We plan to participate in the twoPLUS initiative with the goal of lambing 400 ewes next year instead of 300.
Wes Patton - California


A variety of resources and materials are available for you to learn about the Let’s Grow campaign. Whether you are new to the industry or wanting to participate in the twoPLUS program, you will find some valuable information here regarding sheep production. For more industry resources, visit www.sheepusa.org/Online_Resources.

Sheep Handbook

Now includes a CD-ROM

This reference handbook, covering the basics of sheep production,is for beginner and experienced sheep producers alike. Topics include Sheep Breeding, Forages, Handling, Health, Management, Marketing, Nutrition, Predator Control, Quality Assurance, Reproduction, Sheep Care, Wool, and Contact Lists for State Extension Personnel, State Extension Veterinarians and State Animal Health Officers.

  • Price: $74.45 each (includes shipping and handling)
  • Quantity: 1 per order
  • Volume Orders: $60 each for 10 books or more in multiples of 5.
  • Call to order: 303-771-3500 ext. 32. 25% restocking fee

Production Efficiency Topics

Mentoring is an invaluable way to transfer knowledge from the established to the new in any industry. In recognition of this fact, the American Sheep Industry Association has established a mentor/intern network on a state-by-state basis across the nation in an effort to attract and support new producers. These mentoring guidelines are designed to provide a resource for new and experienced producers alike, guiding them in their relationship and highlighting the impact that strong mentoring relationships can have on successful personal and professional development.
The Sheep Education Catalog provides information on opportunities to learn about sheep production, from online courses, webinars and university courses. Readers are encouraged to contact the author with course title, sponsor and website or descriptive information for new course listings and course updates for the next edition. Author contact: parsons@OptimalAg.com.
An example of individual budgets that can be manipulated to fit your enterprise with some key variables of quantity, prices, owner hours expanded and capital investments based on different regions of the country. This information will be updated as it become available and new regions will be added. Source: Various state agriculture economists.

Downloadable Resources

Educational Webinars

Reducing Labor at Lambing Time

Presenters Philip Berg and Mike Caskey of the Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program led discussions about labor-saving watering, feeding and bedding systems as well as presented layouts of warm lambing barns and sheep flow options.

The recording of the event has been compiled and is available for viewing at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2013-10-08_ReducingLaborAtLambingTime.wmv

A copy of the slides used for the presentation is posted at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2013-10-08_ReducingLaborAtLambingTime.pdf

Profitable Genetic Selection

To better serve the entire industry, the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) needs more seedstock producers to enroll, use the program to its full capacity and work with other NSIP breeders to develop genetic connections within the breed. It requires that commercial producers request that their seedstock providers deliver this data and purchase sheep with EBVs that are consistent with the needs of the flock. This technology generates estimate-breeding values (EBVs) based on performance data that is submitted by participating flocks. Reid Redden, Ph.D., North Dakota State University extension sheep specialist and NSIP chair, discussed how NSIP can help the U.S. Sheep Industry. 

The recording of the event has been compiled and is available for viewing at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2013-12-17_ProfitableGeneticSelection.wmv

A copy of the slides used by Dr. Redden for the presentation is posted at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2013-12-17_ProfitableGeneticSelection.pdf 

Managing Your Pastures Better: Management Intensive Grazing 101

Woody Lane, Ph.D., of Lane Livestock Services, a livestock nutritionist and forage specialist, offered valuable information on how to use sheep to manage forage in a sustainable and efficient way. By properly managing forages, feeding costs can be reduced, pastures improved, weeds reduced, break-even price reduced and profits increased. Good grazing requires knowledge and good technique.

The recording of the event has been compiled and is available for viewing at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2014-04-22_MIG101.wmv

A copy of the slides used by Dr. Lane for the presentation is posted at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2014-04-22_MIG101.pdf

Understanding Sheep Nutrition

Feed costs are the single largest expenditure for sheep producers and understanding nutrient requirements and meeting them economically is critical to profitable sheep production. Dan Morrical, Ph.D., Sheep Extension Specialist at Iowa State University, focused on key nutrients that sheep need in their rations, including protein, energy, minerals and vitamins as well as the software available to perform the necessary calculations. Reading feed tags to understand what is in the ration will also be covered.

The recording of the event has been compiled and is available for viewing at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2014-08-26_UnderstandingSheepNutrition.wmv

A copy of the slides used by Dr. Morrical for the presentation is posted at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2014-08-26_UnderstandingSheepNutrition.pdf

Accelerated Lamb Production: : an Opportunity to Build Markets and Increase Production Efficiency

Accelerated lamb production is a system of management that allows a ewe to give birth more than once per year. This creates a year-round supply of market-ready lambs. Creation of a steady, year-round supply of lambs is key to building new lamb markets and strengthening existing ones. By increasing reproductive efficiency (number of lambs produced per ewe per year), accelerated production also has the potential to decrease the cost of lamb production. Richard Ehrhardt, Ph.D., Sheep and Goat Extension Specialist at Michigan State University, presented the information.

The recording of the event has been compiled and is available for viewing at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2014-09-23_AcceleratedLambProduction.wmv

A copy of the slides used by Dr. Ehrhardt for the presentation is posted at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2014-09-23_AcceleratedLambProduction.pdf

Feeding and Producing Sheep for Maximum Fiber Production – Is It Realistic?

It takes a lot of work and management to acquire a prime fleece, and it sure does not slide off of the sheep's back. Amazingly, potential fiber production actually begins in utero and continues through the animal's life. What you feed the animal, when you feed the animal and how much you feed and don't feed the animal has a large impact on fiber production of an individual animal. This seminar, presented by Nancy Irlbeck, Ph.D., associate dean of academic affairs at Colorado State University, includes a brief primer on genetics, feeding management and husbandry systems to feed animals for wool - and a discussion of what is realistic and what is not. 

The recording of the event has been compiled and is available for viewing at the URL:


A copy of the slides used by Dr. Irlbeck for the presentation is posted at the URL:


A New Approach to Parasite Management in Sheep

Presenters from Fort Valley State University, including Will Getz, Ph.D., professor of animal science and extension specialist, and Thomas Terrill, Ph.D., assistant professor of animal science, discuss the current state of thinking on best management practices for control of internal parasites in sheep. This includes reducing dependence upon anthelmintic de-wormers through the use of diagnostic tools that allow targeted selective treatment of only the animals in the flock that actually need it, as well as the use of alternative (non-chemical) control technologies in an integrated parasite management system.  

The recording of the event has been compiled and is available for viewing at the URL:


 A copy of the slides used by Dr. Getz and Dr. Terrill for the presentation is posted at the URL:


University of Maryland Extension Webinars

2011:   Ewe and Doe Management (6); and Spring Worm Webinars (4)

2012:  Nutrition and Feeding (6)

2013:  Breeding Better Sheep and Goats (5)

Links to the recordings of these webinars are available at http://www.sheepandgoat.com/recordings.html.  There are also links to the PowerPoint presentations that accompanied each webinar.

Drought Recovery of Pastures and Hay Fields

The third session of the 2013 Ohio Sheep and Goat Web Series, presented by Rory Lewandowski and Jeff McCutcheon, Ohio extension eductors, speaking on "Drought Recovery of Pastures and Hay Fields," has been recorded and is available at http://go.osu.edu/2013Sheep-3. The presentation was given Feb. 18, 2013.


Artificial Insemination Techniques of Sheep and Goats

The second session of the 2013 Ohio Sheep and Goat Web Series, presented by Dr. Meghan Wulster-Radcliffe, CEO, American Society of Animal Sciences, speaking on "Artificial Insemination Techniques of Sheep and Goats," has been recorded and is available at  http://go.osu.edu/2013Sheep-2. The presentation was given Feb. 11, 2013.


Vaccination Programs for Sheep and Goats

The first session of the 2013 Ohio Sheep and Goat Web Series, presented by Dr. Eric Gordon regarding vaccination programs for sheep and goats, has been recorded and is available at http://go.osu.edu/2013Sheep-1. The presentation was given Feb. 4, 2013.


Webinar: Looking Towards the Future of Parasite Management through “Host-Colored” Glasses

The webinar is available at http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2012-12-11_ParasiteManagement.wmv.

A copy of the slides used by Dr. Bowdridge for the Parasite Management presentation is posted at the URL: http://www.optimalag.com/webinars/2012-12-11_ParasiteManagement.pdf.

Webinar: Capitalizing on the Mutual Benefits of a Mentoring Relationship

A presentation about the guidelines for forming, maintaining and completing a good mentoring relationship is provided, followed by producers sharing their mentoring relationship experiences. A recording of the webinar is available at www.optimalag.com/webinars/2012-11-13%2018.01%20Capitalizing%20on%20the%20Mutual%20Benefits%20of%20a%20Mentoring%20Relationship.wmv. This is a Windows Media file and plays on Windows Media Player. The mentoring guidelines PowerPoint slides are available at www.optimalag.com/webinars/Mentoring%20Relationship.pdf.

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