Date(s) - December 3, 2021 - December 4, 2021
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


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The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association is pleased welcome Etienne and Isabel Richards as speakers to the 2021 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium. This year’s symposium theme is genetics and reproduction and will feature a wide variety of speakers and gathering opportunities.

On Friday, Dec. 3 from 2-5 p.m. attendees will enjoy an afternoon of discussion on genetic appraisal, reproductive strategies, and record keeping from all aspects of the sheep industry. On Saturday, Dec. 4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be a collection of sessions including the annual OSIA business meeting, educational presentations, and an awards ceremony. Throughout the day attendees will hear insights on recent changes in the sheep industry and discussion on strategic management of genetics and reproduction. As a whole, the symposium will be an opportunity for shepherds to engage with one another for the betterment their home flocks and the American sheep industry.

Shepherds of all ages, sectors and regions are invited to attend the symposium to connect with other shepherds and to continue learning together. If you are unable to attend the symposium in-person, you won’t have to miss the event. The 2021 symposium will be held in a hybrid format including options for both in-person or online participation depending on your preference.


Register online or print a form to register by mail.

The full program schedule is available.

Registrations are appreciated by Nov. 19, 2021.

About the featured speakers

On Gibraltar Farm in North Brookfield, New York, Etienne and Isabel Richards live with their flock of grass-fed Katahdin sheep. In the traditional world of shepherding, this couple might be considered new to the sheep business. However, in just a matter of six years Etienne and Isabel have successfully grown their beginning flock from 37 breeding sheep to a flock of 170 ewes.

Building on a foundation of strong genetics, plentiful well managed pasture and good timing, Etienne and Isabel market 100% grass-fed lamb and occasionally registered Katahdin breeding stock. They are active members of the National Sheep Improvement Program and use flock data collection to continually improve the production and quality of their sheep for their own farm and their consumers.

The 100% forage system that Etienne and Isabel utilize in New York is representative of what many producers today are working toward. Ohio producers are also looking for ways to increase the profitability of their sheep flocks by utilizing better farm management and genetic advancements.

Additional special guests

Leroy Kuhns, Mike Stitzlein, Dr. Brady Campbell, Nick Forest, Jim Percival, Don Hawk, Susan Shultz, Jacci Smith and Dr. Eric Gordon.

Young Shepherd’s Assembly

The symposium will also offer special events for shepherds ages 18 to 40  Friday evening  from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Young adults are invited to stay for candid Q&A and one-on-one conversation with special guests Isabel & Etienne Richards and with their peers. Pizza and drinks will follow at JAFB Wooster Brewery 120 Beall Ave, Wooster, OH 44691.

Youth program

Shepherds ages 6 to 18 can be involved too through the youth program on Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Shisler Conference Center. OSIA member Russ Johnson will lead a free and fun program designed especially for youth. Plan to bring your youngest shepherds for this multi-faceted youth program, while you take in the symposium topics.