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Michigan shepherds plan symposium

LANSING, MI -- The Michigan Sheep Breeders Association (MSBA) will hold its annual sheep symposium at the Crowne Plaza in Lansing, MI, on Jan. 8-10, 2016. This event is an excellent opportunity for those interested in the sheep industry to gather with like-minded people and learn from the experts.

The weekend's event will kick off Friday evening with the Young Producer Discussion Meet. Participants will have the opportunity to qualify for a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona and audience members will enjoy hearing young shepherds talk their way through relevant topics. Following the Discussion Meet will be the Young Shepherd's Innovative Talks where four participants will present on industry topics of their choosing.

Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday with the opening session at 9 a.m. The program is packed with informative seminars; many of them led by Michigan's own shepherds, including MSU Small Ruminant Extension Specialist, Dr. Richard Ehrhardt. Special guests will be Dr. Larry Holler and Sue Holler.

Hear how the Hollers are working with other shepherds in raising flocks of sheep that carry a gene that may help people living with Huntington's and Parkinson's Diseases. If you can't wait for the seminar; more information about the Holler's and their organization can be found at:

Seminars on everything from social media to grazing, hay, genetic traits and opportunities in the future of sheep farming will run through 5 p.m.

Running simultaneously with the adult programs on Saturday is a complete set of educational and fun activities for children. Their day wraps up with a pizza and pool party while the adults enjoy the banquet complete with a live auction annually raises over $5,000 in funds to support youth programs. Along with the educational seminars, you will also find a trade show representing all areas of the industry. For those with a competitive nature, you can participate in the Warm & Wooly competition or maybe the photo contest.

Sunday's program opens at 9 a.m. with the organization's annual meeting followed by presentation of the long-range planning efforts of the organization and updates from other industry spokespeople. After a brunch at 11 a.m. the program rounds out with presentations by Dr. Larry Holler and Dr. Richard Ehrhardt.

For more information on joining the MSBA and participating in future events; please refer to our website at