The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is collaborating with Montana State University (MSU) Sheep Extension to conduct regional Integrative Parasite Management (IPM) training in Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. In this training, county extension agents, veterinarians, and NRCS staff will learn the potential risks associated with rising internal parasite infection rates in western sheep flocks and the proven IPM methodologies to combat these parasites, most notably the Barber Pole Worm, Haemonchus contortus (H. contortus). Training sessions in all three states will include instruction in FAMACHA eye scoring, creating parasite refugias, conducting fecal egg counts (FEC), implementing grazing protocols to limit infection, and on-farm genetic selection strategies to maximize animal resilience to internal parasites. In addition to this training, we will provide presentations at state woolgrower conventions and will develop a nationally accessible webinar to increase awareness of the expanding range of H. contortus infection and successful holistic control practices that can be employed by producers. Extension and technical notes to assist educators will also be developed and posted on the ATTRA website, https://attra.ncat.org/.
Materials, regional training, and subsequent educator-led trainings will be evaluated through training evaluations, and six and twelve month follow-up educator and producer surveys. We expect to see educators who are more knowledgeable in assisting sheep producers mitigate the effects of increasing H. contortus infections through proven sustainable practices. It is our hope that this will contribute to propelling the sheep industry forward by controlling internal parasites and increasing the effective lifetimes of anthelmintic dewormers.
o be entered in by P.I.*
2017 Education and Outreach Activities
The overall goal of this project is twofold. The initial goal is to inform agricultural professionals and veterinarians of the need to take seriously the threat that internal parasites pose to sheep producers in the Inter-Mountain West region, especially those producing sheep on irrigated pastures. The second complementary goal is to provide effective training to these educators in all aspects of IPM as defined by the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Control (ACSRPC), to assist sheep producers in the sustainable control of internal parasites, most notably H. contortus.
The ultimate success of the project will be measured by the number of agricultural educators who complete the IPM training sessions and their subsequent education of sheep producers in these practices. The western sheep industry needs to be proactive in the fight against H. contortus. In order to ensure economic viability, producers need the skills to design and implement holistic strategies to control internal parasites.
This project builds on the experiences of educators and producers in their fight against internal parasites in the south and northeastern United States. They are having measurable success controlling H. contortus, but only after IPM programs have been employed. The Intermountain West sheep industry is in the enviable position to be proactive in its suppression of internal parasites through the use of IPM. This project’s goal is to advance that advantage.
Project Anticipated Outcomes
Integrated Parasite Management creates specific outcomes. These results can be measured in the number of sheep in a flock that have demonstrated resilience to internal parasite infection as expressed in fecal egg counts and FAMACHA http://www.wormx.info/famacha scoring. Decreased anthelmintic use will be immediately apparent to producers and to the educators and practicing veterinarians that advise them. Dewormers will be observed to be effective for a longer period of time. This is extremely important, given the limited amount of anthelmintic classes currently available or in the foreseeable future to sheep producers. As the genetic selection component of IPM is practiced, sheep producers will report to agriculture professionals and veterinarians that they are seeing less and less incidence of internal parasitism. Over several years, the ultimate success of the project will be reflected by a decrease in internal parasite infections in those susceptible flocks that employ IPM compared to those that do not.
According to the USDA-NASS 2012 census of agriculture, 53% of Montana’s 1300 sheep operations are 100 head or less (USDA-NASS. 2012. Census of Agriculture). Representing an underserved community, many smaller operations continuously graze small acreage or irrigated pastures, which are more pre-disposed to gastro intestinal parasite inoculation. In the summer of 2016, Stewart and Scott (data unpublished) conducted a pilot project collecting fecal egg counts on small operations to quantify the level of parasite burden. Of the eleven operations surveyed, seven exhibited a moderate to excessive degree of gastro-intestinal parasitism. From these findings additional questions arose, i.e., what are the production losses due to these parasite burdens, what degree of anthelmintic resistance exists in these flocks, and what management strategies can be implemented to minimize reinfections? Crook et al., (2016) observed wide-spread resistance to various classes of dewormers in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. eg., benzimidazoles, ivermectin, moxidectin, and levamisole on 100%, 82%, 47%, and 24% of farms, respectively.
The extent of parasite infection, most notably H. contortus, in the Inter-Mountain West is incomplete. Concurrently, producer awareness of the threat of internal parasites and how to combat them is marginal.
We have launched a project patterned directly after the highly successful SSARE project (Whitley, N.C.,2011).conducted by Dr. Thomas Terrill, et. al. (LS05-177 Sustainable Control of Gastro-intestinal Nematodes in Small Ruminants, 2009) to (1) address the knowledge gaps and target curriculum for control strategies, (2) create producer awareness, and (3) provide assistance to producers by educating ag extension professionals and veterinarians through a series of Train the Trainer sessions.
The long term goals of this project are: (1) survey sheep producer’s perceptions as to the severity of internal parasite infection, (2) quantify the prevalence of H. contortus present through fecal egg counting on sheep operations, (3) employ the DrenchRite assay http://www.wormx.info/storeyhowell2012 to ascertain the degree of resistance to anthelmintic drugs on these operations, and most notably, (4) assist producers through a series of Train the Trainer sessions directed at enabling ag professionals and veterinarians to effectively train producers in all aspects of Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) at the farm level.
Dr. Whit Stewart, University of Wyoming Sheep Extension Specialist, and Dave Scott, Livestock Specialist at the National Center for Appropriate Technology have conducted IPM training for small ruminant producers in 2015 and 2016 at Dave’s sheep operation, Montana Highland Lamb. Forty five attendees participated in these workshops, resulting in 39 FAMACHA certifications. Feedback from these producers has been very favorable. The project team’s goal is to take the next step and extend this training to educators and veterinarians, enabling them to reach out and train producers over a much larger region, specifically the states of Montana, Wyoming, and Utah.
- (Educator and Researcher)
- (Educator and Researcher)
This project focuses on increasing the awareness of producers, veterinarians, and agricultural professionals of the threat of the Barber Pole worm to the sheep industry in the Intermountain States and on teaching Integrated Parasite Management to combat it. IPM training sessions will be conducted on six farms in 2018 and 2019 for training professionals and farmers in FAMACHA eye scoring, creating parasite genetic refugias, grazing strategies, and genetic selection to limit the parasite’s impact on Western farms and ranches, particularly those that are irrigated. This focus will also be leveraged at annual woolgrower conventions in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho in 2017 and 2018 through presentations and at our “Got Worms?” booth at these conventions.
2018 Educational Approach
In 2018, we began our outreach to ag extension agents, veterinarians, high school ag teachers, and sheep producers in Montana, Wyoming, and Utah, featuring workshops on Integrated Parasite Management and FAMACHA scoring. These activities were promoted by our Got Worms? table at Woolgrower conventions in Montana, Wyoming, and at the West Central States Wool Growers Convention (Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming). Additionally, Dave Scott wrote two articles in the Montana Woolgrower Magazine on integrated parasite management.
These activities stimulated interest in our upcoming workshops in 2018.
The workshop curriculum includes controlling the Barber Pole Worm through selective deworming (FAMACHA scoring and deworming only animals that are infected), grazing strategies, and genetic selection for parasite resistant sheep.
Using FAMACHA scoring technique to determine sheep infected by the Barber Pole Worm and then only deworm those that are infected is a recognized best practice by the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control. It allows for a refugia to be established that greatly slows down Barber Pole Worm resistance to any particular dewormer. , Wyoming and at the
Grazing strategies involves three main principles: paddock rest periods of longer than 35 days, paddock grazing periods shorter than four days, and leaving behind at least six inches of paddock residual. Sheep producers who have incorporated these “rules” have demonstrated significant success in reducing the ingestion of Barber Pole Worm larvae.
Genetic selection was also offered as a long term solution to mitigating the effects of the Barber Pole Worm. Producers can select female and male replacements based on individual fecal egg counts or FAMACHA scores that arise during the pasture season. Additionally, two breeds (Polypay and Katahdin) provide “parasite estimated breeding values” that enable rapid progress in genetic selection. Culling ewes that exhibit high fecal egg counts or FAMACHA scores rounds out the genetic selection strategies that can be incorporated to mitigate Barber Pole Worm infection.
Grazing and genetic selection offer long term sustainable control of this parasite and their use was emphasized.
Three training workshops in Montana (Stephensville, Hobson, and at the MSU Ag Extension Annual Conference in Bozeman) and one workshop in Trementon, Utah were conducted by Dave Scott of NCAT in 2018. A total of 19 ag professionals, one high school vo-ag teacher, two veterinarians, and 18 sheep producers were trained. We had many positive comments from all that attended the workshops.
The workshop that was planned for Wyoming producers did not materialize due to a cancelation.
2019 Educational Approach
In 2019, we continued our focus on increasing producer and professional awareness of the Barber Pole Worm through five additional Integrated Parasite Management Workshops in Montana (1), Wyoming(1), Utah (1) and Idaho(2). The Idaho IPM workshop was conducted out of a specific request by the Executive Secretary of the Idaho Woolgrowers Association and was attended by producers, ag professionals, and a Washington State University Veterinary Professor along with four of his vet students. Due to the high attendance, a morning session and an afternoon session was held, allowing 36 attendees to become acquainted with Barber Pole Worm management strategies. Additionally, Dave Scott and NCAT promoted the control of the Barber Pole Worm at presentations to one upper level MSU sheep production class and at the Montana and Wyoming Woolgrowers Associations’ Annual Conventions. Dr. Whit Stewart has also delivered the message to sheep classes at the University of Wyoming. Our message was further conveyed by our convention “Got Worms?” booth. The change in producer awareness of the Barber Pole Worm over the project’s three years is notable and we are glad that this primary goal has been accomplished.
2020 Final Report- Educational Approach
A no cost extension was granted this project in order to finalize an IPM power point with extensive narration to serve ag professional trainers giving outreach and instruction to sheep producers. This is one of the principal products of this project.
Covid has severely limited outreach activities by ag extension agents. Once this pandemic lifts, we sincerely hope that these ag professionals we have trained will conduct IPM trainings with sheep producers with the aid and encouragement that this narrated power point provides.
Because of Covid, we were not able to conduct a invitational IPM workshop as part of a sheep producer field day at the United States Experimental Sheep Station in Dubois, Idaho in June. However, we did conduct one final webinar on IPM to a national audience of 110 producers and ag professionals in October.
At all of these workshop events, Dr. Stewart’s findings in the applied research segment of the project were presented. Dr. Stewart’s research clearly illustrated that the Barber Pole Worm has become a force to be dealt with in the states of Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. The interest among ag professionals and producers in Idaho proved that it is also in that state. Dr. Stewart’s elucidation that widespread Barber Pole Worm resistance to at least one anthelmintic, Benzimidazole, is also a significant finding and that information was conveyed to the sheep community at every opportunity.
Education & Outreach Initiatives
In 2017, our goal was to increase the awareness of veterinarians, ag professionals, and farmers of the threat that the Barber Pole worm posed to sheep operations and to publicize our workshops on Integrated Parasite Management that we will be conducting in 2018 and 2019. Integral to this outreach was applied research conducted by Dr. Whit Stewart of U of Wyoming and Dr. Thomas Murphy of Montana State University concerning the degree of anthelmintic resistance of the Barber Pole worm in Montana and Wyoming sheep flocks.
Dr. Whit Stewart of the University of WY Sheep Extension and NCAT have publicized to producers and ag professionals (veterinarians, extension agents, and NRCS staff) the threat that internal parasites pose through presentations at Woolgrower conventions and meetings in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho. I also delivered this message to veterinarians who affect policy at the 2017 United States Animal Health Association Annual Meeting. Additionally, I included this topic in presentations to three student classes at in the Department of Range and Animal Sciences at Montana State University.
At each presentation, Dr. Stewart and I included the findings from the project’s first year of applied research (Dr. Whit Stewart, U of WY, Dr. Thomas Murphy, Montana State University) on sheep internal parasites. These findings underscored the facts that internal parasites are indeed a problem for Montana and Wyoming producers and that there is potential for parasite resistance to anthelmintics.
2017 Educational Initiatives and Activities
Dave Scott presented to 30 sheep producers on Integrated Parasite Management’ at the Montana Woolgrowers Annual Convention. He also managed a “Got Worms?” table there, increasing awareness among attendees of the increasing presence of the Barber Pole Worm in the Intermountain West. In October of 2017, Dave was invited to speak at a breakout session of the United States Animal Health Association in San Diego to a group of 70 veterinarians on current techniques of controlling the Barber Pole Worm. His message was well received among these animal producers and professionals.
A short survey was compiled from eight of the veterinarians who responded:
2018 Educational Activities and Initiatives
Outreach in the form of workshops was begun in 2018. We had three objectives:
- Increase the awareness of sheep producers and ag professionals that the threat of Barber Pole Worm infection in sheep flocks on irrigated pasture was very real.
- The Barber Pole Worm was developing resistance to anthelmintics in the Intermountain West, specifically to Valbezan and to a lesser degree, Ivermectin.
- Train ag professionals and veterinarians in the biology of the Barber Pole Worm and current best practices to sustainably control the parasite.
We conducted IPM and FAMACHA scoring workshops in the following locations in 2018:
- Sharon Johnson, Stephensville, MT
- Doug Hitch Ranch, Hobson, MT
- Montana State Ag Extension Conference, MSU Bozeman
- Box Elder County Fairgrounds, Tremonton, UT
The workshops included the following agenda:
The incidence of the Barber Pole Worm in the Intermountain West.
Findings from MSU’s applied research concerning Barber Pole resistance in MT and WY.
Conditions that favor H. contortus (Barber Pole Worm) infection.
Description of the Barber pole Worm life cycle.
Decreasing parasite resistance to dewormers by creating refugia. Although refugia can be created through both fecal egg counts and FAMACHA scoring , FAMACHA is much more practical for most producers.
Sustainable control of the parasite by strategic grazing technique on irrigated pastures. The three “rules” are at least 35 days of pasture rest, paddock grazing periods of four days or less, and leaving behind 6-8 inches of residual.
Increasing host resistance through genetic selection against H. contortus. Fecal egg counts and FAMACHA are the means of accomplishing this selection.
Hands on demonstration and practice of FAMACHA scoring.
The classroom lecture generally lasted one and one half hours followed by one and one half hour of FAMACHA scoring. Where possible, a grazing demonstrating grazing practices to limit ingestion of parasite larvae was conducted.
These workshops were advertised GotWorms_061218-MT-flyer on NCAT’s list serve, Cooperative Extension list serves, and on the Montana Sheep Message Board.
The training curriculum Curriculum-for-IPM-Train-the-trainer-Workshop-Session1Curriculum-for-IPM-Train-the-trainer-Workshop-Session1 guided the two hour classroom lecture.
Classroom instruction was followed by one to two hours of FAMACHA scoring and a grazing walk demonstrating grazing practices to limit ingestion of parasite larvae.
‘Dave Scott presenting to IPM attendees at Doug Hitch’s, Hobson, MT
Discussing parasite management, Hobson IPM Workshop
These 2018 workshops trained 18 ag professionals, 19 producers, and 3 veterinarians in IPM and FAMACHA scoring.
At each of these workshops a rich discussion was prompted by producers that were having problems with the Barber Pole Worm. We were able to provide answers to their queries and outline both remedial and proactive responses to Barber Pole Worm infection.
In addition to the above workshops, Dave Scott presented about IPM techniques at the Montana, Wyoming, and West Central States Woolgrower Conventions.
Additional presentations on IPM conducted in 2018 included:
Dr. Tom Murphy’s(Montana State University) Sheep Production class
Western Montana Sheep Producer’s Seminar
I was certainly grateful for the opportunity to get the word out about the Barber Pole worm, its potential threat to sheep producers, and how we can mitigate the effect of this parasite.
2019 Educational Initiatives and Activities
The objective of the project in 2019 remained to increase the awareness of veterinarians, ag professionals , and farmers of the threat of the Barber Pole Worm. This was accomplished by continuing the applied research on the degree of anthelmintic resistance in MT and WY and by giving five IPM workshops in MT, WY, UT, and ID.
Dave Scott conducted five IPM workshops at the following locations:
1. Montana Sheep Company, Brent and Tracie Roeder, Ft. Shaw, MT. State Sheep Extension Specialist, Brent Roeder co- presented in this workshop.
2. Wyoming Woolgrowers Association Summer Meeting, University of WY, Laramie, WY, co presented with Dr. Stewart.
3. Kaysville, UT. Ag Extension Agent, Josh Dallin, co- presented at this workshop.
4. Good Shepard Farm, Caleb Pirc, Meridian, ID. Two workshops were given on Caleb’s farm.
The curriculum in 2019 was the same as the 2018 curriculum. Updated applied research findings by Dr. Stewart were presented at these workshops as well. A total of nine county extension agents, 56 producers, and one veterinarian attended these trainings.
“All Things Sheep Workshop” with Dave Scott presenting on Integrated Parasite Management at Brent and Tracy Roeder Ranch in Choteau, MT.
Dave Scott instructing parasite workshop attendee how to “pop out” the lower eyelid in the FAMACHA scoring technique.
Additional presentations were made at the following meetings in 2019:
Western Montana Sheep Producers Seminar (repeated invitation)
Montana Woolgrowers Convention (repeat invitation)
Front Range Woolgrowers (MT) Conference
Eastern Montana Sheep Symposium
Brent Roeder’s Montana State University Sheep Production class
Dave Scott conducted the first IPM webinar, Don’t Let the Barber Pole Worm Ravage Your Flock, in 2019. It was delivered to a national audience of 102 attendees. In the succeeding 22 months, it has had 1347 visits on the ATTRA website.
A video https://attra.ncat.org/famacha-out-west/ showing how easy FAMACHA scoring is to integrate into your flock management was produced in 2018. There are currently (January 2021) 4552 views of this video.
2020 Educational Initiatives and Activities
At the 2019 Wyoming Woolgrower IPM Workshop, Idaho State Woolgrower Executive Director, Naomi Gordon, expressed an interest in having an IPM workshop in Idaho. She said that many producers are inquiring about what to do with the Barber Pole Worm. We made the decision to extend our outreach into Idaho. In February 2020, we held a workshop at Caleb Pirc’s farm in Meridian, Idaho. Caleb is a Katahdin producer, Vice-Chair for the Katahdin Hair Sheep International’s National Sheep Improvement Program Committee, and also the the Government Affairs Manager of the Idaho Wool Growers Association. Thirty six participants attended, including one ag extension agent and one veterinarian professor, Dr. James England from Washington State University. It was exciting that Dr. England brought six veterinary students with him from WSU. They were doing an internship in nearby Nampa, ID. Dr. England provided helpful insights on sheep parasites in general and the Barber Pole Worm in particular. Due to the strong attendance, we had two five hour workshop sessions in one day.
This workshop initiated an invitation by Dr. Joan Burke of the American Consortium of Small Ruminant Parasite Control and Dr. Bret Taylor of the US Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho to conduct an IPM session at the USSES sheep field day in June of 2020. Unfortunately, due to Covid, the field day was canceled.
2020 No Cost Extension Education and Outreach Initiatives and Activities: March 30 to December 31 2020
To date, five of the 29 trained ag professionals have conducted IPM workshops.
I spoke to some of the ag extension agents who were trained in IPM by the project and asked them why they had not yet conducted an IPM training. One agent indicated that the workshops conducted by this project already satisfied producer demand in his county. However, the agents surveyed also indicated that IPM is a very complicated topic and it would be nice if they had more than just a power point to work from. I had told all trained agents that I would personally assist them in conducting the workshops to producers, but evidently that was not enough. Consequently, in 2020, I applied for a no cost extension to update the training Power Point and to write a slide by slide narrative to the training IPM PowerPoint, Integrated Parasite Management: Sheep. The Genetic Selection section was written by Caleb Pirc.
Both the Power Point and its narration have been sent to all trainers in the project. Additionally, these two resources are on NCAT’s ATTRA website. https://attra.ncat.org/ipm-training-barber-pole-worm/
A survey was sent to all trained 29 ag professionals to canvas their response to the updated power point and its narration.
There were eight responses.
Five trainers (62.5%) conducted one IPM training for producers in the last two years, including three that collaborated together for one of the trainings. One trainer conducted two IPM workshops. These trainings resulted in 73 sheep producers being trained in IPM. One hundred percent of the survey participants felt that the power point, Integrated Parasite Management: Sheep and its narrative would make it easier to train producers in the future. Six trainers (75%) indicated that they would conduct an IPM training in the next 12 months, Covid permitting.
In March 2020, I was again invited to present about parasites to MSU’s Sheep Production class (Dr. Hayes Goosey).
Our final deliverable to this project was an IPM webinar in October 2020. The train the trainer webinar and its new narration were presented by Dr. Whit Stewart(Sheep Specialist, U of WY), Dr. Melinda Ellison (Sheep Specialist, U of ID), Caleb Pirc (Good Shepherd Farm), and myself. It was delivered to a national audience of 97 attendees, including 23 extension agents from a diverse geographical base. With the help of NCAT’s national list serve, 3800 producers were reached with this advertisement:
A FAMACHA scoring demonstration video was provided to attendees wishing to receive a FAMACHA card at 1:53:02 of this webinar. Any attendee who wished a FAMACHA card was required to view this video and then send in a smart phone video of him/her self demonstrating the correct technique. Eleven FAMACHA cards were distributed to attendees taking advantage of this option.
This online training demonstrated its ability to extend outreach to a wide audience with relatively minimal cost. It was very fortunate we had the IT resources of NCAT to put on the webinar successfully.
To date, there has been little applied research in the Inter Mountain West concerning the presence of Barber Pole Worm infection or it’s resistance to anthelmintics. Drs. Stewart’s and Murphy’s findings during the first year of applied research is attached Report-Year-1-Field-Research-EW17-011WS-FINAL-121817. In essence, the study found significant presence of Barber Pole infection in the flocks surveyed and parasite resistance to one of the most common anthelmintics, Benzimidazole. There was moderate resistance to Levamisol and Ivermectin and no resistance to Moxidectin. These results indicate that dewormer resistance is occurring and perhaps increasing; however, there is opportunity to put into place Integrated Parasite Management strategies for positive impacts.
Additionally, parasite infection was found primarily in irrigated settings. However, there is significant potential for infection in large range operations that have sub irrigated or irrigated pastures near ranch headquarters that orphan lambs, rams, or ewes not fit to go out on the range graze upon. The potential of these “at risk” pastures typically is forgotten and needs to be addressed.
The small study established that the Barber Pole worm is a force to be reckoned with in both range and irrigated operations and substantiates the need for the Train the Trainer IPM workshops to be conducted in years two and three of the project. The study’s results were included in our outreach to nearly 900 farmers, veterinarians, and ag professionals through nine presentations in 2017. It captured the attention of audiences, and helped create interest in the upcoming Train the Trainer IPM sessions.
Producer surveys (sample one is attached, Internal-Parasite-Producer-Survey-2017) were conducted at the Montana and West Central States Woolgrower conventions in 2016-2017 in addition to a summary of the results Producer-Parasite-Survey-2016.-2017-MT-WCS-Woolgrowers-conventions-1918. This survey of 34 producers reveals that 71% of the respondents considered internal parasites a manageable to major threat. Furthermore, 68% of the respondents dewormed all animals while only 3% were employing FAMACHA scoring. This indicates that there is a potential for anthemintic resistance due to the lack of a parasitic genetic refugia in flocks. Forty seven percent indicated that they would be interested in attending an IPM training session, demonstrating the need for IPM trainers.
This year’s research and outreach to ag professionals and producers had a positive outcome: it increased awareness in the parasitic threat and also created interest in attending the Train the Trainer IPM sessions scheduled in 2018 and 2019.
2018 to 2020 Outcomes and Impacts
Dr. Stewart continued his applied research on the incidence of Barber Pole worm in Montana and Wyoming and the organism’s resistance to the three classes of anthelmintic on sheep ranches in these states using the DrenchRite Assay.
Dr. Stewart’s 2020 findings https://cdn.sare.org/wp-content/uploads/20200320153725/Final-Report-1Dr.-Whit-Stewart-32020.pdf indicate again that the H. contortus resistance to Benzimadols was high in flocks infected with the Barber Pole Worm. The DrenchRite producer-collaborator surveys indicated that flocks that ran on dryland range, or on hayed ground did not suffer from H. contortus infection. Grazing hayed grounds as a means of controlling H. contortus has been one of the recommended practices resulting from this project.
During the second and third years of the project, we feel that our promotion of the Barber Pole Worm problem at Woolgrower Conventions and offering methods of mediation via workshops has undoubtedly increased knowledge of the parasite threat in Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and now Idaho and has provided hope to control it. Presentations at Montana State University and the University of Wyoming by Dave Scott and Dr. Stewart have additionally served to initiate awareness in this region’s upcoming generation of sheep producers.
The IPM workshops and webinars themselves have been responsible for significant outcomes in 2018 to 2020. Twenty three extension agents, four veterinarians, one vocational agriculture teacher Trainers trained 2018-2020 (1), and 119 sheep producers have attended one of the ten IPM train the trainer workshops or webinars, receiving full training, including FAMACHA scoring.
An additional twenty one ag professionals from all over the United States attended the October 2020 IPM webinar. While these ag professionals did not apply for the FAMACHA card, we are hoping that this webinar will be an initial step to full training in IPM.
The following table is a summary of live workshop and webinar attendees:
The survey responses below indicate the significant amount of knowledge gained by these 369 attendees from the workshops and the Oct 2020 webinar:
This data is summarized in the following table:
The summarized table shows significant knowledge (greater than 200%)has been gained in each of the five main topics of IPM instruction: Barber Pole Worm Life Cycle, Refugia, FAMACHA scoring, Grazing Strategically, and Genetic Selection.
This survey also compiles the responses of ag educators to the following questions based on 1= low to 5=high:
1.How well do you feel you could teach the concepts of Barber Pole Worm Integrated Parasite Management to sheep producers? Average= 3.31
2.Was there anything you wanted to learn more about that was NOT covered? No=25 Yes=3
3.How would you rate the workshop overall? Average= 4.79
4.Based on what you experienced here today, would you recommend this workshop to other ag service providers who might be interested in teaching sheep producers IPM? Yes=29 (100% of responses)
5.Because of what I learned in this workshop, I intend to:
1.Within the next year organize and conduct an IPM workshop for sheep producers 10
2. Notify sheep producers of IPM workshops given by my colleagues 10
3. Other 4
4. Nothing at this point 3
5. No response 2
6.Would you be interested in a future webinar on IPM and the Barber Pole Worm? Yes= 24 No=5
After completing the training, nearly all felt more knowledgeable and some trainers felt that they would be able to conduct an IPM Training, especially with some assistance from Dr Stewart or Dave Scott.
We feel that the trainings have been very successful. However, trained ag professionals’ initiation of IPM workshops for their own producer base has been less than hoped. We have had five ag extension agents, Josh Dallin (UT), Jake Hadfield (UT), Emiley Standley (MT), Brent Roeder (MSU State Sheep Specialist), and Melinda Ellison (Idaho State Sheep Specialist) conduct IPM workshops. Brent has in fact, conducted two in 2019. We were hoping for more professionals to do so. We know that they are very busy and we hope to encourage more involvement in the summer of 2020.
It is this deficiency that we are hoping to address with our no cost extension application. We would like for ag professionals to hold in person IPM workshops, but with the uncertainty of the Covid 19 virus and public gatherings, we are putting together a contingency plan that will include the development of a narrated power point that the ag professional can utilize without actually holding an in person workshop. FAMACHA scoring certification will be administered by critiquing each producer’s technique on video. Dave Scott will develop the webinar and also provide assistance with the FAMACHA certification.
Five tip sheets on H. contortus management, written by Dave Scott of NCAT have had the following visits in 2019 and 2020. They include:
Frequently Asked Questions About Integrative Parasite Management tipsheet-FAQ-pdf-620181
861 total ATTRA Downloads
Why FAMACHA score? Tipsheet-Why-FAMACHA-score-pdf
858 total ATTRA Downloads
Using Fecal Egg Counts to Control the Barber Pole Worm Tipsheet-fecaleggcounts-tipsheet-PDF-FINAL-52518
1224 total ATTRA Downloads
Grazing to Control Parasites tipsheet-graze-tocontrol-PDF-6518
1189 total ATTRA Downloads
Simple Genetic Strategies to Limit the Barber Pole Worm Tipsheet-Simple-Genetic-Selection-Strategies-pdf-62018
803 total ATTRA Downloads
These tip sheets serve as the core material for the IPM training presentations. They were part of the packet distributed to all attendees of the trainings. Other items in the packet included Key Points about the Barber Pole Worm Key-Points-to-Integrative-Parasite-Management, a FAMACHA card, and slide notes on the power point presentation. As evidenced by the number of downloads from the ATTRA website, the tip sheets have been in strong demand.
Although not included in the project proposal, NCAT created a Facebook Group, Beat the Barber Pole Worm https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeatTheBPW/, in November 2018. In 2019, the group had 123 members, up from 57 in 2018. We are hopeful that this group will continue to grow in number and that it will be a helpful resource for producers and professionals desiring information and discussion about how to decrease anthelmintic resistance and increase control of the Baber Pole Worm through holistic methods including grazing and genetic selection.
Additionally, we are excited that Caleb Pirc, the newly appointed Director of Governmental Affairs and Membership of the Idaho Woolgrowers Association has indicated he would like to become a trainer in 2020 and we have offered to train him further. He is uniquely positioned to identify and teach those Idaho sheep producers that would greatly benefit from integrated parasite management strategies. Although initially out of the scope of this project, we welcome Caleb’s enthusiastic interest and demonstrated abilities.
Dr. Stewart and Dave Scott feel that there have been many positive outcomes for the Integrated Parasite Management: Train the Trainer Project in 2018 and 2019. We feel that we are meeting many of our goals for the project as stated in the Project Introduction. We look forward to increasing these outcomes in 2020 with the no cost extension until December 31, 2020.
Specific 2020 Outcomes and Impacts
Dr. Whit Stewart published his research paper,. Dr. Stewart chronicled the species composition and prevalence of gastro intestinal nematodes in 25 selected ranches in Montana (15), Wyoming (9), and Utah (1). He found the prevalence to be 68% Haemonchus contortus (Barber Pole Worm), followed by Trycostrongylus (12.4%), Oesphagostumum (8.9%), Teladorsadia (8.4%), and Cooperia (1.8%). His research also found in twelve of he flocks sampled, the Barber Pole Worm was resistant to Benzimidazoles in 91.7% of the flocks, to Ivermectin in 50% of the flocks, and to Moxidectin in 8.3% of the flocks. Of further significance, Dr. Stewart found that in only 25% of the flocks was selective deworming practiced. This finding would correlate to the high rate of resistance of the Barber Pole Worm to Benzimidazoles and Ivermectin. These research findings supported the need for educating sheep producers on the threat of GIN infections (particularly the Barber Pole Worm) on irrigated pasture and for promoting the use of selective deworming through FAMACHA scoring. These findings aligned with our outreach message to producers throughout the project. We believe from survey data and from producer comments that there will be an increased use of FAMACHA scoring to selectively deworm and that this proactive approach will decrease the rate of anthelmintic resistance to the Barber Pole Worm in the future.
Beat the Barber Pole Worm, a Facebook Group created by NCAT in 2018 in hopes of furthering this project, ended 2020 with 186 members, including two members of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control. It has been another source of interactive information for producers who would like to learn more about controlling the Barber Pole Worm. That information base has been broadened by the addition of sheep producers from New Zealand.
As previously mentioned, I conducted a workshop in Meridian, Idaho in February of 2020. It was given by request of the Executive Director of the Idaho Wool Growers Association. We had one veterinarian professor at Washington State University, six of his students, one county agent and 29 producers attend who were very interested in controlling the Barber Pole Worm in their flocks. Nearly all of the attending farms participated fully in the workshop and received FAMACHA cards.
The attendees at this workshop all expressed gratitude for this learning experience. I feel that we have helped them with parasite management and that they will use the sustainable concepts we taught in the years to come to increase profitability in their flocks.
The October 2020 IPM webinar that Dr. Stewart, Dr. Ellison, Caleb and myself conducted produced meaningful outcomes. Fifty one respondents rated the webinar 4.7 out of a possible five points for overall excellence. I was humbled by their response and hope that they will easily put to use what they learned. As mentioned, the webinar and its narration is on the ATTRA website, https://attra.ncat.org/ipm-training-barber-pole-worm/, for those who are interested in learning about small ruminant Integrated Parasite Management.
Educational & Outreach Activities
Due to producer interest, one IPM workshop was given by NCAT in July 2017 for producers at Montana Highland Lamb in Whitehall, MT. Nineteen producers and family members from 15 ranches attended with a total of 15 FAMACHA cards being given out to successful participants. These participants are skilled in putting IPM into practice on their sheep operations.
We have had no outcomes directly associated with training ag professionals and veterinarians or in the number of farmers reached through their programs. These outcomes will be generated in years two and three of the project.
2018 Learning Outcomes and Impact
In their ongoing applied research on incidence of H. contortus and its resistance to anthelmintics, Drs. Whit Stewart nd Thomas Murphy continued to observe significant infection on irrigated pastures while non-irrigated pastures or pastures where haying is incorporated in the pasture rotation showed little Barber Pole Worm infection. Resistance to Benzimidazole dewormers was widespread on irrigated pasture systems. This indicates, at least for irrigated farms, the need for Fecal Egg Count Reduction Tests or DrenchRite Assays to be performed to determine if dewormers are indeed effective.
Project Learning Outcomes: Summary of Years 2017-2020
The total outreach in the project has had clear impacts:
Over 8800 producers and ag professionals nationwide have been effectively reached with our tipsheets, webinars, podcast, workshops, and presentations, providing a new awareness of the threat of the Barber Pole Worm and sustainable strategies of control.
One very beneficial long term impact of this project is the partnership being developed with Caleb Pirc of Good Shepherd Farm. He is interested in becoming trained as an instructor in IPM and wishes to train more Idaho ag educators to train sheep producers. Caleb is a very enthusiastic young sheep producer and is learning and exhibiting his leadership skills on both state and national levels within the sheep industry. I look forward to helping Caleb being certified by the ACSRPC as an IPM instructor of trainers in order that more trainers can be trained going forward.
In conclusion, this project has met its goals of informing agricultural professionals, veterinarians, and producers of the need to take seriously the threat that internal parasites pose to sheep producers in the Inter-Mountain West region, especially those raising sheep on irrigated pastures. It has also met its second goal of providing effective training to these ag educators and veterinarians in all aspects of IPM as defined by the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Control (ACSRPC), to assist sheep producers in the sustainable control of internal parasites, most notably H. contortus.
While the project has fallen somewhat short in encouraging the trained trainers to extend their learned knowledge sheep producers, we feel we have identified the cause and have responded to it with the addition of a fully narrated Power Point on Integrated Parasite Management. We feel confident that this will increase the number of ag educators joining in the training of sheep producers in the states of Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and additionally, Idaho.
Furthermore, Dave Scott is happy to report that Caleb Pirc will be certified in the months ahead as an IPM instructor of trainers in Idaho. This will lead the project forward in that state as well.
The Project Lead, Dave Scott, and the Subcontractor, Dr. Whit Stewart, feel pleased with the amount of progress that this project has enjoyed with informing the sheep producer, ag educator, and veterinarian communities of the distinct threat posed by the Barber Pole Worm and with the education of these stakeholders in methodology to mitigate the effects of this parasite. We feel that the WSARE Project, Integrated Parasite Management: Train the Trainer, has been enormously successful.
One unanticipated learning outcome of sampling for the DrenchRite assay was the discovery that you have to use FAMACHA scoring to filter prospective ewes for DrenchRite sampling. The ten fecal samples need to include at least 50% FAMACHA score 4 ewes in order to ensure a fecal egg count of greater than 500 eggs per gram. If this parasite challenge is not met, the Drenchrite Assay results are inconclusive.
Although the project did not initially include training trainers in Idaho, a total of one Idaho ag educator, one veterinarian, six veterinary students, and 27 producers were trained in IPM. Additionally, this project has built a long lasting relationship with Dr. Melinda Ellison, the Idaho State Sheep and Range Specialist. Furthermore, Caleb Pirc of the Idaho State Wool Growers Association, has expressed interest in becoming an IPM instructor of future trainers in Idaho. This outcomes will serve to extend this project even further than its original goals.
We have received many positive comments by attendees to our IPM workshops.
As a result of attending an IPM workshop in 2018, a relatively new sheep producer in Montana who experienced substantial problems with the Barber Pole Worm has initiated new integrated parasite management procedures on his farm in grazing management and in selective deworming. He reports much fewer problems and is encouraged by the results.
A club lamb producer in Western Montana emailed Dave Scott, stating, “I think it’s really important that producers/4H learn about parasites. Especially if they are going to continue on with a Breeding Flock Project.”
A woman producer from Wyoming mentioned at the Laramie IPM workshop, “I have waited two years for this. It has been so good today.”
Another comment from a young woman producer in Utah this year sums up producer gratitude for the IPM workshops: ”I am so glad that you have come all the way down to Utah to show us all of these things. I really needed this information you have supplied and feel like I am miles ahead in my new flock management.”
An extension agent and sheep producer in Western Montana communicated to Dave Scott after she had attended the Stevensville, Montana IPM Train the Trainer training session. She wrote:MT-Bitterroot-ext-agent-comment-Stevensville-IPM-training-9118
A high school vocational agriculture instructor in Northwestern Utah commented, “I will teach my classes (IPM) and do some agri-science projects.”
A veterinarian in Montana commented after a workshop, “This stuff you are teaching is right on the money.”
These comments have all been very heartwarming and have spurred this project forward.