasture-based operations. Following is a state ranking of the total number of sheep and lambs as of Jan. 1, 2011: 1. Texas...................... 880,000 2. California .............. 610,000 3. Colorado ............... 370,000 4. Wyoming .............. 365,000 5. Utah ....................... 280,000 6. South Dakota .........275,000 7. Idaho ..................... 235,000 8. Montana ............... 230,000 9. Oregon .................. 215,000 10. Iowa ...................... 200,000 11. Arizona ................. 150,000 12. Minnesota ............ 130,000 13. Ohio ...................... 129,000 14. New Mexico.......... 110,000 15. Pennsylvania .......... 98,000 16. Virginia .................... 90,000 17. Wisconsin ............... 90,000

18. Missouri .................. 81,000 19. North Dakota ......... 78,000 20. Oklahoma ............... 75,000 21. Michigan................. 74,000 22. Nebraska................. 74,000 23. Kansas..................... 70,000 24. New York ................ 70,000 25. Nevada .................... 68,000 26. Illinois ..................... 56,000 27. Washington ............ 56,000 28. Indiana ........................50,000 29. Tennessee ............... 35,000 30. Kentucky................. 34,000 31. West Virginia .......... 34,000 32. North Carolina.........27,000 33. Other States* ........ 140,000 34. New England** ........51,000

* Other States includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland (number of sheep and lambs listing only), Mississippi, New Jersey and South Carolina. NASS does not report individual numbers for these states. ** New England includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

In 2010, there were 81,000 sheep farms and ranches in the United States2. Through genetics, sheep producers in the United States tend to produce a dual-purpose animal – one that is valued for both its meat and its wool. Sheep are also raised for producing milk, some of which is processed into cheese. Following is a ranking of the total sheep operations per state based on 2008 data3: 1. Texas.......................... 8,700 2. Arizona .......................5,000 3. California .................. 4,100 4. Pennsylvania ............ 3,800 5. Iowa ........................... 3,500 6. Ohio........................... 3,400 7. Oregon ...................... 3,200 8. New Mexico .............. 2,900 9. Wisconsin ................. 2,800 10. Minnesota ................ 2,500 11. Washington .............. 2,400 12. Michigan................... 2,300 13. Missouri .................... 2,200 14. Virginia .......................2,100 15. Indiana ..................... 2,000 16. Illinois ....................... 1,900 17. Oklahoma ................. 1,900 18. New York .................. 1,800

19. South Dakota ........... 1,700 20. Colorado ................... 1,600 21. Utah .......................... 1,600 22. Montana ................... 1,500 23. Kentucky................... 1,400 24. Nebraska................... 1,300 25. North Carolina ......... 1,300 26. Tennessee: ............... 1,300 27. West Virginia ............ 1,300 28. Idaho......................... 1,200 29. Kansas....................... 1,200 30. Wyoming ..................... 900 31. Maryland ..................... 800 32. North Dakota .............. 680 33. Nevada ......................... 250 34. Other States* ............ 5,600 35. New England** ......... 3,000

Source: USDA, NASS, Sheep & Goats, Jan. 28, 2011. Source: USDA, NASS, Farms, Land in Farms and Livestock Operations 2010 Summary, February 2011. 3 Source: USDA, NASS, Farms, Land in Farms and Livestock Operations 2008 Summary, February 2009. 1 2



The Wisconsin Shepherd

Calendar of Events January 25-28—American Sheep Industry Association Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ. For details: or 303 771-3300. February 1—Out-Wintering Pasture Walk, Lamb Futures Discussion & Potluck, Mapleton Mynd Shropshire Farm, Stoughton, WI. 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. No fee, but register by January 27 by contacting Kirsten Jurcek, Town & Country RC&D, 920 342-9504 or kjurcek1@centurytel. net. February 4—Indianhead Sheep Breeders Shepherds Clinic, Indianhead Technical College, Rice Lake. (see story this issue). February 15—Winter Grazing Meeting, Columbia/Dodge Grazing Network, Randolph Community Center, Randolph, WI. Information: Kirsten Jurcek, Town & Country RC&D, 920 3429504 or George Koepp, UW-Extension Columbia County, 608 742-9682 February 16—EWEniversity. Begin six-week educational outreach program for sheep producers, Iowa County UWEX, Dodgeville, WI. Contact Gene Schriefer, 608 930-9850 or gene.schriefer@ (please see course description elsewhere this issue). February 18—State 4-H Meats Judging Contest, University of Wisconsin-Madison Meats Labor­atory. Bernie O’Rourke, 608 263-4304, February 24—DEADLINE: Registration for Arlington Sheep Day & Annual Meeting Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Co-op. See website: or contact Jill Alf, 608 868-2505 or March 10—2012 Arlington Sheep Day, Public Events Facility, Arlington Agricultural Research Center, Arlington, WI. (In conjunction with Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Co-op Annual Meeting) Registration Email wisbc@ or 608 868-2505. March 10—2012 ANNUAL MEETING, BANQUET & RECOGNITION DINNER Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Co-op, Public Events Facility, Arlington Agricultural Research Center, Arlington, WI. (In conjunction with 2012 Arlington Sheep Day) Reservations Email or 608 868-2505. March 23—Deadline: Copy and Ads, SPRING Issue, Wisconsin Shepherd Ads: Kelli Gunderson 815 821-5905. Copy: Bob Black 920 623-3536.

April 1—Indianhead Sheep Breeders Association Spring Sale, UW-Mann Valley Farm, River Falls, WI. Contact Corrine Arnevik-Hanson, 715 2059603. April 21—Wisconsin Southdown Stars Sale & Symposium. Public Events Building, UWMadison Agricultural Research Center, Arlington, WI. or Amy Jones at 920 253-5473. April 21-22—“Spring” Wisconsin Spin In, Waukesha Expo Center. Contact: Luci Williams, 262 623-0244. June 9—WLBA Spring Preview Show, Jefferson Fair Park, Jefferson. Information: or WLBA Executive Director Jill Alf, 608 868-2505 or

Ewesful Gifts

7868 State Road 73 Columbus, WI 53925 Order Toll Free 877 393-7385 or 920 623-3536 - free catalog

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Winter Grazing Meeting Scheduled The Columbia/Dodge Grazing Network will host a Winter Grazing Meeting at the Randolph Community Center on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. This informative event will focus on Grass based meat & pasture economics; and pasture management & interseeding. If you are considering grazing please join this group of graziers who have been networking for many years, sharing ideas, touring each others grazing farms and gaining insight on how to streamline their production, remain sustainable, and market their products. There will be lots of opportunity for questions, networking with existing graziers, and good conversation, so mark the date and be sure to attend. 9:30 – 10:00 Registration 10:00 – 11:00 Grass Fed Meat Economics, Brenda Boetel, UW River Falls, will discuss the projected direction of the grass based meat economy for 2012. A profitable time to be a grazier!

June 16-17—Wisconsin Livestock Show Camp, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis. Information: or WLBA Executive Director Jill Alf, 608 868-2505 or

11:00 – 12:00 Economics of Corn vs. Pasture, Paul Dietmann, UW Extension, Sauk County, will discuss the long term financial impacts of row crop production vs. pasture production. Don’t plow up those pastures yet!

June 19—Twilight Pasture Walk, Harland & Delight Walker Farm, Waterloo, WI. 5:00 p.m. – Dark. Potluck dinner. No fee but register by June 14 by contacting Kirsten Jurcek, Town & County RC&D, 920 342-9504 or kjurcek1@centurytel. net.

1:00 – 2:00 Pasture Management & Interseeding Grasses & Legumes, Paul Daigle, Marathon County Land Conservation Department, will discuss overall pasture management and grass and legume interseeding species and techniques. Beginning to experienced graziers will glean knowledge from Paul’s vast experience in pasture management and planning.

July 6—Deadline: Copy and Ads, SUMMER Issue, Wisconsin Shepherd. Ads: Kelli Gunderson 815 821-5905. Copy: Bob Black 920 623-3536. August 2-12—Wisconsin State Fair, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis.

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

2:00 – 3:00 Pasture Interseeding Panel Discussion “From the mouths of farmers” Grazing Farmer Panel: Gene Schrefer (Sheep Producer), Kevin Falk (Dairy and Beef producer) & Mike Gehl (Dairy Producer) will join Paul Daigle to discuss hands on personal experiences interseeding their pastures.

August 2-12—Wisconsin Wool Works! Sheep & Goat Barn, Wisconsin State Fair, West Allis. Contact Manager Carol Black for consignment information, or 920 6233536.

Registration Fee: $20.00

August 18—WLBA Summer Spectacular Show, Marathon Fair Park, Wausau. Information: or WLBA Executive Director Jill Alf, 608 868-2505 or

For more information contact Kirsten Jurcek, Grazing Education Specialist, Town & Country RC&D at (920) 342-9504 or kjurcek1@ Or George Koepp, UW-Extension Columbia County, (608) 742-9682 or This event is being sponsored by the Columbia/Dodge County Grazing Network, UW Cooperative Extension, and Town & Country RC&D with funds from the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Program (GLCI) and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. UW-Cooperative Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming including Title IX and ADA. To ensure equal access, please make requests for reasonable accommodations to any of the above.

September 7-9—2012 Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, Jefferson Fair Park, Jefferson, WI. www. September 21—Deadline: Copy and Ads, FALL Issue, Wisconsin Shepherd. Ads: Kelli Gunderson 815 821-5905. Copy: Bob Black 920 623-3536.

HIDDEN VALLEY FARM & WOOLEN MILL Clothing, jewelry, Christmas cards, stationery, stuffed animals, books, figurines and calendars for the sheep enthusiast.

Winter 2012

• Custom Carding • Roving & batts for spinning • Quilting batts & reconditioning • Hand-tied quilts • Registered Coopworth Sheep

Paul & Carol Wagner 14804 Newton Rd., Valders, WI 54245


Erdman Texel Sheep Texels – to put the MEAT back in your sheep! OPP Negative • Scrapie Certified


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Deadline: Friday, February 10, 2012 Checks Payable to: UW-Extension Columbia County P.O. Box 567, Portage, WI 53901

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The Business Directory Published by The Wisconsin Shepherd

3696 Country Aire Drive Cedarburg, WI 53012 262-377-1491 • Dick 262-375-0814 • Mark 4 Miles East of Jackson on SE Corner of Hwy. 60 and Country Aire Drive (Hwy. M)

“Ewe” too can join The Business Directory Members pay $110 for 4 issues or $40/issue; non-members $140 for 4 issues or $50/issue. Call Kelli at 815-821-5905.

For Your Advertising Needs, for Subscription Rates or to Receive a 4-week Complimentary Paper Contact:

The Country Today PO Box 570 Eau Claire WI 54702 715-833-9276 • 800-236-4004

The Wisconsin Shepherd, Winter 2012  

A Publication of the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative • 7811 Consolidated School Rd., Edgerton, WI 53534 •

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