The thematic network EuroSheep continues the dynamic knowledge exchange between European sheep sector stakeholders that was initiated by SheepNet. The knowledge and expertise exchanges in EuroSheep focus on flock nutrition and health management, based on the industry’s current needs.
EuroSheep, which is funded by the EU H2020 research programme, started in January 2020 and will finish in June 2023. Eight countries are involved, namely Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, Greece and Turkey, representing 80% of sheep production in Europe.
Dr Brid McClearn from Teagasc, Ireland, a prominent member of the EuroSheep team, recently visited New Zealand with members from another EU thematic network – Sm@RT: Small Ruminant Technologies. The objective of Dr McClearn’s visit was to identify best practices in flock health and nutrition from the large meat, wool and milk sheep flocks in New Zealand, which operate in a range of climatic conditions.
Why New Zealand? New Zealand has 25.7 million sheep, and is a major exporter of sheep meat and wool and has recently initiated a dairy sheep industry. While in New Zealand, Dr McClearn visited meat, wool and dairy sheep farms on both the South and North islands. The flock sizes varied from 800 to 29,000 sheep. During her visit to each farm Dr McClearn took the opportunity to interview the farmers and ask them pertinent questions on the health and nutrition management of their flocks.
Dr McClearn has compiled these interviews and will present them, along with an overview of the New Zealand sheep industry, in an online webinar on the 20th of April, from 2-4 pm CET. This is a unique webinar as it will be presented in 7 languages simultaneously. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions. By joining the webinar, you will hear from farmers who have forward sold their wool for 10 years; manage flocks up to 30,000 sheep; manage meat sheep flocks with 2,000 ewes per labour unit; new entrants into dairy sheep production; producing milk from outdoor flocks; mixed dairy sheep, goat and cow farms; mixed sheep, beef and deer farms; developing new dairy sheep breeds, etc. All aspects of management of these flocks are discussed in detail by the farmers.
Register now to join the webinar and not miss this unique synthesis of sheep production from ‘down under’.
EuroSheep will hold its final seminar in France on 3-4 May 2023.
The planned events are open to all countries, so do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to take part or be informed.