Management Education Programs
Lamb and Wool Management: History
The Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program started in 1972 as a pilot program called the “Pipestone Sheep Project” it was jointly funded by the National Sheep Industry Development Board (SID) and the Minnesota Department of Education. The basic purpose for starting the Pipestone Sheep Project was to boost the level of sheep management and production in the Pipestone area by bringing modern, profitable management technology to member sheep producers and help them properly implement these techniques on their individual farms.
The Pipestone Sheep Project worked with member sheep producers in a hundred mile radius of Pipestone through individual instruction, group instruction, class sessions and 24-hour phone consultation.
Over the years this unique educational concept has been very effective and has elevated the management level of sheep operations in the Pipestone area to production levels unparalleled anywhere in the world. When the program started in 1972 there were about 52,000 breeding ewes in the area served by the program and the average lambing percentage was just under 110%. Today the same area has 78,000 breeding ewes with an average lambing percentage marketed of about 170%.
This success brought the Lamb and Wool Program a national reputation for sheep management knowledge, education, production and marketing. Because of this reputation and national producer demand, the program branched out to help producers nationwide through it’s Home Study Course on Sheep Management and it’s annual shortcourses. Enrollment in all programs over the past 37 years totals 12,614 sheep producers from all 50 states and 10 foreign countries.
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