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Sheep Extension Programs

Shepherd's Symposium

This annual program provides education on current topics and research of interest to sheep producers. The one-day event includes a blend of lecture and demonstration sessions. The Symposium is typically held in early January, and location is rotated across the state.

Sheep 101 Workshop

This educational program is designed for new and beginning shepherds to provide hands-on experience and training in basic sheep production techniques. Topic areas include nutrition, health, genetics, reproduction, marketing, and management. Instruction includes opportunity for participants to work with sheep to learn necessary skills and attain experience. The Workshop will be held as a two-day event in October, as well as, annually in conjunction with the Shepherd’s Symposium.  

Virginia Ram Test

The Virginia Ram Test has existed at the Shenandoah Valley AREC since 1975. Ram lambs, consigned by the state’s producers, are developed and managed in a central location to provide objective information on economically important traits such as growth and carcass performance. The program concludes with an annual sale of rams the fourth Saturday in August.

Southwest AREC Ram Test

The Virginia Tech Southwest AREC Ram Test began in 2012 and consists primarily of Katahdin sheep breeders from across the United States. This program is unique and created with much discussion and interest across the industry. Through the forage-based ram performance test, designed specifically to quantify growth and parasite resistance in rams. 
The program concludes with an annual field day and sale of rams the fourth Friday in September.