Small Ruminant Health Will Be the Focus of Annual Small Ruminant Field Day

Goat and sheep health is the theme of this year’s Small Ruminant Field Day, which will be held on Friday, September 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Virginia State University’s Randolph Farm, 4415 River Road, Ettrick. 

“We hope participants will take away the message that having good healthcare management will result in high-performing animals,” said Dr. Dahlia O’Brien, small ruminant Extension specialist.“They will understand how to identify common health issues, treatments and steps to take in preventing health problems and when to contact their veterinarian.” 

Dr. Niki Whitley, an animal science Extension specialist at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, is this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Whitley has worked with goats and sheep for 20 years at the University of Missouri, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and North Carolina A&T State University. She earned herPh.D. in animal physiology from Mississippi State University. 

VSU agricultural researchers will also present during the field day. Dr. Michelle Corley will discuss using stinging nettle for deworming and Dr. Eunice Ndegwa will discuss maintaining gut health in pre-weaned kids and lambs. Dr. O’Brien and Amanda Miller, VSU’s herd manager, will conduct hands-on sessions on vaccinations, proper drenching techniques, FAMACHA scoring, body condition scoring and maintaining hoof health. Goat and lamb products will be available for sampling.

Registration is $10 per person and includes lunch. To register, visit, click on the event and then click on the registration link. 

If you need further information or are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Mollie Klein at or call (804) 524-6960 / (800) 828-1120 (TDD) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. VSU is an equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.