SDSU Extension Accepting Applications for Emerging Sheep Producer Program

Brookings, SD – Applications are now available for the SDSU Extension Emerging Sheep Producers program. The program is designed for sheep producers who wish to develop or improve a full-time or part-time sheep operation, and is an opportunity for participants to deepen their knowledge of all aspects of the sheep industry and improve their skills needed to be successful shepherds.

Those eligible for the program must be over the age of 18 and have 10 years or less of sheep production management experience. If not currently involved in sheep production, participants should show a strong desire to manage a sheep operation in the future.

The program will run from September 2022 to August 2023 and will consist of a nine-session course combining workshops, webinars, practical field days and networking opportunities. Throughout the course, participants can expect to receive hands-on experience working with sheep and a step-by-step process for developing a personalized business management plan.

Whether a participant has ten or thousands of sheep, this course is designed to help mitigate risk and increase overall success in sheep farming. Participants can also expect additional support through personalized, one-on-one consultation visits to their own farm or with mentors, if needed.

Applicants must complete and submit the application form by July 31. Based on the application, up to 20 people will be selected to participate. Couples and family members are welcome to apply to the same operation. Participants should be committed to the entire program and actively participate in all program components with an open mindset to learning new ideas. If more than one individual per operation is accepted, both individuals must participate fully.

Funding for the project comes from work supported by USDA-NIFA under award number 2021-70027-34694 and registration fees.

The registration fee for participants is $200 per person or $300 per couple if they are members of the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association. The fee for those who are not members of the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association is $250 per person or $350 per couple.

Registration fees will be due upon acceptance into the program. With registration, attendees will receive a one-year membership in the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association, meals at in-person workshops, a lambing kit, an ASI sheep production manual and a grazing stick, as well as as other print and digital resources. In addition to the registration fee, participants will be expected to cover travel and hotel costs for in-person workshops.

Interested individuals can find more information or apply by visiting the SDSU Extension Emerging Sheep Producers program webpage.

For more information or questions, contact Kelly Froehlich, Assistant Professor and SDSU Sheep and Goat Extension Specialist, at or 605-688-5433, or Jaelyn Quintana, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist, at or 605-394-1722.

–SDSU extension

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