(Delaware, OH – August 15, 2011)  Delaware County will play host to Sheep-O-Rama – a one-day educational event to promote the development of the Sheep Dairy Industry in Ohio. Set for Saturday, October 1, 2011, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Delaware County (OH) Fairgrounds, this event was organized by the Heart of Ohio RC&D and the Ohio Sheep Milk & Cheese Initiative and sponsored in part by Innovative Farmers of Ohio.

The day’s events will focus on the business of sheep milk production including financing, facility and equipment requirements, genetics and grazing. This event should be of interest to those already raising sheep for meat or fiber that want to add value to their herd or for those considering embarking on a new farming venture.

Keynote speaker will be Claire Mikolayunas, Ph.D., Dairy Sheep Specialist from the University of Wisconsin. She is also an advisor to the Wisconsin Dairy Sheep Initiative — a partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and the Dairy Business Innovation Center which provides technical and business planning support to dairy sheep producers and processors and connects them with viable markets. She has also served as President of the Dairy Sheep Association of North America. Not only can Dr. Mikolayunas answer virtually any sheep-related question, she is well versed in the demands and requirements of establishing a successful sheep dairy.

Also scheduled to speak is Bob Hendershot, USDA/NRCS State Grazing Specialist and 2010 Charles Boyles Master Shepherd Award winner. He is a long-time member of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, of which he has served as president, and also currently serves as a representative for the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program. He can speak to many sheep production issues, but will focus mainly on

management-intensive grazing and forage-based nutrition.

Other speakers will include Lisa Sippel, she and her husband, Ben, are owners of the first ODA licensed Sheep Dairy in the State of Ohio, who will outline their journey from business idea to working, inspected facility and Jim McGuire, Wichert Insurance, who will identify the risks inherent in a sheep dairy operation and how to effectively manage them using “Risk Management” techniques. Plans are in the works to have sheep dairy and sheep handling equipment on-site so that participants have a first-hand view. Artisan cheese makers from around the state will be on hand to offer samples of sheep cheeses and other sheep dairy products. There will also be a presentation on how to fund your farming venture and a discussion about how dairy by-products, such as whey, can be used as a supplement and improve your bottom line. Morning coffee, breakfast and lunch will be available for a small fee from the Fairgrounds concessionaire. 

For more information, contact Traci Aquara, Heart of Ohio RC&D, or visit or Cost is $20 in advance, $25 after 9/26/11.  To register, please send check or money order for $20, payable to Heart of Ohio RC&D, and mail to 557 Sunbury Rd., Delaware OH 43015, ATTN: Sheep-O-Rama.

Schedule of Events – click here


12 Responses to

  1. DianeS says:

    It would be wonderful to have locally produced sheeps milk cheeses available! We have some wonderful locally produced goat’s milk cheese but none from sheep. A hole in the market waiting to be filled!

  2. Roberta Rocco says:

    Sheeps milk ricotta would be my first wish for artisnal cheese made from sheeps milk.

  3. Jill Hayes says:

    We have a flock of registered Horned Dorset sheep and are interested in learning new ways to keep them profitable. Interested in learning more about dairy possibilities with this and other breeds.

  4. Don says:

    hi !!! I have a flock of 30 Blue Face Lecistors, and we strarted this flock for the wool…. but two summers ago…. hand milked 6 head….. for a month and a half in the summer….. Freazing it…. making cheese for our self…. Propblem :::: Is, that ODA needs to have it pasterized before selling cheese. I’m able to cook with it,,, and make Fudge, in which we can sell… (very good, thank-you) To do the cheese, we need a comerical pasturzing plant….. ODA will not reconize the $400 one that you can buy local, or out of a catalog….. They do not have a Recorder, and three themomtors…. Many people have asked about sheep milk,,,, but can not sell…..

  5. Patty Baker says:

    I wood be interested in sheep milk products. Not necessarily cheese; but, milk, butter, cream , and ice cream.

  6. Dave F says:

    I’m interested in farming. Bought some farm land last year and eventually want to live their and raise my own food. I’m interested in sheep for their meat and wool. I’ve read a little bit about dairy sheep and find that very interesting. I’m glad to see an initiative in Ohio. Although too late and over-committed to attend this symposium, I will gladly follow the progress this organization makes.

  7. Jim McGuire Jr CPCU, CPIA, AFIS says:

    When looking into this exciting prospect, remember that traditional farm insurance is not designed to cover dairy operations – be they sheep, goats or cows, or the use of their milk to make other products. Make sure that you have the proper coverage.

  8. Deborah says:

    The Ohio Sheep Milk and Cheese Initiative Symposium
    was wonderful ! I learned a lot and found out a lot too ! Thank-you for bringing this great educational opportuntity to Ohio.

  9. kevin costa says:

    I own a small charcuterie in Pittsburgh and I would love to carry some locally made sheeps milk cheeses but I am having a hard time finding a creamery. Can anyone help?

  10. Deborah says:

    Thank-you for the Sheep-O-Rama at Delaware County Ohio Fairgrounds help October 1st, 2011.
    Ohio needs more of these events to help those who want to be involved with the Dairy Sheep market from lamb to milking ewe to making cheese to selling to consumers and all in between as well.
    The samples of Ohio made artisian cheese were wonderful.
    It was also neat to meet some sheep, sheep farmers for sale as well as the farmer/producers of the wonderful cheeses as well.

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