1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objectives are to examine farm management systems for year round gastrointestinal nematode control, identify resistant animals to minimize problems with nematode infection, conduct on-farm studies on the feasibility of techniques developed from research studies, and educate outreach professionals and producers on adopting available organic gastrointestinal nematode control strategies in small ruminants by disseminating state-of-the-art knowledge and procedures.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The impact of continuous use of integrated methods that have been developed by these investigators previously will be examined using a systems approach on farm by producers who will submit information on the success of approaches employed. Development of decision tools for producers will occur and teaching modules for farmers, educators, and students will be developed and implemented.
The work completed by Ohio State University involved education of farmers. A Decision Making Support Tool was developed to aid small ruminant producers in decision making on deworming. The Tool includes a series of interactive flow charts prepared in Microsoft Visio. The tool is organized around grazing as the central decision and addresses parasite control by class of animal as the needs are quite different between classes. The Tool was reviewed by farmers.
In July 2012, two presentations were given to over 50 shepherds attending Ohio Sheep Day in northwestern Ohio, using the Decision Making Support Tool as a platform. The Tool was reviewed at that time. We also displayed two posters featuring the Decision Making Support Tool along with handouts. There were about 150 shepherds and allied industry people in attendance. In August 2012, the posters and handouts were available at the Katahdin Hair Sheep International's annual meeting and evaluated by farmers. Farmer feedback was positive. Farmers were surveyed (about 125) on an internet-based presentation (http://vet.osu.edu/extension/sare/parasite_control) and feedback was again positive. Future areas to improve the Decision Tool are. 1)selection of parasite-resistant sheep; and. 2)nutritional support of grazing lactating ewes and weaned lambs to enhance their resilience to parasite challenge, but may be beyond the scope of this project.