Small Ruminants: Southern Region Resources on Goat and Sheep Farming
According to the USDA, small ruminants, such as sheep and goats, have an important place in livestock production as producers of meat, milk and fiber products, in addition to other uses such as weed control and livestock shows.
Sheep, goat and other small ruminant enterprises offer many advantages for both beginning and experienced farmers. Small and productive, sheep and goats are well suited to grass-based and small-scale agriculture. They are relatively inexpensive compared to larger livestock -- a boon for limited-resource producers. And a growing market is opening the doors for value-added opportunities -- from meat products to cheese to fiber.
As interest in sustainable and alternative forms of livestock production systems grows, the need to provide unbiased, educational resources on small ruminant production, health, nutrition and marketing increases. SARE has a long history of supporting small ruminant production and marketing systems through grant-funded projects and practical resources that focus on improving the sustainability of small ruminant production systems, reinforce a sustainable relationship between animals and the environment, and aid farmers and ranchers in profitable marketing and value-added activities and products.
This topic room includes a collection of educational materials developed out of decades of SARE-funded small ruminant research for those interested in goat and sheep farming:
Also see this article: Multi-State Resource Tool Addresses Small Ruminant Production Needs
Educational Training Video: Year-Round Forage Production in the Southern Region
Pasture-based goat production is becoming one of the important enterprises for livestock farmers in the Southeastern U.S. However, most livestock farmers have not adopted sustainable forage programs and depend on hay and supplementary feedstuffs during times of reduced forage availability. Tuskegee University, in conjunction with Texas A&M University, Auburn University, Langston University, Mississippi State University, Alabama NRCS, and other organizations, has developed an educational training video whose goal is to aid farmers and ranchers in increasing the productivity, quality, and production of forages, as well as improve management of existing pastures for sustainable livestock production.
The video is a complementary resource to the Year-Round Forage Production Goat Handbook.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant (ES11-107), "Training for Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management in the Southern Region."