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Small-Scale Livestock Production This program was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Small-Scale Livestock Production This program was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Small-Scale Livestock Production This program was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) under award #

2 There are unique production and marketing opportunities available to smaller-scale sheep and goat producers; however, before you get started, you need to consider…

3 New marketing opportunitiesEnvironmental stewardshipProduction practicesSafe practicesBusiness licensingZoning restrictions

4 Leveraging your herd management Overview of certification programs Evaluating program cost & benefits New marketing opportunities

5 Certification and Marketing Consumers are interested in how livestock are raised, handled & processed Certification may allow you to secure a premium for product or expand market reach – Such as specialty food stores and restaurants that require that their animal products be sourced from humanely raised animals How you manage your animals (your stewardship practices) can influence your marketing opportunities

6 Animal Welfare Certification Programs Distinguish livestock products as coming from humanely treated animals Certified production systems often are more expensive than non-certified Be sure to keep in mind the production costs and marketing benefits of following a certification program Animal Welfare Approved USDA Organic American Humane Certified Food Alliance Certified Naturally Grown HFAC Certified Humane

7 Possible Program Specifications for Herd Management Outdoor access Indoor air quality & ammonia levels Minimum bedded space; floor space Castration, tail docking on sheep, dehorning, ear marking Transport time for slaughter

8 Evaluating Certification Programs Make sure program goals align with yours Goals Understand the certification process & animals covered Certification Understand the program’s fee structure Fees Calculate the time required to achieve and maintain certification Time Commitment Estimate how your production costs may change under certification Production Costs

9 Evaluating Certification Benefits Access to new markets that seek certified products Possibility of charging higher prices for products Ability to connect with customers based on their values Access to marketing materials and support from certifying organization Certifier may help grower improve safe production and handling techniques

10 Evaluating Certification Costs More pasture area may be required for each animal enrolled in the certification program  You may need more land Changes to animal health care  You may need to remove from your program sick animals that you vaccinate or medically treat Changes to animal feeding  You may need to use feed from specific sources or follow certain ingredient guidelines Changes to animal housing  You may need to build additional facilities to allow more space per animal More detailed record-keeping on animal health and raising  You may need to allow more time or hire someone to do this

11 Linking Production & Marketing Decisions Choose a breed that is appropriate for the markets you will serve (meat, fleece, milk) If you are producing meat animals, do you have a slaughter and processing facility that will work with your level of production and cuts you desire? Know who will buy your product before you produce it Take a course in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) – To understand how to prevent or reduce contamination of your products throughout production, processing and sales – Obtaining GAPs certification is also a good marketing strategy

12 To be a good neighbor and food producer: Manage manure properly Monitor storm water runoff Dispose of mortalities safely Environmental stewardship

13 Good Stewardship Leads to Better Business Management Minimizing: Animal and manure odors Dust Insects & predators Using best management practices to: Dispose of dead animals Mitigate runoff Leads to a: Cleaner production operation Healthier herd Good neighbor relationships & =

14 Manage Manure Properly Control unpleasant odors and dust Know the nutrient content of your manure, apply based on nutrient/fertilizer value, and keep records Spread manure away from wells, springs, and watercourses When possible, till in fall-applied manure Keep piles of manure, spent bedding and spoiled feed away from watercourses

15 Monitor Storm Water Runoff Conduct annual tests for bacteria and nitrates in well water Locate livestock operations away from wellheads; protect wellheads in pastures (consult local/state wellhead protection laws) Use buffers and setbacks to protect surface waters from direct contact with animal waste and process waste water Divert clean water (run-on) around production and waste storage areas using berms, ditches grassy swales, roof gutters

16 Dispose of Dead Animals Safely Abide by state/local laws Render within 48 hours, where service is available (dead animals used to create a new, usable product) Compost in pile or bin, at high temperature (130 o -150 o F) Bury on farm, at least 300 feet away from a watercourse and 3-ft deep, above the wet season high watertable Bury/dispose at a licensed landfill

17 Maintaining a healthy herd Managing sick animals Production practices

18 Housing that is clean, ventilated and predator proof Adequate enclosure and fence height, especially for goats Access to clean water at all times Nutritionally complete food, including forage, salt & minerals Appropriate parasite control Protection from extreme temperatures, including water heaters for winter, and shade during hot months Managing for Healthy Animals Includes Providing…

19 Observe your animals and learn what behaviors are normal, so you recognize unusual behaviors indicating a possible health issue Check your animals regularly-twice daily is best for monitoring health and behavior Become familiar with common small ruminant health issues and diseases For the breed you are raising, know the lambing/kidding age and years of reproductive capability As a Good Herd Manager, You Should:

20 Meet the nutritional needs of your animals at their current state (during gestation, lactation, maintenance, etc.) Provide some mental stimulation and an enriching environment for your animals Keep breeding records, as well as animal health records Have a plan for surplus animals (beyond your breeding, meat or milk animal needs since the extra feed is a cost to you) As a Good Herd Manager, You Should:

21 Taking Care of Sick Animals Work with a local veterinarian with small ruminant experience (if you live in a remote area, you may need to learn basic care practices) Have a herd health plan & vaccination schedule Develop a quarantine procedure for sick animals; watch for news alerts from your state veterinarian’s office In case of disease outbreak, have a plan for cleaning and disinfecting vehicles & equipment, and protecting your employees Develop a disposal plan for dead animalsKeep detailed records of your animals’ health

22 Safe practices Worker safety Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Milk and meat products

23 Safe Handling: Worker Safety Sheep and goats can carry organisms that may cause infection and disease in humans  When handling animals or their wastes, wear protective clothing, wash your hands afterward, & treat all cuts and abrasions immediately Both species can jump, bite, kick or run into their handlers, causing injury  Learn proper handling techniques and never turn your back on animals in a pen  Be aware of potential injuries from contact with gates, chutes, wire pens, and electrical sockets

24 Safe Handling: Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) On mixed crop/livestock farms, keep livestock out of food production and handling areas to prevent contamination of food products Ensure that animal wastes do not directly or indirectly contaminate drinking or irrigation water If you produce compost from your livestock manure: 1.keep records of composting dates and production process, 2.separate raw and finished compost, and 3.store compost on high ground, away from fields and water sources to prevent run-on

25 Safe Handling on Farms with Crop & Livestock: GAPs Wash and sanitize vehicles and equipment used for handling or transporting livestock before transporting food for human consumption Make sure workers change clothes and wash their hands after handling livestock and before handling food crops

26 Safe Handling of Milk and Milk Products Refrigeration is most important factor in maintaining safety of milk (Grade A milk must be maintained at 45 °F or below), as well as butter, cream, whipped topping, sour cream, yogurt, cheeses, etc. Temperatures must be maintained through distribution, delivery and storage Note that safe refrigerator storage times differ depending on the product, and only butter, ice cream and pasteurized fresh whole or skimmed milk may be frozen

27 Safe Handling of Meats Remember to have quality control over your product from harvest through processing, storage and distribution How you handle the product affects: – how safe it is for your consumers – your product’s quality – your product’s shelf life

28 Business licensing Which licenses you need depends on: – Whether you are selling milk or meat – Where you plan to sell your product

29 Getting Permission to do Business County, municipal & Homeowners Association or Neighborhood/Unincorporated Community Covenants Business registration (typically from your state’s Secretary of State, although some cities & counties also require business registration) IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN, if you have employees) State taxes (sales tax, income tax, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance) City/County sales tax license Business licenses (depending on your sales outlet and products(s) offered for sale) To check on your state’s tax and licensing requirements:

30 Licensing for Milk Sales Federal regulations define milk and milk products by their ingredients. – This is important for grading and labeling, and for knowing which license you need for your business. For goat and sheep milk production and sales, all states have different licensing requirements and permit costs. In many states, raw milk sales are illegal and all milk & milk products sold must be pasteurized. – Contact your state department of public health to learn about regulations in your state – Educate yourself on the food safety issues surrounding raw milk production

31 Regulations for Pasteurized Milk Use FDA/USDA guidelines Grading All bottles, containers & packages with milk or milk products must be labeled, indicating the common name of the hooved animal. See FDA guidelines. Labeling Store between 33°F and 41°F Refrigerating Keep clean and sanitary Maintain refrigeration Transporting

32 Animals must slaughtered & processed under continuous inspection (either Federal or State inspection systems) 1 To sell packaged meat direct to the consumer Must use Federal or State inspected facility Required: Labeling – i.e., Net Weight using Standard Weights and Measures 2 Optional: Grading To sell packaged meat to retail buyers, wholesale or farmers’ market 1- Only Federally inspected and certain state facilities are approved for out of-state sales. 2- Your processor can help guide you through the packaging and labeling process. Licensing for Retail & Wholesale Meat Sales

33 Custom Exemption to USDA Slaughter and Processing Requirements, for Direct Sales Sold before slaughter to new owner Labeled NOT FOR SALE Processed for household use Processed for non- paying guests AND OR

34 One More Thing About Meat and Milk Sales… Many farmers’ markets require vendors to carry their own liability insurance policy for product sales For more info on licensing and regulations, check with your local Extension office or state Department of Agriculture For more info on licensing and regulations, check with your local Extension office or state Department of Agriculture

35 Zoning is a restriction on the way land can be used Zoning regulations may include where you can (or can’t) raise animals Zoning restrictions

36 County & Municipal Zoning Regulations Present your plans early―your local planning and zoning board may have ideas to make your business more viable or to protect your resource base Once you are in operation, remember to consult local officials before making any changes to your business (to structures or to products you sell)

37 County & Municipal Zoning Regulations Larger livestock (including sheep and goats) typically prohibited in non- agriculturally zoned county & municipal districts Your Homeowners’ Association may also have restrictions on livestock Many counties & municipalities allow private ownership/production of a small number of sheep and goats in agricultural districts. However, animal slaughter may be prohibited. Always verify the types & numbers of animals legally allowed on your property before starting your business

38 Regulations in districts where commercial livestock production is permitted may include: Commercial or agricultural permit requirements Permit fee often required Size and type of animal structures; location on your property Limited number of animals allowed; pasture specifications Standards for odor, noise, dust Limited or no allowable slaughter on premises

39 Building a Profitable Business Involves Building Customers through Marketing Safe handling practices Building Community through Good resource & animal stewardship Building Business Processes through Research & compliance with regulations and certifications that lead to a sustainable business! Good neighbor relations

40 Questions?

41 Acknowledgements Blake Angelo, Colorado State University Extension, Urban Agriculture Thomas Bass, Montana State University Extension, Livestock Environment Dr. Marisa Bunning, CSU Food Science and Human Nutrition Emily Lockard, CSU Extension, Livestock Dea Sloan, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics Martha Sullins, CSU Extension, Agriculture and Business Management Dr. Dawn Thilmany, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics Heather Watts, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics Wendy White, Colorado Department of Agriculture David Weiss, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics

42 Photo Credits – flickr.com All photos used under the Creative Commons License Kkirugi A Roger Davies ynskjen BryanAlexander


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