- Animals: sheep
- Animal Production: animal protection and health, grazing management, grazing - rotational, livestock breeding, parasite control
- Education and Training: farmer to farmer, technical assistance
- Pest Management: genetic resistance, integrated pest management
- Production Systems: holistic management
- Sustainable Communities: quality of life
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will collaborate 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, the project team will make presentations at state woolgrower conventions and
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.
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.
Project objectives from proposal:
The overall goal of this project is twofold. The initial goal is to inform ag 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 Parasite 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 ag 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
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.
Integrated Parasite Management creates specific outcomes. These results can be measured by 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 anthelmintics presently available or in the foreseeable future, to sheep producers. As the genetic selection component of IPM is
practiced, sheep producers will report to ag 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.