Education

Livestock Judging

            For many people, livestock judging is an activity that starts at a very young age and one that continues into adulthood. Livestock judging is looking at a class of four animals, ranking them, and then giving a set of oral reasons on why you placed the class that way. However, there is much more to it then meets the eye. Decision making and communications skills, broadening your knowledge of animal production and performance records, and learning from and meeting the industry leaders are only a few of the benefits that come along. All livestock producers in some fashion use judging to improve their herd when setting up a breeding program and selecting replacements. Judging can begin at any age. When in school, one can participate on a 4H or FFA team, and then compete at the collegiate level.

 

"Few forms of educational training can compare with the judging team experience when it comes to preparing future leaders for agriculture and particularly the livestock industry.   The necessity for making fast and accurate decisions based on sound logical analysis is such a key to success in life.   Few things in my life have resulted in a greater return per time invested than my judging team experience at Purdue."

Jim Gillooly
Colbert Farms
1965 Purdue Livestock Judging Team

Purdue Livestock Judging

Sheep at Purdue 

Meats Judging

            Meats judging is another educational process that teaches one to make logical decisions in a short amount of time given specific evidence. This can either be carcass evaluation or live evaluation. When asked where meat comes from, many people will say the grocery store. Meat judging is a chance to learn the process of how meat goes from the farm to the store. Live evaluation is also a skill that can be used on a daily basis since body condition scoring is such an important part of every livestock operation. Meat judging can also be done through 4H, FFA, or at the collegiate level.

 

About Meat Science 

 

 

Weed Control

     

There are many different ways of controlling weeds. One option that many people donít think of is sheep. Sheep are an effective biological weed management tool. They are adapted to eating a wider variety of plant types and can become conditioned to eat weeds that are usually less palatable to other species of livestock. This can also include some weeds that are toxic to cattle and other livestock without harm. Sheep can reduce the weed density while limiting the spread of specific weed species. Below are a few links that go into more depth.

Pasture Management for Control of Tansy Ragwort

Sheep Grazing for Weed Control in Seedling Alfalfa

Controlling Leafy Spurge Using Goats and Sheep

Weed Management Options

 

Showing

           

Although it is hard to make a profit at showing, it is something that many people enjoy as a hobby. There are two areas of showing. First, is 4H. This is for children from third grade to their senior year in high school. This is how many people get started. Showing in 4H however, is usually limited to your county fair and the state fair. Yet, when you age out, or just want to attend more shows, there are plenty of open shows. Shows offer people a chance to have fun, compete, and meet new people. You can get as involved as you want and travel as far as you want.

 

Breeders World

About 4H

 

 

 

Fertilizer

 We all want that green garden that grows only on the other side of the fence. Manure is an excellent fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients. It also adds organic matter to the soil which may improve soil structure, aeration, soil moisture-holding capacity, and water infiltration. On the average, a ton of sheep manure has NPK values equivalent to 100 pounds of a 20-9-17 chemical fertilizer.

 

 

 

Nitrogen

Phosphorus

Potassium

Calcium

Magnesium

Organic
matter

Moisture
content

 

(N)

(P2O5)

(K2O)

(Ca)

(Mg)

 

 

FRESH
MANURE

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Cattle

0.5

0.3

0.5

0.3

0.1

16.7

81.3

Sheep

0.9

0.5

0.8

0.2

0.3

30.7

64.8

Poultry

0.9

0.5

0.8

0.4

02

30.7

64.8

Horse

0.5

0.3

0.6

0.3

0.12

7.0

68.8

Swine

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.2

0.03

15.5

77.6

TREATED
DRIED MANURE

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Cattle

2.0

1.5

2.2

2.9

0.7

69.9

7.9

Sheep

1.9

1.4

2.9

3.3

0.8

53.9

11.4

Poultry

4.5

2.7

1.4

2.9

0.6

58.6

9.2

 

 

 

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