HETTINGER, ND – For the 14th year, North Dakota State University (NDSU) 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).
“It is tremendous to see young people get into our North Dakota sheep industry,” says Dave Pearson, HREC shepherd. “These Wyoming-bred ewes are a great opportunity to learn with less initial input costs and no interest.”
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.
“Sheep production offers opportunity to grow a business for youth, learn record keeping and manage finances,” says Travis Hoffman, NDSU Extension sheep specialist. “We have more than 120 young producers that have learned about sheep in North Dakota with this program. A young sheep enthusiast can get a start 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.
For an application or more information about the loan program, visit ND Sheep’s website. Applications can be sent to Luke Dukart, 4950 27th Avenue, Mandan, North Dakota, 58554, or via email at [email protected].
Successful recipients will pick up their ewes at the Hettinger Research Extension Center on Sept. 17, or the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Convention, on Oct. 8 in Medora.