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Texas Sheep and Goat Expo to offer internal parasite mitigation strategies

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

New developments in sheep and goat internal parasite mitigation should be a major draw at this year’s Texas Sheep and Goat Expo Aug. 17 and 18 in San Angelo, coordinators said.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service sponsored event headquarters in the First Community Spur Arena on the San Angelo Fairgrounds.

“Internal parasites are arguably one of the biggest problems in the sheep and goat industry today,” said Dr. Reid Redden, AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist at San Angelo.

“Anthelmintics, drugs administered orally, have long been the standard weapon against these pests, but over the years, a number of them have become all but useless for some operations.

“We’ve invited Dr. James Miller from Louisiana State University to speak about how to strategically drench your sheep and goats to preserve the integrity of drenches so they don’t stop working or at least they don’t stop working in the near future,” Redden said.

Redden said other presentations will take entirely different looks into internal parasite management through the use of sheep and goat genetics and alternative materials.

“Dr. Joan Burk with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Arkansas, will be another one of our speakers,” he said. “She’s been conducting research on internal parasites for many years and is well versed on genetic selection of animals for parasite resistance. We’ve asked her to share her thoughts on which breeds are more parasite resistant and how to strategically select for those animals.

“We’ll end the session with Dr. Miller returning to speak on a very new and upcoming thing many in the U.S. sheep and goat industry are unaware of. Duddingtonia flagrans is a fungus that’s been approved for use internationally and is in the process of being approved for use in the U.S. This fungus is going to help us control worms into the future without using drenches…hopefully. It’s a totally different concept than anything else we’ve had available.

“So, if internal parasites are out of control in your sheep flocks or goat herds, I encourage you to come to the Texas Sheep and Goat Expo to learn from the experts who are going to help you understand more about parasites and how to deal with them in a sustainable fashion now and into the future.”

The Texas Sheep and Goat Expo is immediately preceded by the 45th Annual Sheep and Goat Field Day, which showcases work conducted at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center located north of San Angelo on U.S. Highway 87. The field day, which is free and open to the public, is set from 8 – 11:30 a.m.

At the field day’s conclusion, participants are encouraged to travel to the expo where lunch will be served.

Early registration for the expo continues until Aug. 14 and is $40 for adults and $15 for students. Late registration is $60. The fees cover all educational materials, meals and refreshments associated with the expo.

For more information on the 45th Annual Sheep and Goat Field Day, contact Dr. John Walker, Texas A&M AgriLife Research resident director at San Angelo at 325-653-4576, jwalker@ag.tamu.edu.

For more information on the Texas Sheep and Goat Expo, contact Robert Pritz, AgriLife Extension regional program leader at San Angelo at 325-653-4576, r-pritz@tamu.edu for specific questions. To register and view the entire agenda, go to https://agrilife.org/westresults/event/.


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