Getting started with sheep
I am wanting start a meat sheep operation. I am not new to farming but new to sheep. I am looking for basic information as I plan an operation, suggestions for funding such as grants, etc. Anything you could share would be extremely helpful. I live in Central Missouri about 35 miles from Columbia.
Callaway County Missouri
I have found the Maryland Small Ruminant webpage to be a huge resource for sheep information: http://www.sheepandgoat.com/ The University of Missouri also puts together an annual sheep production budget: http://agebb.missouri.edu/mgt/budget/index.htm
Periodically, Lincoln University in Jefferson City offers workshops related to sheep. You can find information and contact numbers at the following website: http://www.lincolnu.edu/web/programs-and-projects/small-ruminant-program
Contact your local University of Missouri Extension office to find the nearest livestock specialist that can work one-on-one with you to achieve your goals or find program offerings. http://extension.missouri.edu/directory/People.aspx
Funding in the form of grants is hard to come by. Your best bet may be to contact your local USDA farm loan manager and ask about the beginning farm loan program or other loan programs they have available. They tend to be very low interest rate loans. You can also look into the Sustainable Agriculture Resource and Education grants: http://www.sare.org/Grants