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Small scale sheep & goat production

Small scale livestock production is a good option for new and beginning farmers. This presentation includes tips from other farmers on production, management, stewardship and more. For more, visit: http://www.extension.org/pages/54360/beginning-farmer-and-rancher-stewardship-resources

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Small-Scale Livestock Production




This program was funded by the USDA National
Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Beginning
Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
under award #2009-49400-05871.
There are unique
production and
marketing
opportunities
available to
smaller-scale
sheep and goat
producers;
however, before
you get started,
you need to
consider…
New marketing opportunities

Environmental stewardship

Production practices

Safe practices

Business licensing

Zoning restrictions
New marketing opportunities
                 • Leveraging your
                   herd
                   management
                 • Overview of
                   certification
                   programs
                 • Evaluating
                   program cost &
                   benefits
Certification and Marketing
• Consumers are interested in how livestock are
  raised, handled & processed
• Certification may allow you to secure a
  premium for product or expand market reach
  – Such as specialty food stores and restaurants that
    require that their animal products be sourced
    from humanely raised animals
• How you manage your animals (your
  stewardship practices) can influence your
  marketing opportunities
Animal Welfare Certification
Programs
 Animal              American               Certified    HFAC
            USDA                  Food
 Welfare             Humane                 Naturally   Certified
           Organic               Alliance    Grown
Approved             Certified                          Humane


• Distinguish livestock products as coming
  from humanely treated animals
• Certified production systems often are more
  expensive than non-certified
• Be sure to keep in mind the production costs
  and marketing benefits of following a
  certification program

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Small scale sheep & goat production

  • 1. Small-Scale Livestock Production This program was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) under award #2009-49400-05871.
  • 2. There are unique production and marketing opportunities available to smaller-scale sheep and goat producers; however, before you get started, you need to consider…
  • 3. New marketing opportunities Environmental stewardship Production practices Safe practices Business licensing Zoning restrictions
  • 4. New marketing opportunities • Leveraging your herd management • Overview of certification programs • Evaluating program cost & benefits
  • 5. Certification and Marketing • Consumers are interested in how livestock are raised, handled & processed • Certification may allow you to secure a premium for product or expand market reach – Such as specialty food stores and restaurants that require that their animal products be sourced from humanely raised animals • How you manage your animals (your stewardship practices) can influence your marketing opportunities
  • 6. Animal Welfare Certification Programs Animal American Certified HFAC USDA Food Welfare Humane Naturally Certified Organic Alliance Grown Approved Certified Humane • Distinguish livestock products as coming from humanely treated animals • Certified production systems often are more expensive than non-certified • Be sure to keep in mind the production costs and marketing benefits of following a certification program
  • 7. Possible Program Specifications for Herd Management Indoor air quality & Minimum bedded Outdoor access ammonia levels space; floor space Castration, tail docking on Transport time for sheep, dehorning, ear slaughter marking
  • 8. Evaluating Certification Programs Goals • Make sure program goals align with yours • Understand the certification process & animals Certification covered Fees • Understand the program’s fee structure • Calculate the time required to achieve and Time Commitment maintain certification • Estimate how your production costs may Production Costs change under certification
  • 9. Evaluating Certification Benefits Ability to connect Access to new Possibility of with customers markets that seek charging higher based on their certified products prices for products values Access to marketing Certifier may help materials and support grower improve safe from certifying production and organization handling techniques
  • 10. Evaluating Certification Costs More pasture area may be required for each animal enrolled in the certification program  You may need more land Changes to animal health care  You may need to remove from your program sick animals that you vaccinate or medically treat Changes to animal feeding  You may need to use feed from specific sources or follow certain ingredient guidelines Changes to animal housing  You may need to build additional facilities to allow more space per animal More detailed record-keeping on animal health and raising  You may need to allow more time or hire someone to do this
  • 11. Linking Production & Marketing Decisions • Choose a breed that is appropriate for the markets you will serve (meat, fleece, milk) • If you are producing meat animals, do you have a slaughter and processing facility that will work with your level of production and cuts you desire? • Know who will buy your product before you produce it • Take a course in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) – To understand how to prevent or reduce contamination of your products throughout production, processing and sales – Obtaining GAPs certification is also a good marketing strategy
  • 12. Environmental stewardship To be a good neighbor and food producer: • Manage manure properly • Monitor storm water runoff • Dispose of mortalities safely
  • 13. Good Stewardship Leads to Better Business Management Minimizing: Using best Leads to a: •Animal and management •Cleaner manure odors practices to: production •Dust •Dispose of operation •Insects & dead animals •Healthier herd predators •Mitigate runoff •Good neighbor relationships
  • 14. Manage Manure Properly Control unpleasant odors and dust Know the nutrient content of your manure, apply based on nutrient/fertilizer value, and keep records Spread manure away from wells, springs, and watercourses When possible, till in fall-applied manure Keep piles of manure, spent bedding and spoiled feed away from watercourses
  • 15. Monitor Storm Water Runoff Conduct annual tests for bacteria and nitrates in well water Locate livestock operations away from wellheads; protect wellheads in pastures (consult local/state wellhead protection laws) Use buffers and setbacks to protect surface waters from direct contact with animal waste and process waste water Divert clean water (run-on) around production and waste storage areas using berms, ditches grassy swales, roof gutters
  • 16. Dispose of Dead Animals Safely Abide by state/local laws Render within 48 hours, where service is available (dead animals used to create a new, usable product) Compost in pile or bin, at high temperature (130o-150oF) Bury on farm, at least 300 feet away from a watercourse and 3-ft deep, above the wet season high watertable Bury/dispose at a licensed landfill
  • 17. Production practices • Maintaining a healthy herd • Managing sick animals
  • 18. Managing for Healthy Animals Includes Providing… • Housing that is clean, ventilated and predator proof • Adequate enclosure and fence height, especially for goats • Access to clean water at all times • Nutritionally complete food, including forage, salt & minerals • Appropriate parasite control • Protection from extreme temperatures, including water heaters for winter, and shade during hot months
  • 19. As a Good Herd Manager, You Should: Observe your animals and learn what behaviors are normal, so you recognize unusual behaviors indicating a possible health issue Check your animals regularly-twice daily is best for monitoring health and behavior Become familiar with common small ruminant health issues and diseases For the breed you are raising, know the lambing/kidding age and years of reproductive capability
  • 20. As a Good Herd Manager, You Should: Meet the nutritional needs of your animals at their current state (during gestation, lactation, maintenance, etc.) Provide some mental stimulation and an enriching environment for your animals Keep breeding records, as well as animal health records Have a plan for surplus animals (beyond your breeding, meat or milk animal needs since the extra feed is a cost to you)
  • 21. Taking Care of Sick Animals Work with a local veterinarian with small ruminant experience (if you live in a remote area, you may need to learn basic care practices) Have a herd health plan & vaccination schedule Develop a quarantine procedure for sick animals; watch for news alerts from your state veterinarian’s office In case of disease outbreak, have a plan for cleaning and disinfecting vehicles & equipment, and protecting your employees Develop a disposal plan for dead animals Keep detailed records of your animals’ health
  • 22. Safe practices • Worker safety • Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) • Milk and meat products
  • 23. Safe Handling: Worker Safety • Sheep and goats can carry organisms that may cause infection and disease in humans When handling animals or their wastes, wear protective clothing, wash your hands afterward, & treat all cuts and abrasions immediately • Both species can jump, bite, kick or run into their handlers, causing injury Learn proper handling techniques and never turn your back on animals in a pen Be aware of potential injuries from contact with gates, chutes, wire pens, and electrical sockets
  • 24. Safe Handling: Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) • On mixed crop/livestock farms, keep livestock out of food production and handling areas to prevent contamination of food products • Ensure that animal wastes do not directly or indirectly contaminate drinking or irrigation water • If you produce compost from your livestock manure: 1. keep records of composting dates and production process, 2. separate raw and finished compost, and 3. store compost on high ground, away from fields and water sources to prevent run-on
  • 25. Safe Handling on Farms with Crop & Livestock: GAPs • Wash and sanitize vehicles and equipment used for handling or transporting livestock before transporting food for human consumption • Make sure workers change clothes and wash their hands after handling livestock and before handling food crops
  • 26. Safe Handling of Milk and Milk Products • Refrigeration is most important factor in maintaining safety of milk (Grade A milk must be maintained at 45 °F or below), as well as butter, cream, whipped topping, sour cream, yogurt, cheeses, etc. • Temperatures must be maintained through distribution, delivery and storage • Note that safe refrigerator storage times differ depending on the product, and only butter, ice cream and pasteurized fresh whole or skimmed milk may be frozen
  • 27. Safe Handling of Meats • Remember to have quality control over your product from harvest through processing, storage and distribution • How you handle the product affects: – how safe it is for your consumers – your product’s quality – your product’s shelf life
  • 28. Business licensing Which licenses you need depends on: – Whether you are selling milk or meat – Where you plan to sell your product
  • 29. Getting Permission to do Business • County, municipal & Homeowners Association or Neighborhood/Unincorporated Community Covenants • Business registration (typically from your state’s Secretary of State, although some cities & counties also require business registration) • IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN, if you have employees) • State taxes (sales tax, income tax, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance) • City/County sales tax license • Business licenses (depending on your sales outlet and products(s) offered for sale) To check on your state’s tax and licensing requirements: http://www.sba.gov/content/learn-about-your-state-and-local-tax-obligations
  • 30. Licensing for Milk Sales • Federal regulations define milk and milk products by their ingredients. – This is important for grading and labeling, and for knowing which license you need for your business. • For goat and sheep milk production and sales, all states have different licensing requirements and permit costs. • In many states, raw milk sales are illegal and all milk & milk products sold must be pasteurized. – Contact your state department of public health to learn about regulations in your state – Educate yourself on the food safety issues surrounding raw milk production
  • 31. Regulations for Pasteurized Milk Grading • Use FDA/USDA guidelines • All bottles, containers & packages with milk or milk Labeling products must be labeled, indicating the common name of the hooved animal. See FDA guidelines. Refrigerating • Store between 33°F and 41°F • Keep clean and sanitary Transporting • Maintain refrigeration
  • 32. Licensing for Retail & Wholesale Meat Sales To sell packaged • Animals must slaughtered & processed meat direct to the under continuous inspection (either consumer Federal or State inspection systems)1 To sell packaged • Must use Federal or State inspected facility meat to retail • Required: Labeling – i.e., Net Weight buyers, wholesale using Standard Weights and Measures2 or farmers’ market • Optional: Grading 1- Only Federally inspected and certain state facilities are approved for out of-state sales. 2- Your processor can help guide you through the packaging and labeling process.
  • 33. Custom Exemption to USDA Slaughter and Processing Requirements, for Direct Sales Sold before Labeled slaughter to new NOT FOR SALE owner AND OR Processed for Processed for non- household use AND paying guests
  • 34. One More Thing About Meat and Milk Sales… Many farmers’ markets require vendors to carry their own liability insurance policy for product sales For more info on licensing and regulations, check with your local Extension office or state Department of Agriculture
  • 35. Zoning restrictions • Zoning is a restriction on the way land can be used • Zoning regulations may include where you can (or can’t) raise animals
  • 36. County & Municipal Zoning Regulations • Present your plans early―your local planning and zoning board may have ideas to make your business more viable or to protect your resource base • Once you are in operation, remember to consult local officials before making any changes to your business (to structures or to products you sell)
  • 37. County & Municipal Zoning Regulations • Larger livestock (including sheep and goats) typically prohibited in non- agriculturally zoned county & Always verify the municipal districts types & numbers • Your Homeowners’ Association may of animals also have restrictions on livestock legally allowed • Many counties & municipalities allow on your property private ownership/production of a before starting small number of sheep and goats in your business agricultural districts. However, animal slaughter may be prohibited.
  • 38. Regulations in districts where commercial livestock production is permitted may include: Size and type of Commercial or animal agricultural Permit fee often structures; permit required location on your requirements property Limited number of animals Limited or no allowed; Standards for allowable pasture odor, noise, dust slaughter on specifications premises
  • 39. Building a Profitable Business Involves Building Building Building Business Customers Community Processes through through through Good resource Research & Marketing & animal compliance stewardship with regulations Good and Safe handling certifications neighbor practices relations that lead to a sustainable business!
  • 41. Acknowledgements • Blake Angelo, Colorado State University Extension, Urban Agriculture • Thomas Bass, Montana State University Extension, Livestock Environment • Dr. Marisa Bunning, CSU Food Science and Human Nutrition • Emily Lockard, CSU Extension, Livestock • Dea Sloan, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics • Martha Sullins, CSU Extension, Agriculture and Business Management • Dr. Dawn Thilmany, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics • Heather Watts, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics • Wendy White, Colorado Department of Agriculture • David Weiss, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • 42. Photo Credits – flickr.com All photos used under the Creative Commons License A Roger Davies BryanAlexander ynskjen 4670542941 3348954673 423389418 Kkirugi 4923613664