UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania farmers can get the latest advice on taking care of their livestock through a toll-free hotline operated by Penn State Extension.
The hotline, 1-888-655-2407, provides information on dairy, beef, sheep, goats, equine and poultry. Callers can choose the livestock category that they are interested in learning about, and if they want more information or have questions, they have the option to call an extension educator.
The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its messages are about three minutes long and are updated weekly. Extension educators from each respective livestock team contribute their time and expertise to keep the information current and useful. Extension educators are available on-call during regular business hours for additional questions.
Information relevant to the time of the year also is provided on the hotline. In recent weeks, the dairy extension line has focused on manure management and potential heat stress, while the sheep and goat extension line has been discussing different aspects of kidding and lambing.
Amber Yutzy, the lead for the extension dairy team, said the hotline, which was established in late January, is specifically aimed at reaching the Anabaptist community in Pennsylvania and bordering states.
“We’re just trying to reach people who might not be able to access our online resources,” Yutzy said. “The hotline receives more than 100 calls a week. If it continues to draw interest, we’ll continue to keep running it.”
–Penn State Extension