Don’t miss your chance to attend the 2022 Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program Sheep Facility tour which will be held on June 7th, 2022. The tour will begin and end at the Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Pipestone Campus. The Sheep Facility tour is only offered once every two years. The Pipestone Lamb and Wool program has an excellent tour scheduled of five outstanding sheep operations.
Lamb and Wool Management: Sheep Facility Tours
Sheep Facility Tour – June 7, 2022
The Pipestone Sheep Facility Tour provides producers an opportunity to see various types of sheep facilities, including the latest innovations in sheep buildings, low labor lambing barns, handling systems, feeding systems and facility layout. The tour will be a full day tour, visiting five lamb and wool producers with new and remodeled facilities. All of these operations have devised their buildings and feeding systems to reduce labor and enable them to run larger numbers of ewes with the same labor. In addition, this tour will also be an opportunity to hear the management philosophy of these five successful sheep operations.
June 7, 2022
Location: Minnesota West Community & Technical College, Pipestone Campus
1314 North Hiawatha Avenue
Pipestone, MN 56164
2022 Tentative Tour Schedule
7:30 a.m. – Registration
8:00 a.m. – Bus leaves Minnesota West, Pipestone Campus
Tour 5 sheep operations
6:00 p.m. – Arrive back at Minnesota West, Pipestone Campus
Farm Tour Stops
Brian Winsel Farm
Brian is one of the young newcomers to the sheep business. He joined the Pipestone Lamb and Wool program in 2009 and has steadily grown his flock size to 1400 ewes. To accommodate this expansion, he has remodeled existing buildings to be a labor efficient lambing facility and has built additional cold housing with a drive through feeding system to provide a low labor feeding system. Plus, he has incorporated a working and shearing area into the same building as well as added another lambing area to the barn. He built four hoop barns for cold housing to accommodate flock expansion. Brian recently repurposed an out dated hog facility on a different site by removing slats and cement pad to house lactating ewes and finishing lambs. Brian has many low labor concepts built into his operation that will make it easier to run a large number of ewes for many years to come. He employs a wave system of lambing and has developed a great set of sheep management skills in a very short period of time. Brian uses an effective ewe production record keeping program that enabled him to increase production per ewe.
Dave runs an extremely productive flock of ewes. Dave recently completed an addition onto his existing lambing barn that allows him to lamb larger groups more labor efficiently and to provide a more ideal environment for new born lambs. Dave has built feeding alleys to efficiently deliver feed with a feed wagon to gestating ewes. Ewes are self-fed soybean hulls and soybean meal and/or ground forage in hoop barns during lactation as a labor saving practice. A portion of older barn has been remodeled for raising milk replacer lambs on raised decking pens. Dave and his wife Angie have two children who help out with the sheep operation. Dave also employs some additional part time labor during lambing. Dave Laughton was the recipient of the 2019 Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program Outstanding Producer Award.
Tyler Meyer Sheep Operation
Tyler is a relatively new comer to sheep production. Tyler is very detail orientated and strives to increase the productivity of his sheep flock. Tyler utilizes an existing building site to manage his flock of 200 ewes. He has remodeled several existing barns so that he can efficiently manage his sheep operation. Lambing barn is a converted farrowing barn. The initial structure was well insulated and ventilated. Tyler gutted the building and added a row of lambing jugs with a water tube and divided the rest of the barn up into 3 drop/group pens. A small room with a sink and hot water is also located in this building. Tyler has also renovated a hip roof barn into an efficient transition barn. To reduce labor Tyler self feeds ewes soybean hulls during part of lactation and utilizes fence line feeding for the remainder of the year. Ewes and lambs can be moved from building to building through an alley system. Existing pole barns have been remodeled and utilized for cold housing.
Shannon Buchert Sheep Operation
Shannon is one of the progressive producers in the sheep business. He and his family run about 400 commercial ewes. They use a multiple lambing period system to most efficiently utilize their facilities and labor. They have done an excellent job of combining older barns with newer buildings to make their sheep operation effectively use all the buildings available to them. Shannon pays very close attention to the little things that make the difference in a successful operation. A remodeled hip roof barn is utilized as a lambing barn. Shannon has also remodeled an existing barn into a labor efficient facility utilized to raise milk replacer lambs. The milk replacer barn consists of 6 decks/pen that can all be fed with one milk machine. In addition to the decks there is room for weaning lambs. Two hoop barns have been added and along with an existing pole barn are utilized as cold housing for lactating ewes and lamb feeding. Additional off-site cold housing is also utilized. The Buchert operation includes many labor saving concepts to enable them to handle a large number of sheep with minimal effort. Shannon has very practical ideas on sheep management that make this a stop everyone will learn from.
Sturdy Post Sheep Operation: Justin and Crissa Fruechte
The Fruechte family is a second-generation Pipestone Lamb and Wool program member. Justin and Crissa began raising sheep in 2009 and currently maintain a flock of 200 ewes, of which half are registered Katahdins. They accelerate lamb, lambing three different times throughout the calendar year. Recently constructed a drive through multipurpose building to house and efficiently feed the majority of their ewes. A corner of this building is utilized to house newborn ewes and lambs. Plastic slatted floor lambing pens are utilized to reduce labor and bedding costs. Lambing pens are constructed to move easily so that the lambing area can be cleaned efficiently. Fence line feeding is utilized so that they can quickly feed large numbers of ewes and can utilize a variety of commodities. A hoop barn and pole are also utilized as additional cold housing. Some lamb is marketed to a local restaurant. Justin and Crissa have a young family that is very active in the sheep enterprise.
2022 Cost: $200 (includes tour transportation, tuition, handouts, lunch, and refreshments).
Minimum Enrollment: 30 people. Maximum Enrollment: 54 people.
North Dakota and Wisconsin residents will be charged a higher tuition cost unless a reciprocity form is completed. A copy of the completed reciprocity form must accompany registration form. Go to Reciprocity Information for more details and the application form for your state. Follow instructions on how to print and complete the form. Contact the Lamb and Wool program if you need help completing the reciprocity form.
South Dakota students should contact Minnesota West directly. South Dakota residents don’t need to send a form to their home state.