Sheep Unit Continues Research Efforts

UW Sheep Unit Research Program Manager Todd Taylor has a smile on his face discussing plans for this coming year. He recently dispersed a group of ewes to replenish the herd with new genetics after an on-going research project was completed. Taylor is welcoming new as well as ongoing research projects into the barn and hopes to encourage more student engagement. 

“The sheep unit is designed to support research, extension and teaching,” says Taylor. “Research has been ramping up at the farm over the last few years, with a focus on epigenetics.”

The unit is currently working on a project that explores how changing the amino acids in a sheep’s diet affects their DNA code and ultimately their performance. Taylor says they are finishing up a five-year trial and are beginning a new one to continue testing this theory.

The unit also offers various outreach programs, such as a lambing school, shearing school, and the Arlington Sheep Days. But this year they are also working on a sheep school.

“We are going to do a three-day event in October that will cover fall breeding, spring lambing, and also shearing demos,” says Taylor. “More event details will be released in the next few weeks and can be found on our website.”

Those interested in learning more can email Todd Taylor at

*Pictured is Todd Taylor being interviewed by Mid-West Farm Report Staff