Starter Flock Program seeking applicants

NDSU Extension
Farm Forum

For the 10th year, North Dakota State University Extension and the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association are offering North Dakota youth an opportunity to become involved in the sheep industry and build their own flock.

Youth chosen for the Starter Flock Discounted Loan Program will receive an interest-free loan to purchase 10 yearling Rambouillet ewes from the association. The association will buy the ewes from NDSU’s Hettinger Research Extension Center.

Youth receiving the ewes will be assigned a mentor, who will be available to answer the youths’ questions and help them with recordkeeping and setting future management goals. The youth also have the option of arranging for a mentor on their own.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for youth to become involved in an agricultural production enterprise with limited risk,” says Lyle Warner, a longtime North Dakota sheep producer. “Sheep are a very profitable option right now with high lamb and wool prices and easier cost of entry than most livestock enterprises.”

The youth must pay back 70 percent of the value of the ewes. The first payment is due by Nov. 1 of the second year the youth have the ewes. The youth have two more years to pay off the balance of the loan.

To be eligible to receive ewes, youth must be 10 to 18 years old by Aug. 1 of the year they apply for a loan.

“North Dakota has one of the most successful youth sheep projects across the country,” says Travis Hoffman, NDSU Extension sheep specialist. “Now is a great time to get involved with the lamb and wool industry with a great loan program for young producers.”

Go to for an application or more information about the loan program.

Applications are due Aug. 1. Successful recipients will pick up their ewes at the Hettinger Research Extension Center on Sept. 22. They’ll also take part in an educational program to help them get started with their flock.

For more information, contact:

• Luke Dukart at 701-214-2123 or

• Dave Pearson at 701-928-1410 or

• Wyman Scheetz at 701-220-4639 or

• Warner at 701-255-1183 or

• Hoffman at 701-231-2222 or