FARGO, N.D. — For the 13th year, North Dakota State University Extension and the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association are offering North Dakota youth an opportunity to become involved in the sheep industry and build their own flock.
Youth chosen for the Starter Flock Discounted Loan Program will receive an interest-free loan to purchase 10 yearling Rambouillet ewes from the association. The association will buy the ewes from NDSU’s Hettinger Research Extension Center (HREC).
“Now is the time to get sheep,” says Dave Pearson, HREC shepherd. “These Wyoming-bred ewes are a great opportunity for young people to get involved in a growing sheep industry.”
Youth receiving the ewes will be assigned a mentor, who will be available to answer the youths’ questions and help them with recordkeeping and setting management goals. The youth also have the option of arranging for a mentor on their own.
“More than 110 young producers have taken advantage of the opportunity to learn about sheep, lamb and wool production in North Dakota with this program,” says Travis Hoffman, NDSU Extension sheep specialist. “Sheep prices are at record highs, so if feed is available, this is a phenomenal opportunity to get your start as a young sheep enthusiast by receiving 10 ewes with limited risk through a great loan program.”
The youth must pay back 70% of the value of the ewes. The first payment is due by Nov. 1 of the second year the youth have the ewes. The youth have two more years to pay off the balance of the loan.
To be eligible to receive ewes, youth must be 10 to 18 years old by Aug. 1 of the year they apply for a loan.
Go to http://www.ndsheep.org for an application or more information about the loan program. Applications can be sent to Luke Dukart, 4950 27th Ave., Mandan, ND 58554
Applications are due Aug. 20. Successful recipients will pick up their ewes at the HREC on Sept. 18. They’ll also take part in a Beginning Shepherds Clinic, an educational program to help them get started with their flock.
For more information, contact:
* Dukart at 701-805-1834 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* Hoffman at 701-231-2222 or email@example.com
* Pearson at 701-928-1410 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* Wyman Scheetz at 701-220-4639 or email@example.com
— NDSU Extension
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