NMSU Extension offers webinar on sheep


CIBOLA COUNTY, N.M. – Friday, Sept. 25, is the final program in a three-part series on raising sheep in New Mexico. The free webinar begins at 6 p.m.

(Register online: https://aces.nmsu.edu/new mexicosheep/index.html)

Chase Elkins, Cibola County extension agent with New Mexico State University-Grants, explained that the first session dealt with reproductive management and criteria for selecting ewes and rams; this was broadcast on Monday, Sept. 21. The program included NMSU research updates, reproductive management techniques for improving flock productivity, and methods for selecting desirable livestock traits.

Wednesday’s webinar offered standard protocols for maintaining animal health and emphasized the role of nutrition. Participants learned how to set up a health management calendar and strategies for nutrition supplements.

The final session is focused on marketing techniques and finding buyers. Industry leaders will describe their experiences and outline marketing approaches that have proven successful for New Mexico sheep producers. The program includes wool marketing, outlets for marketing lamb, and niche marketing for wool.

The 2017 agricultural census reported 640 farms in Cibola County with an average size of 2,490 acres. This was a 23 percent increase in the number of farms compared to the 2012 data. The county ranked 21st in the state’s 33 counties for domestic sheep and wool production in 2017.

The livestock inventory identified 222 goats and 3,026 sheep and lambs. Total sales for sheep, goats, milk, mohair, and milk were valued at $90,000. This is milk produced by lactating sheep and goats; dairy sales are a separate category. The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts a nationwide census every five years, https://www.nass.usda.gov/

The county Extension Office includes the 4-H program; it is located at 515 W. High St., Grants. Call 505-287-9266 or email chelkins@nmsu.edu for more information.