PR-GOSHEPI - PHASE II. Hands-on Training in Best Management Practices for Sustainable Small Ruminant Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Education Only
Funds awarded in 2024: $38,970.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2026
Grant Recipient: University of Puerto Rico
Region: Southern
State: Puerto Rico
Principal Investigator:
Abner Rodriguez
University of Puerto Rico
Dr. John Fernandez
University of Puerto Rico


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

It has been documented that over the last 10 years, Puerto Rico
has been experiencing one of the worst economic crises in its
history. Hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, and the COVID-19
outbreak have increased this crisis. Although this series of
events has weakened our fragile food security, a persistent and
growing interest in small ruminant production has been observed.
Lamb and dairy goat producers have seen an opportunity to enhance
their production systems and improve marketing strategies for
edible products.  In addition, a program sponsored by SARE –
Educational Program on 2021, EDS21-29, “PR PR-GOSHEPI “Puerto
Rico – Goat and Sheep Educational Program Initiative” has been
conducted with great acceptability and success among
producers.  PR-GOSHEPI enhanced the interest of current
sheep and goat producers to improve their enterprises, and it
attracted new producers and current and former livestock
producers (i.e., cattle and swine) for raising small ruminants.
In addition, because of PR-GOSHEPI activities, great interest in
goat and sheep production has developed during the last 2 years
among students attending Agricultural Vocational Schools.
Although local production of lamb meat and goat milk has
increased in recent years, Puerto Rico continues to import these
foods for domestic consumption at higher prices than local
products. Written information and a recorded webinar have been
developed as part of our current PR-GOSHEPI Grant; however, there
are knowledge gaps on proper sheep and goat best management
practices thus leading to a total sustainability challenge.
 It is imperative that the local producer continue to have
access to the necessary tools to improve their competitiveness
and promote the development, expansion, and sustainable
production of the animal industry and the subsequent production
of locally produced lamb and goat edible products.  To
increase small ruminant productivity, sustainability, and
profitability, more programs need to be developed to aid
producers with appropriate educational materials. Also, hands-on
training of best management practices for sustainable small
ruminant production in tropical areas, specifically in Puerto
Rico and the continental USA, is limited. This fact limits the
accessibility of hands-on training in the best management
practices for sheep and goats. Therefore, developing educational
and practical opportunities in this clientele’s native language
is necessary. The objective of this proposal is to create the
Puerto Rico Goat and Sheep Producer Educational Program
Initiative (PR-GOSHEPI) PHASE II that will target members of the
DA-SRPF, independent producers, Vocational Agricultural
schoolteachers, and other clientele, and to educate them on 1)
Physical Examination and How to Perform Body Condition Score, 2)
FAMACHA Certification, 5 Point Control Check, and Fecal Egg Count
3. Principles of Animal Health: Prevention, Diagnostic, and
Treatment of Disease, 4). Hoof Trimming, 5) Pregnancy Detection,
6) Semen Collection and Evaluation, and 7). Shearing, 8) Body
Weight and Dry Matter Intake Estimation, 9). Basic Ration
Formulation, 10) Elaboration of Nutritional Blocks, 11).
Rotational grazing, and 12). Mortality Compost. The PR-GOSHEPI
will be using webpages and radio talks, as its main delivery
methods. As part of the proposal, illustrated handouts on best
management practices will be developed for every training

Project objectives from proposal:

To continue the Puerto Rico Goat and Sheep Educational Program
Initiative (PR-GOSHEPI) PHASE II to develop activities to enhance
sustainable small ruminant production on the island. Specific
objectives include:

  1. Create a hands-on training program in Best Management
    Practices for Sustainable Small Ruminant Production.
  2. Development: Illustrate Educational Material on Best
    Management Practices for Sustainable Small Ruminant Production
  3. Assessment of the impact of PR-GOSHEPI – PHASE II on
    knowledge on sustainable small ruminant production
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.