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University of Maryland Extension

Sheep & Goat Specialist
University of Maryland Extension


University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Programs are coordinated by Susan Schoenian. Susan has been the Sheep & Goat Specialist for University of Maryland Extension since 2002. She has been with University of Maryland Extension since 1988. Previously, she served as the regional farm management specialist and Wicomico County Extension Agent. She was also formerly the Sheep Specialist for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.


Susan is a member of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC). Since 2004, she has trained more than 1500 producers, veterinarians, and others in the use of the FAMACHA system. FAMACHA workshops last for 4 hours and consist of two hours of discussion and lecture and two hours of hands-on (FAMACHA + fecal egg counting).


Susan conducts the annual Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test at the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center. The test was initiataed in 2006 to evaluate the post-weaning performance of meat goat bucklings consuming a pasture-based diet, with natural exposure to internal parasites. The test celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2015. Since the test began, 639 bucks from 84 meat goat herds from 18 states have been tested.


In 2011, Susan began holding winter webinars (short courses). Each webinar series is usually tied together by a similar theme, such as nutrition, breeding, or pasture management. She has also held or hosted other special topic webinars with industry or other universities.


Susan holds a biennial Lambing & Kidding School. The school is held at different locations in Maryland. The main speaker is usually a nationally known small ruminant veterinarian or extension specialist. The program is mostly for new producers. A youth program was added in the school in 2009.


Susan works with both adults and youth.She is active in the Maryland 4-H livestock skillathon program. She conducts a Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon in conjunction with the annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.


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