The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s 2021 Texas Sheep and Goat Expo will run Aug. 20-21 at the First Community Credit Union Spur Arena, 4722 Grape Creek Road in San Angelo. The expo returns to an in-person format after having to go virtual last year due to the pandemic.
The largest event of its kind in the U.S., the expo draws attendees from across the country as well as internationally.
“This year’s expo will highlight a deeper understanding of current consumer needs and opportunities available to producers to meet those needs — through both traditional and non-traditional marketing channels,” said Robert Pritz, AgriLife Extension regional program leader and event coordinator, San Angelo.
The expo kicks off at the conclusion of the 48th Annual Sheep and Goat Field Day at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo.
Aug. 20 expo highlights, sessions
On-site registration will begin at noon with lunch and time to visit exhibits.
Keynote speaker Galen Williams, associate business development manager for HEB, will discuss meat procurement at HEB and meeting the demands of the new lamb consumer.
A panel discussion, “Traditional and Non-traditional Marketing,” will follow. Providing the ethnic market perspective are Abdul Chaudhry, Chaudhry Halal Meats, North Carolina; Mustafa Makinzi, sheep and goat order buyer, and Saffet Kucukkarca, Ena Meat Packing, Texas and New Jersey.
Discussing the Texas traditional lamb harvest/fabricators perspective will be Jeffrey Hasbrouck, Double J Lamb, Inc., San Angelo and Colorado, and Zach Hagens, Capra Foods, Goldthwaite.
There will be four concurrent sessions that attendees may choose from after the panel discussion.
- Session A – Business and Marketing, Today’s Sheep and Goat Producer: How to Avoid the Bitter Weeds of Farm and Ranch Legal Issues. Session A will cover basic business entity setup, property rights/easements/condemnation, liability and Farm Service Agency considerations, and fence law basics.
- Session B – Health and Management, Toxic Plants in Sheep and Goats. This session will cover the importance of minerals in sheep and goat health and discuss parasites and fecal sampling.
- Session C – Wildlife Management. Predator management, feral hog trapping systems and planning an aerial predator hunt will be covered.
- Session D – Sheep and Goat 101: Five Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Raising Sheep. This will be a panel discussion comprised of AgriLife Extension experts and producers: Reagan Noland, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, and Reid Redden, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension sheep and goat specialist, both of San Angelo, and Chad Raines, producer, Dawson County.
Following the sessions, dinner will be served and feature keynote speaker Ryan Mahoney, president and CEO, Emigh Livestock, California. The first day of the expo will conclude with practicum sessions on animal handling equipment.
Aug. 21 expo highlights, sessions
The second day of the expo starts at 7 a.m. with breakfast. After a welcome, concurrent sessions will start; participants may choose which one to attend. The sessions and the topics to be discussed within them are as follows:
- Youth Program — Sheep and Goat Skill-a-thon program/contest.
- Wool Sheep — Management practices that improve lambing rate and survival; a panel discussion with three producers who have implemented effective strategies; revenue-generating opportunities with wool sheep; and a panel discussion to look at systems for Texas wool producers to optimize total return.
- Hair Sheep — Home processing of a dorper lamb, cooking dorper lamb at home, what to feed hair sheep and a panel discussion on operational success from a producer’s perspective.
- Club Lambs — Flock health and genetic testing, submitting samples for genetic testing and where the industry technology is now.
- Meat Goats — Meat goat artificial insemination, pregnancy detection through sonogram and blood testing, the history of meat goat production at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Sonora Experiment Station, and utilizing Spanish and Boer genetics for commercial production.
- Angora Goats — The American Mohair Assurance Program, running angora muttons, small-herd shearing and preparing your mohair for sale.
Expo attendees may register and pay online at https://tx.ag/TexasSheepandGoatExpo. The cost is $50 for adults, which includes admission for both days, lunch and dinner on Aug. 20, and breakfast and lunch on Aug. 21. Adult participants may also register at the door at a cost of $75.
The cost for youth is $15 per day, which includes meals, and an additional $15 for participation in the Youth Skill-a-Thon on Aug. 21. The cost for adults only attending the Skill-a-Thon is $15. The Skill-a-Thon price also includes breakfast and lunch.