Is Sheep Milk Production in Your Future?
February 17, 2017

The Let's Grow Committee is sponsoring its first webinar of the new year on March 14 at 7 p.m. CDT. The subject will be "Is Sheep Milk Production in Your Future? It will be presented by David Thomas, Ph.D. Thomas is highly respected in the U.S. commercial, purebred and dairy sheep industries and was in charge of the dairy sheep operation at the Spooner Ag Research Station.

The United States is the leading importer of sheep-milk cheeses in the world with more than half of all world trade in sheep-milk cheeses coming to this country. Some common imported 100 percent 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 United States 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, producer isolation, lack of a national genetic improvement program). Some examples of producer successes in the industry will also be presented.

To register for this webinar, go to