The following is a press release about an upcoming dairy sheep conference
scheduled for November 4-6 in Brattleboro, Vermont. Deb
INTERNATIONAL DAIRY SHEEP CONFERENCE TO BE HELD NOV. 4-6 IN SOUTHERN VERMONT
Brattleboro, Vt.--In the United States, sheep traditionally have been
raised for wool or meat, but interest in raising them for cheese and other
dairy products has been increasing in the past few years.
An international conference is planned for Nov. 4-6 in Brattleboro, Vt.,
for dairy sheep producers and others interested in learning more about this
industry. Speakers from France, Canada, and several states will discuss
management techniques, production, marketing, and research.
The conference, the Great Lakes Dairy Sheep Symposium, has been held in
Wisconsin for four years. This is the first time another state has been
asked to host the conference. It will be held at the Quality Inn in
Brattleboro with tours to sheep dairies in Vermont and New York.
The conference fee is $60, and $30 for each additional member of the family
or farm operation, for registrations received by Oct. 15. Late
registrations will be charged an additional $10. The fee covers lunch on
Friday and Saturday plus tours.
The Friday night banquet, featuring local products, will be held at the
nationally acclaimed Putney Inn. The cost is an extra $25 per adult, $10
to 14 per child depending on entrée.
For a registration form, or if requiring special assistance to attend, call
the Center for Sustainable Agriculture at (802) 656-5459, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the conference website at
participants should contact the hotel directly to reserve their rooms. The
number is (802) 254-8701. A special conference room rate of $59 for double
occupancy will be available for rooms booked by Oct. 4.
On Nov. 4, the first day of the conference, participants will tour the Old
Chatham Sheepherding Company in Old Chatham, N.Y., the largest sheep dairy
in the United States and one of the country's first sheep milk cheese
makers. The dairy milks 1,000 ewes and buys additional fluid milk from
Wisconsin's dairies for its assortment of cheeses. The farm has a
state-of-the-art milking parlor outfitted with equipment from Italy, a
large producer of sheep's milk cheese, and a new creamery.
The following day the program opens with a talk by Dr. François Bocquier on
the effects of nutrients on ewes' milk quality. Bocquier is a small
ruminant nutritionist with the National Institute of Agronomic Research in
Theix, France. Yves Berger of the University of Wisconsin-Madison will
discuss the effect of various weaning systems on commercial milk yield and
Participants also will learn about herd health management and
recordkeeping, new sheep research, and farm adapted breeds. The latter
will feature a panel discussion with Vermont and Canadian sheep producers
sharing information about their flocks.
On the final day of the conference, participants will have a chance to
visit the Major Farm in Westminister West, home to Vermont Shepherd's
cheese room and aging cave. Vermont Shepherd cheese is a traditional,
aged, sheep's milk cheese that has won numerous national awards for its
fine flavor, including a blue ribbon at this year's American Cheese Council
for farmhouse sheep cheese. The tour will include a look at the cave with
optional tours to nearby sheep dairies that produce green cheeses for
The annual Vermont Sheeposium in Randolph, Vt., on Nov. 6 coincides with
the last day of the conference. Anyone wishing to attend this instead of
the tour should contact Tom Bennett at (802) 229-4020 for information on
the program and registration fee.
The Great Lakes Dairy Sheep Symposium is sponsored by the University of
Vermont (UVM) Small Ruminant Dairy Project; UVM Extension; the Spooner
Agricultural Research Station at the University of Wisconsin--Madison; and
the Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development.
Debra M. Heleba
UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
590 Main Street, Room 200
Burlington, Vermont 05405
tel: (802) 656-0233
fax: (802) 656-8874
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