A society of Dorpers

CEW-MR-3-Dorper2by Steve Wagner

Where have Dorpers been all our lives? And now that they’re here, what can we do with them?

“Dorpers are a breed of sheep that have been in this country for about 20 years,” according to Doug Gillespie, executive secretary for the American Dorper Sheep Breeders’ Society, “and they are growing by leaps and bounds.” Dorpers are meat sheep originally bred in South Africa. Their most familiar trait is a totally black head on an otherwise white body. The Dorper breed is a successful crossing of Dorset and Persian sheep, using the first three letters of each to coin the name. “You’re seeing a huge Dorper influence in the lamb industry in this country today,” Gillespie continued. “They are extremely fast maturing sheep and they are easy keepers. They don’t have to be sheared because they are what we call a shedding breed. They do grow some fuzz, but they shed it off as the weather warms up, which saves the cost of shearing.” Parenthetically, Gillespie notes that wool is so depressed in the American market that it hardly covers the cost of shearing. And shearers are hard to find. Gillespie also says Dorpers are the future of the sheep business. [Read more…]

Intelligent mastitis management, part two

C4-MR-1-MastitisCon2by Bill and Mary Weaver

A previous edition of Country Folks provided information from a seminar given by Dr. Ernest Hovingh at the Penn State Mastitis and Milk Quality Conference on the importance of recognizing the different pathogens that cause mastitis in dairy cows so the appropriate treatment can be implemented. A continuation of that list and insight on how to prevent mastitis can be found below. [Read more…]

Fitting and showmanship clinic for beef cattle

CEW-MR-2-Beef fitting361by Katie Navarra

Youth ages 5 to 17 had the opportunity to learn fitting and showmanship tips to help them succeed in showing beef cattle at the county fair or at sanctioned beef shows.

A clinic sponsored by the Washington County Junior Beef Club provided youth ages 5 to 17 with fitting and showmanship tips for a successful trip into the show pen at the county fair or other sanctioned shows.

The clinic, held at the Washington County Fairgrounds took place on Saturday, May 31. Multiple 4-H clubs encouraged their members to attend. “We’re ecstatic with the turnout,” said Robert Bentley a co-organizer, “we’ve got 20 kids here today.” [Read more…]