Sheep and Goat Farmers Earn Certification in IPM

A group of farmers and trainers are sitting in a barn learning about sheep and goat parasites.
Photos by Jake Jacobs and Kelsie Meehan

Twenty-two sheep and goat producers from Vermont and the Northeast earned certification in the FAMACHA method of monitoring small ruminants for internal parasites in a three-part workshop series culminating in an on-farm training held on May 23, 2022 in Whiting, VT. Part 1 and Part 2 of the workshop series are available to view as recorded webinars. The course was co-hosted by UVM Extension, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Cornell Sheep and Goat program.

A woman is looking through a microscope and parasites.Internal parasites are one of the biggest health problems affecting sheep and goats in the Northeast, and dewormer resistance is commonplace. This course helped producers address these challenges by teaching the basics of parasite control, how to develop Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) programs for their farms, and the status of new innovations in parasite management.

The on-farm session was held at the farm of Lewis Fox, partner in Agrivoltaic Solutions, and Niko Kochendoerfer, postdoctoral fellow in the Cornell University Department of Animal Science. The course was taught by Dr. Tatiana Stanton, Cornell University Sheep and Goat State Extension specialist, Betsy Hodge, Cornell Cooperative Extension livestock educator, and Janice Liotta of the Cornell University Parasitology Lab.

Farmers examining a goat for parasites.During the hands-on training, participants learned how to use the FAMACHA Anemia Card as part of a five-point check to determine which animals in their herd or flock most likely need deworming, as well as how to prepare fecal samples from their livestock for microscopic analysis and fecal egg counting. After demonstrating proper technique with the FAMACHA protocol, participants received certification in the method and an official FAMACHA card to be used as part of a parasite management strategy for their own herds and flocks.

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