The Penn State Extension Livestock Team will hold a sheep and goat FAMACHA training and a sheep-productivity workshop on April 18 at the Beaver County Soil and Water Conservation office, outside of Aliquippa, near the Pittsburgh Airport.

One of the greatest challenges for sheep and goat producers is preventing and controlling internal parasites in their animals, noted Walt Bumgarner, extension educator in Fayette, Greene and Washington counties, who is coordinating the event.

“This workshop will start with the basics of understanding parasite life cycles and then offer helpful tips on how to better manage sheep and goats to prevent internal parasite infections,” he said. “Participants will also become certified in FAMACHA.”

FAMACHA is the acronym for a system named for its originator, South African livestock parasitologist Francois “Faffa ” Malan. The system uses an eye-color chart developed as a guide to identify anemia, a symptom of parasite infection.

Sheep producers also will be able to learn about improving sheep flock productivity through the use of synchronized breeding and the National Sheep Improvement Program. A session on the subject will be presented by researchers from West Virginia University.

Pre-registration is required for the program, which runs from 9:30 am to 3 pm with a registration fee of $25 per person. Register online or call the Greene County office of Penn State Extension at 724-627-3745.