The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) invites shepherds of all ages, sectors, and regions to attend the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium on December 4, 2020 to expand their knowledge of sheep nutrition and connect with their peers.

For the first time in the association’s 71-year history, the annual symposium will be entirely online. This year’s event will be offered in a condensed format, featuring multiple guest speakers presenting in various formats and styles about flock nutrition, with no fee to register.

Through partnerships with the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program and The Ohio State University, OSIA will offer an easily accessible and vast reaching event. The OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) program will serve as the virtual host for the symposium on Friday, December 4, 2020 from 2:00 – 5:00 pm through an interactive webinar.

Anyone interested in attending the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium, the OSIA Annual Meeting, or the Shepherd’s Social Hour later in the evening, can register online at their convenience by visiting and completing the submission form with your name and email at to receive the meeting connection information.

Once completed, registered guests will receive an email with access information for the webinar. Creating a Zoom account is not a requirement to participate. Registration may occur at any point leading up to the symposium, even mid-session on December 4.  Guests are asked to register and join the meeting with their true first and last names.

The symposium’s first featured guest will be Dr. Francis Fluharty- the current Department Head of Animal Sciences at the University of Georgia. Dr. Fluharty will address how to manage your feeding regimen, including feed processing, digestive upset, and observing animal behavior. Dr. Fluharty will also cover the importance of providing a consistent mineral and vitamin program on a yearly basis.

The program will then transition to OSU’s new Extension Beef Cattle Field Specialist- Garth Ruff, who will be presenting on the topic of feeding wet forages. Although his current role emphasizes beef systems, Garth has a background in both forage and sheep production. He and his family have first-hand experience in feeding wet forages to their sheep throughout the winter months. Garth will review the necessary methods for harvesting and preserving wet forages, along with how to safely provide these feeds to small ruminants.

Additional presenters at this year’s event include Tim Barnes of OSU Extension ANR in Marion County, Christine Gelley of OSU Extension ANR in Noble County, and Brady Campbell of the OSU Sheep Team and Department of Animal Sciences. Tim will present a collective view of the 2019 State Fair Carcass Evaluations. Christine and Brady will present an intriguing update on university research related to sheep in the current year.

Immediately following the symposium webinar, the floor will be opened for the 2020 OSIA Annual meeting. All in attendance for the symposium are welcomed to join, although only dues-paying members will have their votes counted on election items. Those who choose to attend the annual meeting exclusively may do so at the same registration page as the symposium ( and join the webinar from 5:00-5:30 pm.

At the adjournment of the annual meeting, all are encouraged to enjoy a lamb dinner individually and gather again at 7:30 pm for our virtual Shepherd’s Social Hour. In a similar fashion as the prior Young Shepherds Assembly gatherings, this opportunity will allow shepherds to meet in an informal space to continue networking and sharing ideas on how to support and improve the sheep industry for the current and future generations. All are welcome to join regardless of age or experience level. The social hour will be hosted by Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium Co-Chair- Christine Gelley in a Zoom meeting room. To ensure cybersecurity, the Zoom link and password for this meeting room will be distributed during the symposium webinar or by special request.

The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association welcomes shepherds to join this year’s alternatively formatted symposium and will plan to welcome you back in-person to the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium at the Shisler Conference Center on OSU’s Wooster Campus on December 3 and 4, 2021.

Zoom can be accessed either on the internet with a computer/smart device or by dialing in on a cell/landline telephone. Connection information will be in the confirmation email after registering.

If a commitment prevents you from attending the event live, there will be additional opportunities to view the recorded presentations. Recordings will be available for viewing on the OSU Sheep Team webpage in 2021.

For those in need of help registering for this event, please contact Roger High, Brady Campbell, or Christine Gelley using the information listed below.

Roger High- or 614-246-8299
Brady Campbell- or 740-434-3252
Christine Gelley- or 740-305-3173

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