Virginia’s sheep population of over 89,000 exists in all regions of the state. The state’s abundant forage resources, moderate climate, and close proximity to markets make Virginia ideally suited for a vibrant, diverse sheep industry. Multiple management and production systems are employed in the state, with the majority of lambs born in the spring and raised in a forage-based environment. Commercial, spring-lambing flocks comprise the majority of the industry which is supported by a strong seedstock industry. Growing segments include sheep raised for youth 4-H projects as well as hair sheep.
Extension sheep programs focus on assisting producers and the industry become more profitable and sustainable. Educational programs are delivered on a local and statewide basis to transfer new knowledge and technology to the farm. Additional programs assist producers in adding value to their sheep enterprise.