HUDSON, N.Y. — Recognizing the service of veterans, Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) is inviting those who have served in the military’s five branches to register for its upcoming “Local Lamb Lessons” program at no cost. The Local Lamb Lessons program will begin December 7, and run on the first Thursday of each month through June, with site visits as applicable scheduled for the third Thursday of each month. To take advantage of the special free offer, veterans must register by November 30.
Local Lamb Lessons is a series of classroom presentations and related farm field trips to explore all aspects of sheep farming with a focus on the characteristics and potential of the local market in the Hudson Valley. During the program, local business experts, educators, sheep farmers and wool producers will present sessions covering the profit potential of a sheep business, breed selection and product development suited to the local land, the regulatory environment, dairying, wool development and meat market development. The curriculum will also feature a module on the necessary business expertise to help sheep farmers master the balancing act of serving all three market segments within their farm management plan.
“This program was conceived as a response to interest by new farmers in sheep production, which is the heritage of the Northeast,” states Todd Erling, HVADC Executive Director. “Local Lamb Lessons” is geared specifically for new young farmers who are just beginning, and experienced farmers who are interested in building a profitable sheep enterprise. “There are many small locally-based goat cheese producers in various parts of the country and sheep dairying has the same potential to be embraced as a distinctive product here in the Hudson Valley. Very little, however, is known by potential sheep dairymen about the regulatory environment, the appropriate breed characteristics, the opportunities to collaborate with other cheese makers, and the realistic profit potential,” adds Mary Ann Johnson, HVADC Projects Director. ‘Lessons’ will address this issues through presentations, and as appropriate, visits to Hudson Valley sheep farms, covering topics such as:
Sheep Business Overview
Sheep Suited to the Environment
Utilizing Public Sector Programs
To accompany the lessons, HVADC will further produce a workbook and a set of videos that will be made available on-line for 24 hour access and broad distribution in any ex-urban location where young farmers are serving high-margin, very demanding clientele.
The six classroom presentations will be held at Columbia Green Community College in Hudson, New York, and the site visits as coordinating with the classroom sessions will be at various locations in the Hudson Valley. Each class is scheduled to run approximately two hours, and will include refreshments and a corresponding field visit if appropriate to the class subject. Visits are planned to Old Chatham Sheepherding Company (Chatham) to correspond the dairy class; Battenkill Fibers Carding and Spinning Mill (Greenwich) to relate to the fiber processing session, and Longfield Farm (Altamont) for the breed selection course. The cost per class is $10, but veterans may register through the end of November at no cost by selecting ‘Veteran’ as the payment option when registering online. Registration and additional details may be found online at: https://www.hvadc.org/local-lamb-lessons.
–Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation
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