The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) is inviting shepherds of all ages and from all sectors and regions to attend the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium on Dec. 4, to expand their knowledge of sheep nutrition and connect with peers.
For the first time in the association’s 71-year history, the annual symposium will be held entirely online. This year’s event will be offered in a condensed format, featuring multiple guest speakers making presentations in various formats and styles about flock nutrition. There is no fee to register.
OSIA has partnered with the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program and Ohio State University to make the event easily accessible for everyone. The OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) program will serve as the virtual host for the symposium from 2 to 5 p.m. through an interactive webinar.
Anyone interested in attending the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium, the OSIA annual meeting or the shepherds social hour later in the evening can register online at their convenience and completing the submission form with their name and email address to receive the meeting connection information.
Once registration is completed, registered guests will receive an email with access information for the webinar. Creating a Zoom account is not a requirement to participate. Registration may occur at any point leading up to the symposium. Guests are asked to register and join the meeting with their true first and last names.
The symposium’s first featured guest is Francis Fluharty, the current head of the Department of Animal and Dairy Science at the University of Georgia. Fluharty will address how to manage your feeding regimen, including feed processing, digestive upset and observing animal behavior. Fluharty will also cover the importance of providing a consistent mineral and vitamin program on a yearly basis.
The program will then transition to OSU’s new Extension beef cattle field specialist Garth Ruff, who will give a presentation on feeding wet forages. Although his current role emphasizes beef systems, Ruff has a background in both forage and sheep production. He and his family have firsthand experience in feeding wet forages to their sheep throughout the winter months. Ruff will review the necessary methods for harvesting and preserving wet forages, along with how to safely provide these feeds to small ruminants.
Additional presenters at this year’s event include Tim Barnes of OSU Extension ANR in Marion County, Christine Gelley of OSU Extension ANR in Noble County, and Brady Campbell of the OSU Sheep Team and Department of Animal Sciences. Barnes will present a collective view of the 2019 state fair carcass evaluations. Gelley and Campbell will present an intriguing update on university research related to sheep in the current year.
Immediately following the symposium webinar, the floor will be opened for the 2020 OSIA annual meeting. All in attendance for the symposium are welcomed to join, although only dues-paying members will have their votes counted on election items. Those who choose to attend the annual meeting exclusively may do so at the same same registration page as the symposium and join the webinar from 5 to 5:30 p.m.
Virtual shepherds social hour
At the adjournment of the annual meeting, all are encouraged to enjoy a lamb dinner individually and gather again at 7:30 p.m. for a virtual shepherds social hour. In a similar fashion to the prior Young Shepherds Assembly gatherings, this opportunity will allow shepherds to meet in an informal space to continue networking and share ideas on how to support and improve the sheep industry for current and future generations. All are welcome to join, regardless of age or experience level. The social hour will be hosted by Gelley, Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium co-chair, in a Zoom meeting room. To ensure cybersecurity, the Zoom link and password for this meeting room will be distributed during the symposium webinar or by special request.
The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association welcomes shepherds to join this year’s alternatively formatted symposium and will plan to welcome attendees in person to the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium at the Shisler Conference Center on OSU's Wooster campus on Dec. 3-4, 2021.
Zoom can be accessed either on the internet with a computer or smart device, or by dialing in on a cell or landline phone. Connection information will be in the confirmation email after registering.
If unable to attend the event live, there will be additional opportunities to view the recorded presentations. Recordings will be available for viewing on the OSU Sheep Team webpage in 2021.
For those in need of help registering for this event, contact Roger High, Campbell or Gelley using the information listed here: High, email@example.com or 614-246-8299; Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-434-3252; and Gelley, email@example.com or 740-305-3173.
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