Heritage Livestock Conference Programs

2017 National Conference


Friday Keynote: General George Washington

Join General George Washington, who will share how he developed new breeds of animals and innovative ways to feed and care for them. Washington raised Leicester Longwool sheep, and created the Mammoth Jackstock donkey (which were used for breeding large mules) – both of which are on the Livestock Conservancy Conservation Priority List today!


2017 Program Highlights

Spend the day with Steve Edwards at Mill Swamp Indian Horses at the full-day horse clinic and learn how he uses several strains of Colonial Spanish Horses in the Mill Swamp Indian Horses program at his Gwaltney Frontier Farm to introduce people to heritage horses and other heritage livestock. 

Steve Edwards is a prosecutor in Smithfield, VA. He is executive director of Gwaltney Frontier Farm, Inc , a non profit breed conservation program that raises mustangs, including the rare and endangered Corolla Spanish Mustangs. Steve teaches natural horsemanship, has written several articles on natural horsemanship and published his first book, “And A Little Child Shall Lead Them: Learning from Wild Horses and Little Children.” 


Kathy Donovan of Checkmate Farm will present various finished wool products like roving, yarn, blankets and rugs,  that are made from the semi-annual shearing of her Karakul sheep.

Kathy discovered the joy of raising the heritage Karakul breed in 2004. Since starting her flock, she has won awards at the Virginia State Fair and Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival for her sheep and fleeces. Her farm was featured in “Living the Country Life” magazine and on their TV program,  and in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of “Rug Hooking Magazine.” Kathy has worked to build awareness of the “fat-tailed” sheep’s wool as a valuable resource for making Persian carpets for many generations. Kathy is an accomplished instructor in the use of the Oxford Company punch needle, and in the braiding of rugs, chair pads, and runners for stairs. Kathy was listed in the Top 100 Women in Loudoun County, VA the past three years and Boulder Crest Retreat for military and veteran wellness has presented Kathy with their “Champion” award for her volunteer services.


Deborah Neimann-Boehle

Learn from Deborah Niemann-Boehle as she shares her insights and experiences in the The Natural Home Dairy Clinic.

In 2002, Deborah relocated her suburban Chicago family to 32 acres on a creek "in the middle of nowhere" where they began producing 100% of their meat, eggs, and dairy products by raising heritage animals. Today they also sell meat, eggs, soap, and fiber products. She is the author of three books on sustainable living:  Homegrown and Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living, Ecothrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life, and Raising Goats Naturally: The Complete Guide to Milk, Meat, and More.

Read more about Deborah


 


2017 Program Schedule

Thursday Meet & Greet (7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Fort Magruder – General Hill’s Redoubt

FRIDAY FULL- DAY
PRE-CONFERENCE CLINICS (9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) -------------------

Full-Day - All Things Sheep ($110)
Join us at historic Seven Springs Farm where Farm Manager Wanda Fields will introduce you to their flock of registered Hog Island sheep and lead a full day clinic on all things sheep. Wanda and her team will walk you through everything you need to know before getting started with sheep. Topics include breed selection, infrastructure, husbandry and health, nutrition predator control, and much more. Local fiber artists will be joining the discussion to cover aspects of their craft with heritage breed wool. Dr. Bom Harris, a local veterinarian, will be presenting on deworming and breeding. Participants will be treated to lunch that will include a whole barbecued sheep prepared by long time Hog Island sheep breeder and pit master extraordinaire, Byran Childress. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy the gardens and the beautiful early 18th century house and farm buildings rarely seen by the general public. Yes, George Washington litterally slept there! Lunch included
Location: Seven Springs Farm 6831 Dabneys Mill Rd, Manquin, VA 23106 (please allow 1.5 hrs travel time)

Speakers: Wanda Fields, Matt Ertle, Eden Ertle, Byran Childress, Dr. Bom Harris
Wanda joined Seven Springs Farm in 2015 as their Manager. She has raised animals all her life including a wide variety of chickens and turkeys along with Hog Island and Barbados sheep, Myotonic goats. Before coming to Seven Springs she managed a dairy farm 21 years.

Matt and Eden Ertle have raised Suffolk and native Hog Island sheep on the Eastern Shore of Virginia since 2012. Eden is an artist and educator in a variety of media, including fiber arts.    She will be showcasing and demonstrating some items made with her Hog Island wool.  Matt is a part-time shepherd and cooking enthusiast, in particular Caribbean,  South American, and local Eastern Shore foodways.  He has a passion for the entire food experience,  from farm to plate, and will be demonstrating home lamb butchery as well as a discussion on common cuts for home and retail, and recipes to utilize these cuts.

Noelani is currently a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUArts) with a focus in fiber and textiles, her work primarily consists of weaving, felting and screen printing. She was featured in the 2017 Juried Fine Arts Exhibition at the Anderson Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. She gave the first wet felting demonstration at the annual Powhatan Festival of Fiber. Over the summer she had the opportunity to be a protégé of the local Richmond weaver, Andrea Donnelly. And most recently, in September, she showed at the Gliese Vol. Virgo Exhibition at Valet in Richmond, Virginia.

Misti Nolen is the owner of Recycled Yarn. She uses recycled yarn as a resource for 100% natural knitting and weaving yarns.
She recycles unused goods made from high quality materials by manually deconstructing them and bringing the potential of the raw material back to life. This method is friendly to the environment, to the animals the fibers came from, and a sustainable use of Earth's resources. Through sharing Recycled Yarn with her community, she has happily engaged with fellow local craftspeople and that’s what brings me here today! I am passionate about furthering both conversation and action towards sustainable creative pursuits.

Full-Day – Using Entertainment, Education, And Public Service to Promote Heritage Horses ($110)
Meet Steve Edwards and learn how he uses several strains of Colonial Spanish horses in the Mill Swamp Indian Horses program at his Gwaltney Frontier Farm to introduce people to heritage horses and other heritage livestock. Located on the site of a replicated 1650’s era farm site, Steve will show you how he has blended agritourism, educational programs, and special events to attract hundreds of visitors, many who have no equine experience. Steve feels that hands-on training is the best way to learn, so come prepared for a busy day! Plan to be out in the weather for the day.

Approximate Program Schedule:
9am: Tour of the farm with information on Ossabaw hogs, San Clemente goats, strains of Colonial Spanish horses
10am: Introduction to Colonial Spanish horses, types, and their conservation
11am: Information and demonstrations on
- Use of permaculture in farming
- How to draw young people onto the farm
- Infrastructure requirements (like liability insurance)
- Working with veterans, schoolteachers, and police officers
12pm: lunch
1pm: How to use your farm for entertainment (living history, kids and music -  performance included!)
3pm-- Questions, discussion time


Location: Mill Swamp Indian Horses, 9299 Moonlight Rd, Smithfield, VA 23430 (please allow 1.5 hrs travel time which includes a trip on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry. Please visit their website for ferry times.

Speaker: Steve Edwards
Steve Edwards is a prosecutor in Smithfield, VA. He is executive director of Gwaltney Frontier Farm, Inc , a non profit breed conservation program that raises mustangs, including the rare and endangered Corolla Spanish Mustangs. Steve teaches natural horsemanship, has written several articles on natural horsemanship and published his first book, “And A Little Child Shall Lead Them: Learning From Wild Horses and Little Children.” He has received the Keeper of the Flame Awared from the American Indian Horse Association, the Carol Stone Ambassador Award from the Horse of the Americas Registry and the Currituck Star Award for his Corolla horse conservation efforts.

 


FRIDAY MORNING
PRE-CONFERENCE CLINICS (8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) -------------------

The Natural Home Dairy ($69)
With the partnership of a few animal friends, you can produce all of your family’s dairy products while letting mothers raise their own babies as nature intended. Discover how to choose dairy animals, where to buy, how to share milk with babies, and what equipment you need, from the milking parlor to the kitchen, to make all of your dairy products, as well as your own soap. You’ll also get information about ingredients and a reference list, as well as recipes to help you get started. You’ll also learn what to do with the byproducts of a home dairy, including manure, leather, and meat.
Location: Fort Magruder Conferenc Center, 6945 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Room: Hookers

Speaker: Deborah Niemann
In 2002, Deborah relocated her suburban Chicago family to 32 acres on a creek "in the middle of nowhere" where they began producing 100% of their meat, eggs and dairy products by raising heritage animals. Today they also sell meat, eggs, soap, and fiber products. She is the author of three books on sustainable living:  Homegrown and Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living, Ecothrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life, and Raising Goats Naturally: The Complete Guide to Milk, Meat, and More. www.antiquityoaks.com, deborahwrites@gmail.com

Maximizing Your Products and Marketing Heritage Breed Wool ($69)
Cows, pigs, chickens and sheep provide income from the sale of their meat, but wooly sheep can offer so much more! Kathy Donovan of Checkmate Farm will present various finished products – roving, yarn, blankets and rugs – that are made from the semi-annual shearing of sheep that continue to produce. This session will explore the profitable sheep products and marketing avenues along with hands-on activities using the wool from long fiber sheep breeds.
Location: Fort Magruder Conferenc Center, 6945 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Room: Longstreet


Speaker: Kathy Donovan
With no prior experience of raising sheep, Kathy discovered the joy of raising the heritage Karakul breed in 2004. Since starting her flock, she has won awards at the Virginia State Fair and Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival for her sheep and fleeces. Her farm was featured in “Living the Country Life” magazine and on their TV program; “Sheep” magazine wrote a story about the unique characteristics and fleece products of the Karakul breed; and the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of “Rug Hooking Magazine” included her Karakul Wool Rug. Kathy has worked to build awareness of the “fat-tailed” sheep’s wool as a valuable resource;  the long sturdy fibers have been used to make Persian carpets for many generations. Kathy is an accomplished instructor in the use of the Oxford Company punch needle, and in the braiding of rugs, chair pads, and runners for stairs. She is a member of ATHA (Association of Traditional Hooking Artists), Goose Creek Rug Hooking Guild, and Loudoun Valley Sheep Producers Association. Kathy was listed in the Top 100 Women in Loudoun County, VA the past three years and Boulder Crest Retreat for military and veteran wellness has presented Kathy with their “Champion” award for her volunteer services.

Chicken Processing ($69)
Join Erika Gore at Ed Schultz Farm for a chicken processing clinic that will provide hands-on training and best management practices for small scale producers seeking to process their chickens on-farm. Topics will include humane killing, processing, handling, cooling, packaging, operational needs, safety, sanitation, and regulations. Whether you want to learn how to process your own birds or just want to see how it’s done, this workshop is a great place for you to learn and ask questions in a small group. Participants should dress casually, and closed toed shoes are advised.
Location: Ed Schultz Farm: 3172 Browns Bay Rd, Hayes, VA 23072

Speaker: Erica Gore
Erica Gore is a successful organic, multi-species, rotational-grazing farmer on rented land in Marshall, VA. She is also a US Coast Guard veteran.

 


FRIDAY AFTERNOON
PRE-CONFERENCE CLINICS (1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) -------------------

Social Media Marketing Options for Your Breeds! ($69)
This seminar cuts through all the fluff and shows you exactly what you need to do to increase your Facebook “REACH!” You will walk away understanding Hashtags and how to use them properly, fully understand the value of the Top 5 Social Media outlets and how to use them to your advantage, and see real-world examples and how to use them in your business. You will learn how to reach your specific demographic to increase your revenue! You will get Dayla’s  bullet-point seminar with all the information at your fingertips -all you have to do is take notes pertinent to your specific business. You will walk away ready to use Social Media like a professional! 
Location: Fort Magruder Conferenc Center, 6945 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Room: Hookers

Speaker: Dayla Kohler
As the Editor-in-Chief for the successful Foothills Times Magazine, and the owner of Kohler Farms-A Shire Horse Breeder, Dayla has diligently kept up with the changes in Facebook’s Algorithms. She has an extensive understanding of their Pixel Recognition Software, Hashtags, and the top 5 online marketing options. Let her HELP you!

The Tricky Business of Breed Registries and Associations  ($35) 
Breed associations, registries and clubs are vital to the conservation of endangered breeds but many struggle with turnover, conflict, and just having enough time to do it all. It doesn’t have to be this way! Drawing upon the models of successful breed associations, this workshop will cover topics such as how to set up and run an efficient registry, managing studbooks, breed promotion, and avoiding conflict.

Location: Fort Magruder Conference Center, 6945 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Room: Longstreet

Speakers: Brian Larson, Jeannette Beranger, Cathy Payne, Donna Dorminey
Brian has been a champion of the Lincoln Longwool breed for 30 years and is considered a Master Breeder by his peers. His ancestors were sheepmen from Norway, and his family has been connected with livestock breeding (sheep and cattle) and production for many generations. His mother was the primary shepherd for their Minnesota flock during his childhood, and he made numerous trips to the lambing barn with her before he could walk. Brian purchased his first two breeding ewes at the age of nine and has continued with purebred and commercial sheep. Brian's Lincoln Longwool flock was started with 3 foundation ewes from Oregon and has existed for 34 years. His strict selection for standard, while maintaining diversity, has enabled him to create one of the finest flocks in the country. He has carefully managed the bloodlines within his flocks, and to improve diversity for the breed in the U.S., he was one of the last people to import genetics from England. Brian was a past president of the National Lincoln Sheep Breeder’s Association.

Jeannette is the Senior Program Manager for The Livestock Conservancy and has 30+ years’ experience working as an animal professional. She uses the knowledge to plan and implement breed conservation programs for the Conservancy. Jeannette is an active lecturer, writer, and photographer, and is the co-author on An Introduction to Heritage Breeds and Managing Breeds for a Secure Future (2nd Ed). Recently, she was named one of Country Women Magazine's "45 Amazing Country Women" for her work in conserving endangered breeds. At home she practices what she preaches and maintains a heritage breeds farm with a focus on rare Crèvecœur chickens.

 


FRIDAY AFTERNOON SPECIAL (1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.) -------------------

Bits and Bridles Tour ($10)
Presented by Colonial Williamsburg Coach and Livestock Department 
Treat the animal lover in your life to this one-hour walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg’s modern stables and Rare Breeds Program. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at their facilities, learn more about their carriages, and get up close and personal with some of their heritage breed animals including Leicester Longwool sheep, Dominique and Nankin chickens, and Cleveland Bay horses. Please arrive by 12:45pm – don’t be late!
Location: Tour will begin at the corner of Botetourt and Nicholson Streets.

Speaker: Colonial Williamsburg staff

SUNDAY *SPECIAL* FULL-DAY  WORKSHOP (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) 

3 Heritage Species Card Grading Workshop ($35)
Card grading is a useful method to evaluate individual animals relative to a breed standard and assess their potential as breeding stock. Card grading, with its evaluation of all individuals within a group of animals, strengthens breeders’ understanding of the characteristics and attributes of their breed and, in turn, encourages the protection of genetic diversity within the breed. This is in contrast to competitive judging, which encourages uniformity by rewarding only a single “best” animal within a show class. Card grading is one of the best methods to ensure breeds are not altered by show ring trends and are judged in ways that preserve a breed’s qualities that set them apart from more popular or commercial breeds. Elaine Shirley and Phil Sponenberg will lead our panel of experts as we use this technique to evaluate sheep, cattle, and horses at Colonial Williamsburg.

Location: Colonial Williamsburg Bypass Facility, 1201 Bypass road, Williamsburg, VA 23187

Speakers: Elaine Shirley, Phil Sponenberg
Elaine Shirley is manager of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Rare Breeds Program. As such, she works with many breeds including Leicester Longwool sheep, Milking Devon cattle, and Nankin chickens. Shirley was the 2009 recipient of the Conservancy’s Bixby-Sponenberg Conservation Award, has been a member of the Conservancy since 1987, and has previous experience serving on the organization’s Board of Directors.
D. Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, Ph.D. has served as Technical Advisor to the Livestock Conservancy since 1978, providing counsel and mentoring to Conservancy staff, breeders, breed associations, scholars, and NGO partners. He was the moving force for establishing the Conservation Priority List and the standards for rare breed inclusion on that list. Because of the quality and originality of his approach to conservation, Dr. Sponenberg’s expertise is internationally renowned. He is the author of several books on color genetics and conservation, and is a sought after speaker domestically and abroad.  Phil is Professor of pathology and genetics at Virginia Tech. On his own farm, he is a conservation breeder of Tennessee Fainting goats, and enjoys playing with color genetics in his Brahma chickens.

 


FRIDAY EVENING CONFERENCE (6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) ---------------

Kick-off Banquet, Silent Auction & Keynote

An Interview with General George Washington
Join President George Washington, who will share how he developed new breeds of animals and innovative ways to feed and care for them. Washington raised Leicester Longwool sheep, and created the Mammoth Jackstock donkey (which were used for breeding large mules) – both of which are on the Livestock Conservancy Conservation Priority List today!
Location: During Banquet

Speakers: Elaine Shirley, General George Washington (Ron Carnegie)
Elaine Shirley is manager of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Rare Breeds Program. As such, she works with many breeds including Leicester Longwool sheep, Milking Devon cattle, and Nankin chickens. Elaine was the 2009 recipient of the Conservancy’s Bixby-Sponenberg Conservation Award, has been a member of the Conservancy since 1987, and has previous experience and currently serves on the Conservancy’s Board of Directors.
Ron Carnegie is originally from California. He has been portraying Washington for over a decade and working at Williamsburg for twice that long. He has portrayed other historic figures over the years, including British General Charles Cornwallis, the man who surrendered to Washington at Yorktown, ending the war. He is a freemason (as was George Washington), plays an odd collection of mostly historic instruments, and practices Wet Plate Photography (making ambrotypes and tintypes by way of an archaic and obsolete method).

SATURDAY CONFERENCE (7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) -------------------

BREAKFAST & POSTER SESSION (7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.)
Location: Fort Magruder Conference Center – Richmond Hall: Hill’s & McClellan’s

PLENARY (8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.)

The Early Days
A look at the origins of the rare breed conservation movement, the early days at ALBC, the first national census, some case studies of the early breeds and stories of some of the characters involved. Libby will also discuss her work with FAO and how the Livestock Conservancy mission fits into the global picture.

Speaker: Libby Henson. UK
Libby was the first Executive Director of The Livestock Conservancy. She was also the Director of Grassroots Systems Ltd, which provides pedigree software for over 100 breeds. She is a member of the UK Government Expert Panel on Farm Animal Genetic Resources, and has also worked for FAO with local breeds in sustainable agriculture. She is a breeder of many rare breeds of sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, horses, and poultry.
Location: Fort Magruder Conference Center – Richmond Hall: Hill’s & McClellan’s (Breakfast room)

BREAKOUT SESSIONS (9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.)

Geese – What Makes Them Special
Learn the unique characteristics of geese and where they might fit on your farm – how to select breeds, manage your birds and market them. Geese are the most communicative, intelligent and curious poultry – we will discuss how that can be charming and challenging. John will share his experiences in the production of geese in terms of  incubation, brooding, disease, fertility, etc., and other resources of information on geese so you can continue your learning process. When you leave this presentation, you will know much more about geese and will be much better prepared for starting and growing your own flock.

Speaker: John Metzer
John Metzer has owned and operated Metzer Farms, a duck and goose hatchery, for almost 40 years. His expertise is in the breeding, nutrition, management and marketing of ducks and geese. Metzer Farms has over 30 breeds of waterfowl, ranging from rare breeds to those breeds used for commercial meat and egg production. 

Pedigree Recording
The need, the tools and the advantages
Take a look with Libby at the reasons and importance for pedigree recording,  methods and advantages,  the use of pedigrees in breeding decisions, kinship, inbreeding, and the use of pedigree recording in marketing.

Speaker: Libby Henson
Libby was the first Executive Director of The Livestock Conservancy. She was also the Director of Grassroots Systems Ltd, which provides pedigree software for over 100 breeds. She is a member of the UK Government Expert Panel on Farm Animal Genetic Resources, and has also worked for FAO with local breeds in sustainable agriculture. She is a breeder of many rare breeds of sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, horses, and poultry.

Dutch Belted Cattle: One Breed’s Success Story with Universal Applications
Martha will give an overview of Dutch Belted history in Europe and the U.S., demonstrating how economic and political forces influence the relative popularity of breeds. She will outline the breed’s unique traits and the niche it fills, sharing her perspective as a young conservationist, envisioning the future of this valuable breed. Winifred will outline action steps applicable to the vitality of any rare breed. She will share her firsthand experience getting involved with the breed at the time of its most critical danger, and how the Conservancy and concerned breeders have taken the breed to a safer place. There’s still work to be done. Together, they will suggest ways to take part in saving the Dutch Belted breed, discussing management strategies and the importance of outreach. This is one breed’s story that can inform and inspire the conservation efforts for other rare breeds.

Speakers: Martha and Winifred Hoffman
Martha is a second-generation, life-long Dutch Belted breeder, passionate about rare breed outreach.
Her mother Winifred brings expertise from 36 years of breeding Dutch Belted cattle. Winifred and her late husband Kenneth Hoffman, former DBCAA Secretary, worked with the Conservancy reviving the breed from practical oblivion in the 1980s.

 

 

BREAKOUT SESSIONS (10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.)

Managing Poulty Health before Problems Happen
There are many things you could be doing for your flock that can ensure its long term health and productivity through holistic management, good biosecurity practices, and improved nutrition for each phase of your birds lives.

Speaker: Julie Gauthier
Chickcharney Farm is Julie Gauthier’s homestead in the North Carolina piedmont. Her small farm is a retreat after her day job as a USDA Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician. At the farm, Julie raises pre-industrial era chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and myotonic goats. Along with preserving these rare heritage types of livestock, Julie’s mission is to show other homesteaders that these animals are not only fun and interesting to keep, but also productive and useful in small scale, sustainable agriculture. Julie is the author of the flock keeper’s self-help book Chicken Health for Dummies.

Maternal Breed Selection
A key to meat goat doe herd fitness and profitability
Meat goat production is a non-traditional animal industry that has experienced tremendous growth in the last 25 years. Market demand for goat meat in the United States exceeds domestic supply, but profitable meat goat production has been difficult to achieve in many operations. Herd managers often place emphasis on sire selection and kid growth traits. However, many of the problems in achieving meat goat enterprise sustainability and profitability are rooted in genetic decisions affecting doe herd health and reproduction. Learn from Dr. Browning how to select for the best does for your herd.

Speaker: Dr. Richard Browning
Richard is a Professor of Animal Science at Tennessee State University (TSU) in Nashville, TN. Dr. Browning’s graduate research focused on the reproductive performance of Brahman cattle and comparative calf performance of tropically-adapted Tuli cattle along with Angus and Brahman under the senior guidance of Dr. Ron Randel. In 1994, Dr. Browning arrived at TSU where he studied physiological mechanisms and heat-tolerant cattle genetics in relation to fescue toxicosis using Angus, Brahman, Hereford, Holstein, and Senepol breeds. He started meat goat research in 2002, and began studying performance traits among Boer, Kiko, and Spanish breeds, with Myotonic and Savanna goats added later. Dr. Browning established a Dexter cattle herd at TSU in 2015 that will be used  to advance student teaching and ruminant research. He is married to Dr. Maria Leite-Browning, a veterinarian and Extension specialist. The two of them are thoroughly engaged in outreach activities to assist meat goat producers.

Importance of Grass Based Heritage Cattle Genetics

When corn became inexpensive, it revolutionized the way cattle were raised and commercial operations became centered around its use. Cheap corn enabled farmers to grow out more animals on smaller pieces of land. However, with the soaring corn prices of this century, grass-based operations have become the more profitable way to raise cattle. Unfortunately not every cow today is going to fatten on grass. Join Jeremy in a discussion of how to identify good grass-based genetics in your cattle, and how to select for this quality in the stock you produce on your farm.

Speaker:  Jeremy Engh
Working with cattle has been a life-long passion of Devon cattle master breeder Jeremy Engh, whose family has raised heritage Devon cattle since the 1950s. He has an expert’s eye for developing excellent breeding stock and is successfully marketing his grass fed beef locally and throughout the Northeast. The Engh family worked closely with the Conservancy to establish the first breed association for Devon cattle, and Jeremy currently serves as president of Red Devon USA.

LUNCH (11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

BREAKOUT SESSIONS (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

The Forgotten Horses
This documentary explores various strains of the Colonial Spanish Mustang, ''America's 1st Horse", and was created bring public awareness of this dying breed and give them an understanding of the significant benefits of this type of horse. This documentary includes interviews with various mustang conservationists in the US. The Colonial Spanish Mustang breeds are endangered for many reasons, including habitat destruction. It is important for the history and heritage that these horses be saved.

Speaker: Krysta Rutherford
Krysta is a Hampton Roads Academy Junior and Mill Swamp Indian Horse Youth Program Member. She has led an effort to save the Colonial Spanish Mustangs since she adopted her Corolla mustang, Katalina, in 2013. She reached over 50,000 people with her previous '"Savings the Mustangs" project.

5 Strategies to Protect Your Favorite Breed for the Future
This session is of interest to any breed or species in conservation. Cathy will give examples of strategies they used in their conservation of rare Guinea Hog lines. In this 40th year of protecting heritage breeds, it is important to look back from where we've come and forward to what we want for future generations. The speakers will cover five strategies: interview elders to record breed history; assure an outcross for every breeding animal; carefully select breeding animals and buyers; form a network with other committed breeders; and, work with your breed association and utilize The Livestock Conservancy resources.

Speaker: Cathy Payne, Donna Dorminey
Cathy got her first Guinea Hogs in 2013. Her curiosity about genetics in this breed led her to begin interviewing major players and making discoveries about the overall herd. She is dedicated to keeping distinct lines available in this landrace swine and to sharing her knowledge through writing and education. She has done presentations at several farming conferences in Georgia and South Carolina, and has been a guest on the Podcast “Permaculture Voices” to talk about Guinea Hogs, has written articles related to Guinea Hogs for the American Guinea Hog Association Newsletter and, recently, for The Livestock Conservancy Newsletter. She has been doing breed research for 4 years and is currently writing the first book dedicated solely to the Guinea Hog. She also gives educational tours of her farm.

The Shocking Truth About Electric Fences
Learn how to successfully use electric fence to contain poultry and protect your flock from predators. Joe Putnam's workshop answers a variety of questions: What is electric fence and how does it work? What happens when grass touches the energized wires in a fence? What about when an animal touches the wires? How do you succeed (or fail) with electric netting? Is it safe to use electric netting in the backyard? How do you reduce risks and liabilities? What are the pros and cons of rotational grazing? How often should you move your fence and flock? What are the issues to consider before buying any energizer? And what are the risks of not energizing a fence?

Speaker: Joe Putnam
Joe works as a marketing copywriter and occasional shepherd for Premier 1 Supplies. He frequently appears in Premier's instructional how-to videos on YouTube. He can be found at farm industry events, where his gentle, hands-on approach makes even the most complex farming topics simple. When not at work, Joe spends time on his family's 40-acre farmstead in southeast Iowa, where they raise cattle, sheep, poultry, multiple gardens, corn, hay, and oats.

 

 

BREAKOUT SESSIONS (2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.)

Green Picket Fences- Forwarding Urban Agriculture with an Action Plan
Urban agriculture offers unique opportunities to fill a range of voids in societal resources within our nation - from erasing community food deserts from within, to creating local jobs, all while promoting and sustaining Heritage Breeds and Heirloom Seeds. Learn about “The Green Picket Fences Initiative” - a collection of neighborhood based programs (“Pickets”) to rebuild their urban Indianapolis neighborhood in an innovative and eco-friendly way - from Kay Grimm and Sue Spicer. Join them for an overview of all the pickets with a concentration on the Urban Agriculture components of GPF (Green Shepherd Project and Green Streets).

Speakers: Kay Grimm and Sue Spicer
Green Picket Fences (GPF) is the brain child of Kay Grimm and Sue Spicer and represents sets of initiatives aimed at alleviating issues of access to basic 1st world needs, like a clean affordable and sustainable food source (Green Streets picket-2014 Indianapolis Sustainability Award Finalist). Their near east side downtown Indianapolis neighborhood, Willard Park of Holy Cross-Westminster Civic Alliance, adopted the action plan in 2012 to systematically address issues in their challenged area. Easily tailored to any struggling urban community, their initiatives create complete economic food systems. Kay Grimm and Sue Spicer own a two acre scattered site urban Indianapolis permaculture fruit farm, Fruit Loop Acres. Kay is a farm raised agri-prenuer constantly creating and exploring for "best practice" sustainable solutions. Sue is a rural raised advocate for sustainable practices and head of the Green Shepherd Project.

Preserving the Shire Horse in America
Become empowered with everything you need to know about saving the critically endangered Shire horse. Join Dayla who will discuss  everything from genetic bottlenecking avoidance to successful handling of mare, stallion, and foal, to marketing draft horses in an uncertain market. With four broodmares and one stallion currently on the property (having 12 Shires at one time), and other Shire owners I am mentoring, it is my goal to give you everything you need to know to be successful. Before the Conference, you can LIKE/FOLLOW Kohler Farms-A Shire Horse Breeder on Facebook and introduce yourself and let Dayla know if you any specific questions.

Speaker: Dayla Kohler
Dayla has a Bachelors degree in Biology, and a focus on Research, and been raising and training horses her entire life. In 2001 she purchased her first Shire which inspired her to develop a breeding program. She currently has 12 Shires, including four broodmares and one stallion and has reached the point where her foals are sold before they are born, and is excited to share her experiences.

Small Ruminant Health and Biosecurity Measures
Farmers and producers are advised to develop a biosecurity contingency alert plan and to be prepared to manage sheep and goat health issues to prevent zoonosis, diseases transmitted between animals and humans that could pose hazards to our food supplies and negatively impact on public health.

Speaker: Maria L. Leite-Browning
Maria is an Extension Animal Scientist/Small Ruminants for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. She got her veterinary degree at Universidade Federal da Bahia, Bahia, Brazil. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) followed by a Masters degree in Theriogenology at Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the University of Arizona, Tucson she studied Advanced Study Animal Production and at Texas A&M University studied Applied Beef Cattle Production, Reproduction and Genetics.

BREAKOUT SESSIONS (3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Selecting the Correct Forage for your Ruminant
Forage is the most important component of the ruminant's diet. At this session, you will learn about the digestive system of the ruminant and how forage plays an important role in the health and productivity of the ruminant. We will discuss the commonly fed forages, the benefits of each forage type, how forage is graded and forms in which forage may be fed. 

Speaker: Laura Marie Kramer
Laura Marie is the National Sales Manager for Standlee Premium Western Forage, prior to joining the Standlee she was a Ruminant Nutritionist.  She is graduate of Texas A & M with a degree is Dairy Science.  Laura Marie owns La Bella Farm and raises Hog Island Sheep.

Gardening with Chickens
The single most important factor in vegetable plant vigor and flavor is soil quality. Learn how to incorporate heritage chickens to help make high-nitrogen manure fertilizer, and use chicken tractors to allow chickens to aerate the soil, remove weed seeds and work their manure into the soil. Ducks and geese can also be put to work doing weeding and pest control. Heritage breeds need useful niches to make the case for preserving them, and having a job as working livestock adds value to a small flock of chickens!

Speaker: Jim Edrington
Jim is the facilities manager at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. His responsibilities at Heritage Farm include  facilities management, livestock care, and management of the 890 acre grounds. Jim and his wife live at Badger Ridge Shetlands where they raise Shetland Sheep and a variety of heritage poultry.

Value Added Meat Goat Production  - the Why and How
Learn the methods Renard Taylor employs on his farm to raise Myotonic goats, and how he uses them in the production of the ready-to-eat goat meat that he markets through his mobile concessions trailer business.

Speaker: Renard Turner
Renard Taylor is a full-time operator of a sustainable, organic farm, and producer of value-added goat meat products. He is a frequent presenter at farm conferences and is especially interested in small family farm production.

STEPHEN MONROE - "A FLORIDA COWBOY POET''
(4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)


Stephen Monroe has been called "a Florida Cowboy Poet" and he fits the title... He grew up in the saddle, in the cow pen, on the business end of a pair of hole diggers, and on a John  Deere tractor. His family has lived and farmed in Jefferson County Florida for 5 generations. Stephen has competed in rodeos and was a rodeo clown and bullfighter. He learned cowboy poetry to entertain himself during long days in the saddle. Later, in promotion of Florida's agricultural industry, he discovered  that folks enjoy hearing these stories and poems almost as much as he enjoys telling them. He has performed for industry, civic, church and agricultural groups throughout Florida and is a regular speaker at Farm Bureau, Cattlemen's Association and other meetings. He has opened for other entertainers including the Bellamy Brothers.

Stephen has been involved in the cattle industry his whole life. His work ranges from preservation of Florida's Cracker Cattle to promotion of Florida's cattle industry on state, national and international levels. From cow-hunting to commercial beef cattle production to international marketing of Florida's finest breeding stock, Stephen  has experience in all segments of the industry. He is a founder, Charter Member, Lifetime Member and Past President of the Florida Cracker Cattle Association, and manages the Association's Annual Gatherin' and Sale, and has served as volunteer Executive Director of this origination since writing its bylaws in 1988.

With degrees in Agricultural Business and Agricultural Science, Stephen can address the serious side of the industry as well. He shares the positive message of Agriculture in a unique and inspirational style. His presentations touch on the importance of our rich agricultural heritage and the future role of agriculture in our society. Cowboy poetry mixed with other stories offers folks a chance to laugh and to reflect on the times of their lives.Stephen's presentations make folks proud to be a part of helping the Good Lord to provide food and fiber for our communities, our country and our world.