The Kansas State University Sheep and Goat Conference and trade show is slated for May 4-6, 2012 in Manhattan, with a registration deadline of April 15.
The program will be held at K-State's Weber Hall and its newly completed Sheep and Meat Goat Center.
"This is going to be an outstanding conference, consisting of talks related to selection, health, nutrition, management, reproduction, carcass quality, marketing, guardian animals, hand-spinning and dairy goat production," said Brian Faris, sheep and goat specialist with K-State Research and Extension.
Meat goats have become increasingly popular in Kansas in recent years and were added as a class in the Kansas Junior Livestock Show in 2005.
One reason for the introduction of the animals was the proliferation of the invasive weed, serecia lespedeza, in pastures in the Flint Hills. Cattle will only eat serecia in the early spring, giving it an advantage over native grasses which are grazed all season. Goats, however, will eat even mature serecia, keeping it grazed down and preventing seeding.
Speakers will include nationally-recognized extension specialists, veterinarians and producers, including Kreg Leymaster, Frank Craddock, Preston Faris, Dan Hale, Shelie Laflin, Justin Luther, Justin Waggoner, Bob Buchholz, Steve Burton, Noah Goddard, Bryce Gerlach and Faris.
Parts of the conference will be divided by specie, allowing attendees to gain information specific to the sheep or goats they raise, Faris said.
The trade show will showcase products and services related to nutrition, health, fencing, and other topics important to producers.
Participants will have the opportunity to sample lamb and chevon products, as well as enjoy ice cream produced in K-State's Call Hall for dessert.
Speaker information, a conference schedule, registration and vendor forms, as well as lodging information are available on the web: http://www.ksusheepandgoats.org. Questions also may be directed to Brian Faris at 785-532-1255 or [email protected] or Lois Schreiner at 785-532-1267 or [email protected].