Virginia-North Carolina Shepherds’ Symposium

December 15, 2012

The annual Virginia-North Carolina Shepherds’ Symposium, sponsored by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, will be held January 11 & 12, 2013 at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena, Plantation Road, Blacksburg, VA.

The pre-registration deadline is January 5, 2013.

The Virginia-North Carolina Shepherds’ Symposium is open to all sheep producers from the Mid-Atlantic Region. It provides in-service training opportunities for extension personnel, educators and other professionals in sheep and related agribusiness industries. Youth are an important segment of the sheep industry and are invited to attend.

For more information, download the symposium brochure and registration form by clicking here.



Upcoming SVMGA Elections

December 3, 2012

Seasons greetings SVMGA members! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are enjoying the holiday season.

Although we take a break from SVMGA meetings this time of year, there is still some business to think about before we reconvene in January. As you know, our annual election of officers takes place during the January meeting, so the nominating committee needs to develop a proposed slate of officers by then. For those who have not reviewed the by-laws lately, the offices and basic responsibilities include:*

  • President – Presides at all meetings, appoints committees, is ex-officio member of all committees.
  • 1st Vice President – Presides at meetings in absence of president; assumes duties of president in case of vacancy.
  • 2nd Vice President – Presides at meetings in absence of president or 1st VP.
  • Secretary – Gives notice of meetings; keeps records of proceedings and presents minutes at meetings.
  • Treasurer – Maintains financial records, submits treasurer’s report at each meeting, collects dues, pays bills and manages funds.
  • “At Large” members (up to 3) – attend board meetings as representative of general membership.

* All officers and “At Large” members serve on the Board of Directors of the Association.

While the nominating committee is required to bring a proposed slate of officers to the January meeting, nominations for any office can also be made from the floor at that meeting, with the consent of the nominee and if the nominee is qualified. (President and VP’s must be commercial goat producers and not have served more than two consecutive terms in the office for which they are being nominated.)

We have had a a fantastic group of officers this year and have seen the organization continue to grow in membership and visibility as a result. SVMGA has established a great reputation in the regional agricultural community and we can thank the outstanding leadership of our officers and the volunteer efforts of our members for that. While some of the incumbent officers have agreed to stay on for another term, a few find they need to step down. We have volunteers for several of the offices. However, we still need volunteers for the office of Secretary and for our “At Large” members.

Thanks to the excellent work of Leslie Keck, our outgoing secretary, we have very effective, streamlined processes in place for performing the the job of secretary, which could be a big assist for someone assuming that position. He or she would have the option of using these tools (thanks Leslie!), or of using his or her own methods of fulfilling the responsibilities of the job.

The position of “At Large” member is a good opportunity for new folks to become more acquainted with the workings of the organization and get to know more of the members. It’s a great way to get more involved and a step toward possibly chairing a committee or serving as an officer in the future. We had one “At Large” board member last year, which has worked out very well. That position is vacant and we can have up to three if there is interest.

Please give some thought to serving this organization as secretary or as an “At Large” member. Our continued success depends on members stepping up to take leadership roles and bringing fresh viewpoints and ideas. If you are at all interested or just have questions, please e:mail or call one of the nominating committee members:

Bonnie Brown
(434) 476-6166
Gail Kingman
(434) 376-9645

Thanks for your consideration and may you and your families have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Bonnie Brown


2013 Winter Forage Conferences

December 2, 2012

Kicking the Hay Habit: Increasing the Profitability of Virginia’s Ruminant Livestock Operations is the theme for the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council (VFGC) and Virginia Cooperative Extension 2013 winter forage conferences.

Hay costs, whether purchased or homegrown, are at record highs as a result of high input costs.  The forage conferences will offer livestock producers the information and details necessary to decide if a year-round grazing makes sense for their operation.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jim Gerrish of American GrazingLands Services LLC.  Gerrish is an international expert on forage-livestock systems. He has 20 years of systems research and outreach while on the faculty of the University of Missouri, as well as 20 years of commercial cattle and sheep production on his family farm in northern Missouri.

For more information, click here for the VFGC press release or click here for the conference registration brochure.