Shepherding 201: Pets to Production

South Carolina Sheep & Goat Workshop- November 5 and 6, 2021

Held at Whispering Pines Farm
681 Campbell Bridge Rd.
Seneca, SC  29678
Contact: Debbie Webster
(864) 360-3222

To register for one or both days:
Sign up on Eventbrite


  • Dr. Cindy Wolf, DVM, graduated from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and then moved to work and teach at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine where she completed an internship and residency in Large Animal Veterinary Medicine. She was employed as the Small Ruminant Veterinary Specialist for 3 decades and enjoyed teaching veterinary students about small ruminant health and production in farm settings. She now works from home as a solo practitioner working with primarily small ruminants and also raises sheep, beef and goats from start to finish primarily on forage alongside her husband. She has also volunteered on several committees for the AASRP, AVMA, and ASI.
  • Jimmy Parker has been raising sheep in the Appalachian foothills since 1988 and has tried a wide variety of breeds and production systems. He attended Mississippi State University and worked with their sheep flock while getting a BS in Animal and Dairy Sciences and then worked on an MS in Ruminant Nutrition. He currently is the Livestock Nutritionist for AFC Feeds LLC which is a joint venture between Alabama Farmers Co-op and Purina. He raises and sells beef, pork and lamb at local farmers markets. He served four years as Region 2's board member on the ASI executive board and will soon start a three-year USDA appointment to the American Lamb Board.
  • Dr. Matias J. Aguerre was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He received his Agricultural Engineer degree from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Dairy Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison working on determining phosphorus digestibility of common feedstuffs and mitigation strategies to reduce ammonia and methane emission from dairy farms. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Forage Utilization in the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at Clemson University. The overarching goal of his research program is to improve nutrient utilization efficiency in livestock production systems through greater and more efficient use of high-quality forages.
  • Debbie Webster- workshop host; SC Sheep Industries Association president, owner of Whispering Pines Farm, Dairy and Cheesery, uses milk from her Dairy sheep, goats, and Jersey cows to make award winning cheeses, yogurt, and kefir. Debbie has been making cheese and raising small ruminants for over 20 years. She has started and mentors hundreds of new producers in several states. She started the first Dairy Sheep 4 H club in the US and uses her sheep (and horses) for therapy with children with Special Needs.
  • Bruce Rushton- SC DHEC, Jason Davis- NRCS
  • Dr. Patty Scharko, Clemson Livestock Poultry Health, extension/field veterinarian


Shepherding 201: Pets to Production
Friday, November 5

9am-9:45am Introductions and Welcome- Debbie Webster

Management – Dr. Cindy Wolf
When moving from Pets to Production, you should learn proactive health planning and care instead of reacting to health issues. How to increase immunity. How can FAMACHA, Body Condition Scoring (BCS), basics of Fecal Exams help keep your animals healthy. Deworming do’s and don’ts and other aspects of parasite control.

10am Home Dairy to licensed Public Dairy- Bruce Rushton, SC DHEC
Grants/Funding opportunities- Jason Davis- NRCS

10:30am- 11:45am Handling sheep and goats- Dr. Cindy Wolf

Catching, holding/restraining, leading, FAMACHA, BCS, drenching, injections
Additional health checks- breeding stock male soundness check.

12-1pm Lunch

1:30pm-2:15pm- Nutrition decisions- Jimmy Parker

Based on species, breeds, use and season of life.
Nutritional Differences between sheep and goats, and between dairy and meat breeds
Forage or Feed- Nutrition to increase butterfat and volume during lactation.

2:30pm-3:15pm Forages – Dr. Matias Aguerre
Forage quality, importance of forage analyses and what to look for in a forage analyses report.

3:30pm-Hands on- rainfall simulator and pasture walks

Tour – WP Dairy Parlor, Milk room

Hands on tools and techniques for milking
SOPs for success- clean milk and clean ruminants, hand milking basics;
Machine milking- bucket milking, CIP (Clean in Place) system, pulsators, vacuum and more! Learn how all the parts of the system working and avoid problems!
Moving from hand milking to machine milking, what to look for in machine milking systems and what to avoid!
Show appropriate udder “sound structure”, teat placement and orifice size.
Sign up for Saturday morning milking at 7am


Saturday, November 6
7am hands on milking, SOP, cleaning equipment

Saturday, November 6
9:00-9:45am Ewe and Doe Care- Dr. Cindy Wolf & Jimmy Parker

Udder health and pregnancy pointers.
Nutrition for the pregnant small ruminant.
Nutrition decisions based on different breeds.

10:00- 10:45am Small Ruminant Demos in tent- Dr. Cindy Wolf

Ultrasound demonstration of pregnant sheep and goats.
Demonstrate Breeding harnesses and prolapse retainers

11:00am- 12:00pm Lamb and Kid Care – Dr. Cindy Wolf

Colostrum management and prevention of diarrhea
Demo with lamb or kid
Dairy – milk share, bottle babies or wean/ milk- pros and cons, Debbie Webster
Best weaning practices
Nutrition for weanlings and grass-fed lambs -Jimmy Parker

12-1pm Lunch

1:00pm Value Added Products- Debbie Webster

  • Meat, wool, and dairy- cheese making basics

1:30- 2:15pm Small Ruminant Pointers, Dr. Cindy Wolf

  • How to save time and money with streamlined care and handling set up
  • Fostering relationships with local veterinarian, your home veterinary pharmacy planning, supply chain problems, The Why’s and how’s of using electronic identification to work with small ruminants- other ID options, record keeping
  • End of Life Considerations, when is necropsy indicated; using what you can
  • Forage requirements or confinement feeding- how to deal with limited acreage, Jimmy Parker

2:30pm Hands on Flock Management, Border Collie demo, using LGD, Pasture walks

  • Tools for flock management- using sorting equipment, Spin doctor, the chair, hoof trimming basics.
  • Border Collie demonstration and using LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog).
  • Hands on-Forage Diversity or pasture walk with plant identification

5pm Closing Remarks