Is Sheep Milk Production in Your Future?

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Dr. David L. Thomas
Professor of Sheep Management and Genetics
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Jay Parsons, Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

The U.S. is the leading importer of sheep milk cheeses in the world with over half of all world trade in sheep milk cheeses coming to the U.S. Some common imported 100% sheep milk cheeses are Manchego from Spain, Pecorino-Romano from Italy, and Roquefort from France. Therefore, it would seem that there is ample opportunity for the development of a dairy sheep industry in the U.S. for the production of domestic cheeses to compete with this large influx of imported sheep milk cheeses. However, nothing is ever as simple as it looks. This webinar will discuss the things that are necessary to produce sheep milk efficiently (e.g., breeds, selection, nutrition, management) and some of the major constraints to a successful dairy sheep industry (e.g., unstable sheep milk market, small size of the industry and producer isolation, lack of a national genetic improvement program). Some examples of producer successes in the industry will also be presented.

This webinar is made possible with funding support from the Let’s Grow Committee of the American Sheep Industry Association.

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