Re-Inventing the Appalachian Shepherd
We have narrowed the scope of this project. Our work will produce a position paper discussing a suggested course of study that will define a new Appalachian shepherd and provide an argument for more in-depth study in many areas, including.
a)defining an economically important flock
b)gaining a better understanding of the relationship between Appalachia and the national sheep industry
c)comparing the similarities of economically important operations of all species
d)better understand the role of guardian animals in Appalachia
e)the exploration of a cost-per-unit of production analysis to a sheep enterprise
f) expanding the role forages play in the new shepherding system
Results to date
The progress to report involves the decision by the group to conduct a conference, rather than the field trip. This is different from the grant proposal but more efficient and certainly more far-reaching, as far as, number of producers and leaders hearing the message.
The conference is scheduled for July 2000 on or near the West Virginia University campus in Morgantown, West Virginia. The program will include presentations from nationally prominent academicians, industry leaders, and producers who are involved with financially important sheep operations, other efficient livestock and grain producing operations, leaders of industry groups and educators who work with the before mentioned groups, and the professionals who work for and around them. Outcomes will include a better understanding of the direction shepherds must move toward, identification of resources that are currently available, and identification of topics needing more study.
There is great interest in the sheep industry in Appalachia and this conference has already lead to great interest pertaining to a regional sheep center. The players are already in place. If something more formal arises this will sere as a great starting place. If more work has to be done the conference will allow for more face-to-face committee work.
Reported February 2000.