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Plan for the Success of Your Small Livestock Operation

Written by: Christine
August 1, 2012


National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Livestock specialists from the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will present “Planning for Success: Starting a Small Livestock Enterprise” workshops at three locations in Florida during August.  NCAT’s August workshops in Florida will focus on poultry and small ruminants.

Terrell Spencer, NCAT Sustainable Poultry Specialist, and Linda Coffey, NCAT Sheep and Goat Specialist, will focus on risk management for poultry and small ruminant enterprises. The workshops are funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency.

The topics that will be covered in the workshops include:

  • Evaluating enterprise options: what will work for your farm
  • Production considerations of small ruminants, layers, and broilers
  • Business and financial planning, including budgets

Each workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dates and locations:

August 7 in Live Oak, Florida, at Suwannee Extension office, 1302 11 Street. To register or for more information, contact facilitator Elena Toro at 386-362-2771 or email her at

August 8 in Bushnell, Florida, at Sumter Extension office, 7620 SR 471. To register or for more information, contact facilitator Susan Kelly at 352-793-2728, email her at or visit

August 9 in Bartow, Florida, at Polk Extension office, 1702 U.S. 17. To register or for more information, contact facilitator Mary Beth Henry at 863-519-8677 or email her at

About the presenters:

Linda Coffey has written or co-authored 10 ATTRA publications on small ruminants and multispecies grazing, and she also collaborated on a workbook on organic livestock production for the National Organic Program. Linda and her family raise sheep, dairy goats, and other livestock, marketing directly from their small farm in Arkansas. She has a master’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Missouri. She enjoys meeting other producers and helping them find information to help their farms.

Terrell “Spence” Spencer gives entertaining and inspiring workshops around the country on sustainable poultry production and farm business planning. He shares highly practical tips and advice drawn from his own experience building a successful farming business. Spence holds a degree in Soil and Water Science, and is currently raising several thousand broilers per year on pasture and selling poultry and eggs to restaurants, retail, and individual customers throughout northwestern Arkansas. Spence tells audiences how to avoid common mistakes and lay the groundwork for a poultry business that is both sustainable and profitable.