Sheep expert from Spain visiting South Dakota |

Sheep expert from Spain visiting South Dakota

As part of an international exchange, SDSU Extension and South Dakota State University will host Jorge Gutiérrez, a veterinarian from Spain who specialized in small ruminants during July 2015.

During his two-weeks in the state, Gutiérrez will visit commercial farms and organizations to exchange knowledge and glean a comprehensive view of sheep and dairy production in South Dakota.

Among other things he will analyze: flock management, sanitary plans, reproductive management, artificial insemination techniques, etc.

More about Gutiérrez

Since 2013, Gutiérrez has worked for Spain’s MSD Animal Health (Merck) in ruminant Scientific Field Affairs (SFA). His work experience includes 15 years of dedication to small ruminant production. Previous to his position with MSD Animal Health, he worked for the “Churra” Breeders Association of Spain (ANCHE). There he provided technical support to farm business operations and specialized farming services management.

The “Churra” sheep is a breed original to Spain raised in the northwest region of “Castilla and León”. It is a double purpose breed both for milk and/or meat production (see picture). ANCHE organizes and develops the breeding program. Gutiérrez’s experience includes the genetic improvement of this breed such as: genetic evaluations, pedigree checking, milk records, artificial insemination, electronic identification, milk quality, machine milking and flock management.

Specialists collaborate

David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist will host Gutiérrez for a portion of his stay. While he is visiting western South Dakota, Ollila will introduce Gutiérrez to South Dakota sheep producers and their operations.

Gutiérrez will also visit commercial and seedstock sheep operations in northwestern South Dakota in a tour that will include stops at local sheep industry-supporting businesses including: Center of the Nation Wool, Newell Sheepyards, area feed companies and veterinary clinics.

In Brookings, Gutiérrez will be hosted by Maristela Rovai, SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist with the Dairy Science Department.

Gutiérrez activities will be centered on the South Dakota Dairy Industry and the growth experienced during the last several years.

Gutiérrez will also visit a few commercial dairies and participate in the Dairy Tool Box Talks – An Educational Pilot program.

This program is sponsored by the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health & Safety (HICAHS) from Colorado State University. The program aims to design an innovative training course for the dairy workforce similar to those implemented in the engineering and construction industries.

“Mutual benefits are expected since Gutiérrez will provide his expertise and ideas about sheep production in Spain, a country of historical tradition in ovine extensive and intensive production systems,” said Maristela Rovai, SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist. “The knowledge gained about sheep and dairy production in South Dakota will help establish future beneficial collaboration efforts between both countries.”

–SDSU Extension