Upper Cumberland goat and sheep farmers will gather at the Overton County Fairgrounds Friday, as the production in that field continues to increase across the region.
The fifth annual Small Ruminant Conference will bring together goat and sheep enthusiasts from 11 counties. UT Extension Agriculture Agent Jason Garrett said he hopes the two-day event will be an educational experience for producers.
“Goats and sheep can be hard to raise,” Garrett said. “There is a lot of things to it that you don’t think about. For example the health, we are going to have a veterinarian there doing a segment on how to keep them healthy. Especially goats, they’re very prone to getting parasites. Once a goat gets sick, they are just looking for a way to die it seems like.”
Garrett said the event continues to grow every year as goat and sheep production becomes more common.
“Goat and sheep production is becoming a very popular past time and agriculture hobby for a lot of individuals,” Garrett said. “They’re very popular for one, because they are a small animal, easy to handle. You can run them. You can produce them on a small piece of land, and in certain areas in the United States, there’s a market for them. You know, they’ve been bringing pretty good at the market.”
The event will cover many aspects of raising goats and sheep from fencing and predators to nutrition and reproduction.
“You can learn,” Garrett said. “The main thing is, we have a panel discussion. We get different producers up there and ask them questions about their different management practices. They’re learning from each other is also part of this.”
Garrett said tickets to the event are available through your local ag extension agent.