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Sheep starter flocks available for North Dakota youth

FARGO, N.D. – For the 15th 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 involved in the 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 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 youth an opportunity to grow a business, learn record keeping and manage finances,” says Travis Hoffman, NDSU and University of Minnesota Extension sheep specialist. “We have more than 130 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.

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