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2024 Sheep Day Presentations
Updates for the 2025 program will be made in the fall of 2024.
Panel: Accelerated vs. Annual Lambing

This panel discussion will look at and compare aspects of accelerated lambing systems to annual lambing systems. Pro's and con's of each with regards to labour, marketing, financial consequences and more will be covered!

Panelist: Drew Tyler, Farm Owner

Drew Tyler farms in Perth County just south of Stratford, Ontario. He crops 100 acres of Corn, Soybeans, Wheat and Hay along with 110 Rideau Ewes on a confinement/grazing hybrid accelerated lambing system. The flock is focused on maximizing Lbs of lamb marketed per ewe, all lambs are marketed as heavy lambs through a local auction barn. Drew also has a fulltime consulting job in the dairy industry.

Panelist: Ben Bartley, Owner, Bartley Livestock Ltd.

Ben Bartley is a first generation farmer with his wife and 9 kids. They farm sheep and pigs around Clifford, Ontario. They run 1400 ewes on an annual rotational pasture based system. They graze 175 acres of permanent pasture on three farms and 500+ acres of cover crop on other cash croppers land. Their focus is a low input, low maintenance flock.

Panelist: Delma Kennedy, Sheep Specialist, OMAFRA

Delma Kennedy is a sheep extension specialist with OMAFRA. Her passions are genetics, record keeping in any form and translating data and research results into usable information for small ruminant producers. She is currently working on projects related to selecting sheep for parasite resistance, body condition scoring and developing tools to improve information for decision making. She is based out of the Elora OMAFRA office.

Facilitator: Jason Emke, Relationship Manager, FCC & Chair, OSF District 2

Jason Emke has been a Relationship Manager out of the Walkerton, Ontario office for the past 17 years. Financing sheep operations and guiding clients through the ups and downs has been a highlight of his career to date. Aside from looking at the numbers as his day job, Jason also has a purebred sheep operation with his family and is the current chair of OSF District 2 Sheep Producers. Being active in the community with 4-H, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, fairs and boards Jason brings a deep passion for the agricultural community.

Presentation begins Saturday January 6th, 2024 at 10:00 am.
Grazing Cover Crops

Cover crops can help to extend a grazing season, increase grazing acres in a rotation, and be a cost effective forage source for sheep. Hear from an OMAFRA grazing specialist, and a producer with experience using covers for feed about how they might fit into your operation.

Presented by: Christine O'Reilly, Forage & Grazing Specialist, OMAFRA

Christine O’Reilly is the Forage and Grazing Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. Her areas of focus include the benefits of forages and grazing within cropping systems, forage production and grazing systems for northern Ontario, and improving the productivity and profitability of forages. Christine joined the ministry in 2017 and is based out of the Lindsay office. No, she hasn’t drank too much coffee; she’s actually that excited about grazing management.

Presented by: Quintin McEwen, Owner/Operator, Cedar Grove Farm

Quintin is a second generation sheep farmer and runs Cedar Grove Farm, a purebred Polled Dorset flock. The flock is primarily forage based, utilizing permanent pasture for the bulk of the growing season, and cover crops to extend the season.

This presentation is CEU accredited under the Crop Management category.
This presentation is an OSCIA recognized Knowledge Sharing Event (KSE) for Ontario On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF) applicants. 
Presentation begins Saturday January 6th, 2024 at 11:20 am.
Innovations and technologies to support future breeding objectives 
Presented by: Mark Young, Innovation Specialist, Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL)

Dr. Young will cover trends in the UK & New Zealand sheep industries, and how they could apply in Canada. Come prepared with questions as he hopes for a very interactive session. * Please note that Dr. Young will be presenting remotely from the U.K., we are looking forward to his international perspective on the sheep industry!

Mark works for CIEL, the UK Agri-Tech Centre focused on livestock supply chains. He is CIEL’s Innovation Specialist, joining CIEL in 2016 after 15 years as senior geneticist for Beef + Lamb New Zealand. Previously he has been a scientist for SAC in Edinburgh, Scotland and for Lincoln University in New Zealand. He has a wide-ranging knowledge of animal science with particular interests in meat production and the application of genetics to improve livestock, the ruminant sector in particular. Mark provides expert technical support to project development and delivery while also identifying opportunities for innovation, guiding development of thought leadership activities and representing livestock industry interests.

Presentation begins Saturday January 6th, 2024 at 1:15 pm.
Where do sheep fit into sustainable food systems of the future?
Presented by: Mark Young, Innovation Specialist, Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL)

Dr. Young will set the scene with ideas of how sheep could feature in sustainable food production systems before opening up the floor to questions on that, and related issues in genetic improvement. * Please note that Dr. Young will be presenting remotely from the U.K., we are looking forward to his international perspective on the sheep industry!

Mark works for CIEL, the UK Agri-Tech Centre focused on livestock supply chains. He is CIEL’s Innovation Specialist, joining CIEL in 2016 after 15 years as senior geneticist for Beef + Lamb New Zealand. Previously he has been a scientist for SAC in Edinburgh, Scotland and for Lincoln University in New Zealand. He has a wide-ranging knowledge of animal science with particular interests in meat production and the application of genetics to improve livestock, the ruminant sector in particular. Mark provides expert technical support to project development and delivery while also identifying opportunities for innovation, guiding development of thought leadership activities and representing livestock industry interests.

Presentation begins Saturday January 6th, 2024 at 2:35 pm.
Cultivating Tomorrow:  Understanding AgroLedger's Potential for Producers
Presented by: Corlena Patterson, Executive Director, Canadian Sheep Federation

Join us as we navigate the evolving landscape of traceability regulations, which, while necessary, come with an increased demand for meticulous recording and reporting. With this in mind, AgroLedger has been meticulously crafted to alleviate these demands, making the process more streamlined and efficient than traditional methods. By harnessing smart technology, AgroLedger not only eases the reporting load but also delivers the value-added features our industry has eagerly anticipated. Embracing the 'scan the tag, know the animal' philosophy, we prioritize sharing relevant animal data while preserving personal and business confidentiality. As we acknowledge the strengths of past systems, let's also explore the enhanced capabilities AgroLedger brings to the table, addressing any reservations and celebrating the future of traceability together.

Corlena Patterson holds the position of Executive Director at the Canadian Sheep Federation. With a rich history rooted in the agricultural sectors, Corlena's presence has been both constant and influential. Anchored in her extensive experience in policy, program development, delivery, and pivotal industry-government relations, she has unwaveringly stood beside producers, voicing their concerns and ensuring they are heard in the right circles. A dedicated industry advocate, Corlena's genuine enthusiasm for agriculture shines through in her proactive search for innovative solutions and advancements. With a deep-seated commitment to the farming community, she continues to spearhead initiatives that harmoniously integrate traditional farming values with the promises of modern technology.

Presentation begins Saturday January 6th, 2024 at 3:35 pm.
And don't forget to take a look at the list of On-Demand presentations which you can  watch throughout the conference and for the thirty days following! Use the button on the left to browse full details for those!
Check out the program for other conference days using the buttons below.
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