2019 Symposium

2019 Symposium

Preparation is underway so check back for updates on the 2019 Symposium.

2017 Symposium



Nicole Masters – Soil Health and Microbes: Integrity Soils, New Zealand
Dr. Kim Stanford – Ergot in Feed: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Dr. Paul Luimes – Nutrition and Feedstuffs: University of Guelph
Dr. Kathy Parker – Nutrition and Reproduction/Semen Evaluations: Valley Veterinary Services
Dr. John Gilleard – Internal Parasites in Sheep: U of C Faculty of Vet Med
Dr. Michel Levy – Internal Parasites in Sheep: U of C Faculty of Vet Med
Dr. Leisa Floreani – Changes in Antimicrobial Regulations: Fairview, AB


Parasite wetlab

This wetlab is designed for producers to learn how to do a basic fecal analysis on their own sheep to help monitor the parasite burden in the flock.  Microscopes will be provided to use, however if registrants have their own microscopes please bring them.  Bring a fresh fecal sample from your flock in an airtight Ziploc bag.  The wetlab is instructed by two lab technicians from the University of Calgary.  There will be information about purchasing fecal analysis kits for on farm use.

Sheepbytes Ration Workshop​

The workshop is being taught by Dale Engstrom.  He will be explaining how to use SheepBytes software to calculate rations and improve the nutrition of your flock.  Participants should ideally have a laptop to bring to get hands on experience running the software.

2017 Symposium Agenda

2017 Symposium Agenda (pdf)


2013 Symposium

2013 Sheep Symposium  Dates: October 18-20, 2013 Executive Royal Inn, Leduc AB
For more information on 2013 presentations, please contact us.  

Featuring all Canadian Speakers:  

  • Johanne Cameron grew up near the family farm that raised a small herd of purebred sheep, participating in several provincial and national exhibitions (Border Leicester). This contact with livestock and agriculture led her to Animal Sciences, where she completed her study in 2001 at Laval University in Quebec.After obtaining this degree, she began a masters degree on the use of photoperiod with researcher François Castonguay from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This study would give rise to the photoperiodic program "AAC type CC4", a program now widely used by commercial sheep producers and purebred sheep breeders in Quebec (more then 150 farms). Since the completion of her masters in 2001, she has worked on many research projects on photoperiod with other researchers. This has allowed her to develop new knowledge and tools for producers but above all, to to specialize in this area.    In June 2003 she joined the ranks of the Centre d'expertise en production ovine due Quebec (CEPOQ), where she held a full time position as Coordinator of Extension until the fall of 2010.  At this time, she temporarily left CEPOQ to work full time on her farm. However, in the spring of 2011, she took a position as project manager at CEPOQ to work on various sheep industry research projects.   Since the end of her studies in Animal Science, Johanne has presented at over 100 conferences in Quebec as well as Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick and British Columbia. To date, she has published more then 60 extension articles on topics including nutrition, management,reproduction, genetics, conformation, breeding, and of course, her favourite subject: photoperiod (which also has a scientific publication). Today, she works part time at CEPOQ and on the sheep farm which she co owns with her husband Martin Brodeur Choquette. They have a sheep business of 350 ewes, of which close to 300 are purebred registered females (Romanov, Hampshire and Leicester). Their farm is named « Les Bergeries Marovine (MH) ».The herd is raised under photoperiod and the primary production is based on heavy lamb and production of hybrid females.Since the quality and conformation of the animals are the elements that fascinate, she also continues the family tradition by participating in various competitions with her purebred sheep in Québec and at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. In 2012, Johanne and Martin were co-recipients of the Outstanding Young Farmer of Canada award. It was the second time that sheep producers won the provincial contest of OYF, but the first time it was won at the national level.    
  • Anita O'Brien grew up on a small mixed farming operation in eastern Ontario, and received a Bachelor of Science degree (major in Animal Science) from the University of Guelph. Her interest in sheep production is a direct result of spending her summers (while attending agriculture college) working on a large pasture lambing farm in Prince Edward County.  Her sheep production experience was further enhanced by spending 6 months in New Zealand working on sheep stud farm with purebred Romney, Perendale and Suffolk, followed by 25 years in extension services with OMAF (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture)- most of that time as the Provincial Sheep & Goat Specialist.Anita purchased her first sheep flock in 1986, initially housed on the home farm.  In 1993 Anita purchased a farm in Lansdowne and continually increased the flock to 650 ewes by 2000.  Since 2006 the flock has been maintained at 375 to 425 ewes. The flock is pasture lambed beginning May 10th to fit in with the full-time off-farm job. The farm consist of 265 owned acres and 300 rented acres.Anita’s partner, Al Whitlam, joined the farming operation in 1998 – working away during the week and on the farm on weekends.  Al has been full-time on the farm since 2006.  As of June 2013, Anita is also full-time on the farm, having chosen to leave OMAF and focus on the farm operation.  
  • Dr. Lynn Tait graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1990 with both degrees in Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. After graduation she was involved in large animal practice in central Alberta until 2005. During this time she also taught part time in the AHT program at Olds College, co-produced the Western Canadian Flock Health Program and served as the ASWC Scrapie Project Coordinator. In 1996, in partnership with Dr Ileana Wenger, she started OC Flock Management Inc. which began by providing small ruminant veterinary consulting services to Alberta producers. In 1997, they expanded to include semen production and artificial insemination services. As a result of industry demand, the reproductive aspect of the practice was further expanded in 2000 to include embryo transfer. In 2001, Lynn became CETA certified for export of small ruminant embryos. Currently, Lynn and Ileana, along with Judy Mitchell (AHT) manage a CFIA approved semen production facility and two CFIA/CETA approved embryo production facilities in Alberta. They are one of only three such facilities in the world that are approved for export to the European Union.Lynn is currently the chair of the International Embryo Transfer Society’s Forms and Certificates Committee and participates on the Regulatory Committee as a Canadian and small ruminant member. In addition to her practice in Canada, Lynn has also worked extensively in international projects for both cattle and sheep and goats, and has been involved in exporting Canadian SR genetics to over 15 countries. Since 2010 she has been a clinical instructor at UCVM, responsible for teaching small ruminant clinical skills, reproductive diseases and flock health. As both a veterinarian and sheep producer in Alberta for over 20 years, she is very committed to the development of the industry and is always willing to assist other veterinarians in developing their knowledge and better serving their clients.  
  • Dr Jagdish Patel joined Alberta Agriculture in 2004 as a surveillance veterinarian and is currently section head for the pathology section in the Animal Health Branch. Prior to joining AARD, he was in a mixed practice in Camrose from 1990 to 2002 where he did mainly livestock and equine work. From 2002 to 2004 he worked as a clinical associate in Large Animal hospital at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.He graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, Kenya, in 1978 and practiced in rural Kenya for two years before joining the veterinary faculty in Nairobi as a clinical associate in a large animal clinic. He completed a residency program in Theriogenology at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine from 1984 – 1987 and became Diplomate of American College of Theriogenologists in 1986.His wife and three daughters maintains his blood pressure at high normal and his dogs keep him grounded. He enjoys photography, hiking, travelling and woodworking.   
  • Gord Schroeder has been involved in the sheep industry since 1987.  He and his wife Leona operated a lamb production unit that consisted of 450 breeding ewes in the Drake area.  In February 2011 they sold the lamb production unit allowing Gord to concentrate fully to the development of the lamb industry.     Throughout Gord’s time in the sheep industry he has been heavily involved in leadership and development. Gord was hired by the Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board in 1998 as a special projects manager.  In 2000 he assumed the position of Executive Director.  During his time as Executive Director he has been involved in many development projects including the Canadian On Farm Food Safety Programs, Canadian Sheep Identification Program, Sask-First Lamb Feeder Co-op, Canadian Prairie Lamb, Saskatchewan Livestock Predation Programs, and various other lamb industry initiatives.  Gord has a passion for the sheep and lamb industry, sees huge opportunity and is committed to working on behalf of lamb producers to create a positive environment for lamb production in Saskatchewan and Canada.     
  • Dr Colleen Christianson grew up on a mixed farm in Northern Alberta, and later moved to Southern Alberta to live with her family on a grain farm.  She graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999 andiImmediately after graduation, began a Masters of Veterinary Medicine program in anatomic pathology with an emphasis on avian diseases and pathology. After graduating in 2001, she went on to begin a PhD where she examined the effects of diet on necrotic enteritis in broiler chickens and also the prevalence of Clostridium perfringens in broiler chickens in the province of Saskatchewan. During this time, she was also the poultry science veterinarian for the University of Saskatchewan. Colleen has been employed with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development since January 2005, where she works as a diagnostic pathologist in food animals. She also participates in numerous research projects such as: examining Salmonella on egg belts, antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella Heidelberg isolated from poultry in Alberta, two Salmonella baseline projects in poultry, SE pilot project surveillance questionnaire, Camelina as feed in poultry, methods to diagnose Infectious Laryngotracheitis in poultry, pathology comparison project in small ruminants and the small ruminant abortion project, just to name a few. Colleen currently resides in Airdrie, except on holidays and weekends where she lives with her husband on a ranch at Pollockville.   
  • Dr Paula Menzies is a Professor of Small Ruminant Health Management in the Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College University of Guelph.  She is a Diplomate in the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management and is the current Vice President of the International Sheep Veterinary Association.  She is a clinician in the Ruminant Field Service group, providing emergency and flock health services to the practice, and teaches sheep and goat health management to DVM students. Current research activities and interests include: control of gastrointestinal nematode parasites; anthelmintic resistance; control of Coxiella burnetii infections in sheep and goats; diagnosis of Johne’s disease in small ruminants; risk factors for Cysticercus ovisinfection; and diagnosis of maedi visna infection.  She has developed health management programs for sheep and goats including the Ontario Maedi Visna Flock Status program; the Ontario Sheep Health program; the Handbook for the Control of Internal Parasites of Sheep and Goats; and is developing a course for udder health of dairy sheep and dairy goats.  She has been on numerous small ruminant national committees including sheep and goat biosecurity, sheep on-farm food safety, the scientific committee for the Sheep Code of Practice, and the national Q fever committee for US State Public Health Veterinarians.  
  • Dr Chris Clark - Graduated from Cambridge veterinary school in UK in 1996  - 1 year internship in large animal medicine at WCVM 1996-97  - 1 year in general (mainly cattle and sheep) practice in Northern England 1997-98  - 1998-2000 Residency in Large Animal Medicine at WCVM, Masters Degree in epidemiology  - Board eligible American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine  - 2000-2002 2 x 1 year replacements at WCVM for faculty on sabbatical  - 2002-Assistant Professor in Large Animal Medicine, also completing a PhD and residency program in Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology  Main interests: diseases of food animals (cattle and sheep) their prevention and treatment.  Especially lameness, enteritis, rational use of antibiotics and infection control and ovine abortion. Chris Clark was originally from the UK.  He attended Cambridge Veterinary School from 1990 to 1996.  He then came to Saskatoon and completed an internship in Large Animal Medicine at WCVM before returning to the UK where he worked in food animal practice in Northern England. He is currently an assistant Professor of Large Animal Medicine and has an interest in infectious diseases of agricultural animals and food safety.  
  • Originally from Nova Scotia, Dr. Colin Palmer graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College, in Charlottetown, PEI in 1992. In 1995,Dr. Palmer completed a Master of Veterinary Science degree andresidency in Theriogenology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatoon, SK and became a diplomate of theAmerican College of Theriogenologists. Dr. Palmer has practicedin Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan and in 2000 hejoined the faculty of the Western College of Veterinary where he plays an integral role in the DVM teaching program covering topicsin bovine, small ruminant and very recently canine reproduction. Dr.Palmer’s research pursuits and clinical involvement areequally diverse which he believes affords him the “jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none” title. Together with his wife and family, Dr.Palmer raises purebred Red Angus cattle and enjoys trying out new breeding strategies on his own farm.   
  • Dr. Madhu Ravi received his bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from India. He immigrated to Canada after working for the state Government for nearly 6 years. Upon immigrating to Canada, he went back to Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon for higher studies and completed a Masters Degree in Veterinary Pathology followed by residency training in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology. Dr. Ravi is a American Board Certified Veterinary Pathologist and he also obtained Veterinary practice license in Canada by passing Veterinary licensing examination. After working for nearly 2 years as a clinical instructor for School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA he moved back to Canada and started working for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development as a Veterinary Pathologist. Dr. Ravi interests include production animal medicine and diagnostic pathology. He currently resides in Edmonton with his wife and two daughters. Contact information: Dr. Madhu Ravi DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACVP (Anatomic pathology)  Veterinary Pathologist, Animal Health Branch, Food Safety and Animal Health Division,  Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Rm # 916, 6909 - 116 Street, Edmonton,  AB  T6H 4P2, Canada Ph:  (780) 427-8285 (work) Email: madhu.ravi@gov.ab.ca

2011 Symposium


2011 Alberta Sheep Symposium   

Leduc was the place to be in October 2011. The bi-annual Alberta Sheep Symposium was held Oct 21-23 in Leduc, Alberta. The event was the culmination of two years of planning, more than 300 hours of volunteer work, and the concerted efforts of the Alberta Sheep Breeders Association, Alberta Lamb Producers, Alberta Government, and the Calgary Stampede.  No event of this magnitude is possible without the generous support of sponsors and the 2011 event was no exception.   The vision for the Symposium was to try to “bring it all together” and to give producers the tools so that they can “turn information into knowledge”.  Topics such as “Hope is not a strategy, Plan for success”,  “ Managing High Input Costs”, “Training a Livestock Guardian Dog”, and “Gaining from Genetics”  are a few of the topics covered.  New in 2011 was that the speakers participated in the Symposium for all 3 days giving registrants ample opportunity to speak with them one on one about their individual operations.  In all of the presentations, producers were introduced to principals that apply across all sizes of operations. We all need to manage feed costs , to understand what our market demands  and how to provide that product whether that be breeding stock , finished lambs, or feeder lambs. It all takes planning,  one decision at a time.  

Symposium 2013 is set to be in Leduc Oct. 18-20, 2013 again at the Executive Royal Inn.  After an analysis of where the producers are in the province and using our past history at the same hotel as leverage, the ASBA Directors have decided to return to Leduc in an effort to control registration costs. We have heard your concerns and have addressed them all with the hotel and rest assured that we will do our best to make 2013 the best Symposium ever! Planning is well underway to expand the trade fair, and plan for speakers using the feedback from 2009 and 2011 registrants for guidance.  

 Visit the ASBA website at www.albertasheepbreeders.ca to keep current on the activities and events planned by the registered breeding stock producers of Alberta.  

 See you in 2013!  

Kathy Parker  

ASBA Director 

2011 Symposium Proceedings

2011 Symposium Proceedings (pdf)