After the mid-morning break, Session 2, Small Ruminants on Pasture, was held. Dr. Rachel Gilker of the UVM Center for Sustainable Ag and Executive Committee member moderated the session.
Dr. Kimberly Cassida, research agronomist, USDA-ARS, Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center (AFSRC), was the first speaker of this session. Her presentation was Pasture Forages for Small Ruminants. She started her presentation by asking the question, “Do sheep and goats need different pastures than cattle?”
The second speaker in this session was Dr. Stephen Purdy, Executive Director of Animal Management, Center for Agriculture and Director of Camelid Studies at the University of Massachusetts. The title of his presentation was Control of Intestinal Parasites in Camelids and Small Ruminants.
Prevention is the key to intestinal parasite control. Overcrowding and poor sanitation must be addressed to overcome parasite infestations and to minimize the potential for reinfection. Parasite control programs must be able to be easily implemented. They must rely heavily on good management practices and lightly on use of drugs.
The next hour of the annual meeting was used to discuss Pasture Research Needs for the Next 5 Years with Dr. Evert Byington, National Program Leader for Rangeland, Pasture, and Forages of USDA-Agricultural Research Service. Ev briefed the Public and Private sectors who met concurrently, but separately. The Private Sector met in the Chairman’s Room while the Public Sector remained in the Grand Ballroom. Members were given a list of current pasture research project titles so they knew what was currently being researched. With this, they could tell what needed to be studied next.