Management Education Programs
Lamb and Wool Management: Sheep Facility Tours
Sheep Facility Tour - June 4, 2018
The Pipestone Sheep Facility Tour provides producers an opportunity to see various types of sheep facilities, including the latest innovations in sheep buildings, state of the art lambing barns, handling systems, feeding systems and facility layout. The tour will be a full day tour, visiting four lamb and wool producers with new and remodeled facilities. All of these operations have devised their buildings and feeding systems to reduce labor and enable them to run larger numbers of ewes with the same labor. In addition, this tour will also be an opportunity to hear the management philosophy of these four successful sheep operations.
June 4, 2018
Location: Begin and end at Minnesota West Community & Technical College
Worthington, MN 56187
2018 Tentative Tour Schedule
7:30 a.m. - Registration
8:00 a.m. - Bus leaves Minnesota West, Worthington Campus
Tour 4 sheep operations
6:00 p.m. - Arrive back at Minnesota West, Worthington Campus
Farm Tour Stops
Bart and Penny Cavanaugh Farm
Bart runs an extremely productive flock of 850 ewes. Bart just completed a new drive through cold housing barn which he used to feed and house ewe and lamb pairs. A flexible barn layout allows Bart to utilize self-feeders or fence line feeders to best utilize feed resources to match nutritional needs. This barn was designed with curtains on the North and South walls to increase ventilation during the summer months to maximize lamb comfort. A working facility has been added to the Southwest corner of his drive through barn which can be utilized to sort, weigh and vaccinate large numbers of sheep efficiently. Bart’s lambing barn is connected to his transition barn which allows him to lamb larger groups more labor efficiently and to provide a more ideal environment for new born lambs. Fence line feeding and self-feeding during lactation were implemented as labor saving practices. An existing pole barn has been remodeled and utilized for additional ewe and lamb pairs as well as cold housing for ewes. A hoop barn has also been added for additional cold housing. Bart and his wife Penny have four children who help out with the sheep operation. Bart employs some additional part time labor during lambing along with the help of his father Tom. Bart’s nephew Luke is a full time employee with some ownership in ewes.
Kevin and Rebecca Goeken Farm
Kevin & Rebecca moved to the family farm which had not run sheep before. Kevin began raising sheep as an additional income source for his young family. As they exited the hog business, he has steadily grown ewe numbers and currently lambs over 1000 ewes. Part of their flock is accelerated lambing. Kevin and his father built a new lambing barn from excess materials from a hog building construction company. Lambs are fed out in hoop barns that were originally built to custom feed hogs. A permanent working facility has been constructed in one of the hoop barns consisting of a longer runway, scale and drafting chute so ewes and lambs can be vaccinated, sorted and weighed quickly and easily. He has also built additional hoop barns for ewe cold housing. Each ewe and lamb are identified by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags for efficient record keeping. Kevin utilizes multiple lambing periods for efficient use of his lambing barn and labor. Ewes are fed with a feed wagon in permanent homemade H bunks with a cement base. Kevin employs one full time person.
Bruce and Karla and Eli Gunderman Farm
Bruce & Karla started in the sheep business in 1996, with 25 ewes, when they decided to discontinue raising hogs and converted their facilities to sheep production. Since that time, they have steadily grown their ewe flock to about 850 ewes. They have done a nice job of utilizing existing buildings along with a new addition onto the lambing barn and have built six “hoop” barns to improve labor efficiency and management of their various lambing groups. They market a high lambing percentage because of the attention they pay to detail and the tremendous job they do of keeping lamb death loss low. They employ several low labor feeding systems such as self-feeding lactating ewes, fence line feeding systems and added a commodity shed for housing feed resources needed in fence line feeding. Bruce and Karla have a daughter Kallie and son Eli. Bruce and Karla were the recipient of the 2013 Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program Outstanding Producer Award.
Russ Gundermann Farm
Russ is one of the innovative producers in the sheep business. He and his family run about 450 commercial ewes. They use a multiple lambing period system to most efficiently utilize their facilities and labor. They have done an excellent job of combining older barns with newer buildings to make their sheep operation effectively use all the buildings available to them. Russ pays very close attention to the little things that make the difference in the successful operation. The Gundermann operation includes many labor saving concepts to enable them to handle a large number of sheep with minimal effort. Russ has very practical ideas on sheep management that make this a stop everyone will learn from. Russ was the recipient of the 2008 Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program Outstanding Producer Award.
2018 Cost: $180 (includes tour transportation, tuition, handouts, lunch, and refreshments).
Minimum Enrollment: 30 people. Maximum Enrollment: 54 people.
North Dakota and Wisconsin residents will be charged a higher tuition cost unless a reciprocity form is completed. A copy of the completed reciprocity form must accompany registration form. Go to Reciprocity Information for more details and the application form for your state. Follow instructions on how to print and complete the form. Contact the Lamb and Wool program if you need help completing the reciprocity form.
South Dakota students should contact Minnesota West directly. South Dakota residents don’t need to send a form to their home state.
Questions or more information?