Executive Board

Your 2016-2017 ASI Executive Board

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Mike Corn - President
New Mexico

Background: Corn owns and operates sheep, cattle and goats, lambing around 3,000 ewes annually. He is a fourth-generation rancher who is proud to be working with the next generation, his son, Bronson. The Corn family has been raising sheep in the Roswell area since the 1880s. Corn owns and operates his own ranch, as well as leases additional ranches, operating around 125,000 acres. His herd consists of white-faced, fine-wool sheep, mainly a merino cross, and he markets his lambs through Enchantment Lamb Co-op. Corn is also the majority owner of Roswell Wool Warehouse, which he and his partners purchased in 1992. Roswell is now the largest wool warehouse by volume in the United States and they recently opened a facility in Long Beach, Calif. Corn says he believes the warehouse continues to be successful because it is operated by "producer oriented" owners who are also part of the sheep industry. Corn is an active member of ASI's Re-build the Sheep Inventory Committee, Chaves County Farm Bureau, New Mexico Hereford Association and is past president of the New Mexico Wool Growers Association and of the Chaves County Soil and Water Conservation District. Corn earned a Ranch Management Certificate from Texas Christian University. He has been married to his bride, Jennifer, for 28 years. They have three children (Jessica, Bronson, Jenny) and three grandchildren.


Benny Cox - Vice President
Texas

Background: Cox started his career in the livestock industry in the late 1960s with his employment at Producers Livestock Co., the largest sheep auction in the nation, while attending high school in San Angelo and then earning his bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics in 1975 at Angelo State University. Today, he remains employed at Producers as the sheep and goat sales manager. His personal involvement in sheep, whether it be in production, feeding or trading, has lasted more than 35 years. He now has both a sheep flock and a goat herd. For many years, Cox managed the sale of anywhere between 600,000 and 800,000 head of sheep that moved through Producers; however, due to the recent drought, predation pressures, labor issues and income from hunting options, he has seen a reduction in sheep production in the area. As in the case of the 2011 drought that affected the Southwest, Cox facilitated, through both the doors of Producers and private treaty sales, the movement of breeding ewes to northern states where feed conditions were better. Cox is a past president of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association and has been a member of ASI’s Lamb Council.


Susan Shultz - Secretary/Treasurer
Ohio

Background: With her husband, Bill, and son, Joe, Shultz operates Bunker Hill Farm, a fourth-generation diversified family farm. They breed black-faced (Suffolk) terminal sires primarily for the western range commercial industry and are committed to genetic improvement through the use of objective measurements and the National Sheep Improvement Program. Performance criteria are centered on multiple weighings for growth and the use of ultrasounds for loin eye and fat determination. The Shultz’s were the 2004 winners of the ASI Environmental Stewardship Award. Shultz has a strong history of serving the sheep industry through numerous leadership positions including president of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and regional director on the ASI executive board. She was co-chair of ASI’s Production, Education and Research Council, chair of the Roadmap Productivity Improvement Committee and chair of ASI’s Let’s Grow Committee. Shultz is retired from a 35-year career in education where she was an education coordinator and teacher for gifted students.


Don Kniffen - Region I
New Jersey

Region I = Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Background: His father, Donald Kniffen, Sr., got the family into sheep when he purchased three separate Hampshire flocks in the early 1960s. The family also raised cows, which he passed along to his second son, Daniel, upon his death. A professor of animal science at Penn State University, Daniel Kniffen is heavily involved with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. A member of the Garden State Sheep Breeders Association, Don Kniffen spent 37 years working in a variety of roles with livestock at Rutgers University – where his father had served as a professor of animal science and extension specialist. The younger Kniffen started in the school’s sheep barn, but also worked in the beef and dairy barns, as well as with horses and crop management.


Jimmy Parker - Region II
Alabama

Region II = Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Background: Parker grew up on the Appalachian foothill farm where he and his family now run their small flock of wool ewes. Since he basically runs a ewe operation, he doesn’t finish many lambs but those he does are sold through local farmers markets and to the ethnic trade. He also sells a few purebred rams to area producers to help increase weight gains in their hair-sheep operations. Parker graduated from Mississippi State University with an animal science degree and began work on a masters in ruminant nutrition. Since 2012, he has been managing a family-owned feed mill where he works with feed and nutrition formulas on a daily basis. Parker knew from a young age that animals were his thing. He and his family raise and sell free-range boilers, sell eggs at the farmers market, operate a small sow operation and market milk from their dairy goats. A few rabbits, horses, donkeys and dogs also call the Parker farmyard home. He has been a member of the Alabama Farmers Federation State Meat Goat and Sheep Committee for several years. Parker is married with four children and two step-daughters.


John Dvorak - Region III
Minnesota

Region I = Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin

Background: Dvorak has been involved with sheep throughout much of his lifetime raising mainly Dorsets and Hampshires. Besides sheep, he grows 100 acres of commercial alfalfa and runs a custom bailing operation established on the farm he grew up on. Dvorak has been actively involved on the ASI Legislative Action Council and has made the spring trip to Washington, D.C., to lobby for sheep industry issues for nearly a decade. At the state level, Dvorak is active with the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers having worked his way through the officer ranks. His main focus with the organization is in the area of education. At the state fair, he chairs the Baa Booth to promote the sheep industry and is co-chair of the commercial wool booth. He also helps with the annual spring workshop in Minnesota to assist with continuing education for sheep producers. He is the executive secretary of the Rice County Fair, which he has been involved with for the last 20 years. He also serves on the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association. Dvorak is married and has four grown children.


Jeff Ebert - Region IV
Kansas

Region IV = Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Background: Ebert has been raising sheep throught his entire life and bred his first champion lamb in 1962. Ebert, who currently has 125 ewes on his farm, raises mostly registered sheep of four different breeds. He was recently elected as executive secretary of the American Hampshire Sheep Association. His family sells commercial rams and club lambs and has sold sheep into over 30 states and three foreign countries. His sheep operation benefits from the help of his wife, Kerri, and their two adult children, Monica and Christine.


Bob Buchholz - Region V
Texas

Region V = Texas
As a third generation rancher, Buchholz runs cattle and meat goats on ranches in several Central and Southwestern counties in Texas. Sheep were part of the operation prior to the 2011 drought. Range fires and adverse weather conditions required him to sell his fine wool flock and a large percentage of his other livestock. Raising and selling livestock protection dogs is also a part of his business. To get his start in ranching, Buchholz made a living riding colts and doing day labor before leasing ranches to run livestock with his brother. The recent years of drought in Texas have resulted in an all-hands-on-deck approach to ranching for the Buchholz family. His wife Mary and their three sons – Robert, Dalton and Franklin – have assisted with the consuming chores of feeding, moving and working the livestock. In addition to being appointed to the ASI executive board, Buchholz is the current president of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association (TSGRA), president of the Schleicher Country Predator Association, director on the Mohair Council, chair of the TSGRA Meat Goat Committee and director on the American Goat Federation.

Steve Osguthorpe – Region VI
Utah

Region VI = Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Nevada

Background: As a second-generation sheep rancher, Osguthorpe has always had sheep. His bands of sheep graze in the Park City area in the summer and winter in the west desert of Utah. Being a range operation, all of the lambing is born on the range. He owns a feedlot and farm land in the Delta area and utilizes H-2A workers to graze his flock on private land, as well as on year-round BLM and Forest Service allotments. He grows alfalfa and oats in the Park City area and alfalfa, corn, corn silage and barley in Delta. Owning his own feedlot fits into the Osguthorpe operation as he believes this offers him the autonomy to be a price maker rather than a price taker. Feeding his lambs as they come off summer grazing is an option if prices are low. Wool is also an important part of his production. He has added Merino genetics into his flock, substantially increasing the value of his clip. Three of his six sons are sheep producers with each family member owning their own sheep. All of the operations are in close vicinity so working together and helping each other is common place. Osguthorpe is a real proponent of taking care of the land as is evidenced by his receipt of the Leopold Conservation Award in 2011. He has always been taught that if you take care of the land, it will take of you. Osguthorpe’s sheep summer on the slopes of the Park City Ski Resort where you will also find his lamb on the menu at the Vail Ski Resorts, owners of Park City Ski Resort and many more. Locals are able to purchase his lamb at the Park City Walmart and, hopefully, at the Heber City Walmart in the near future. He was vice president of the Utah Farm Bureau for 17 years, chairman of the Weber River Water Rights Committee and has served on the boards of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, Envision Utah, Canyon’s Village Resort Management Association, Utah Grazing Improvement Board, Central Utah Grazing Improvement Board, Weber Basin Water Conservancy District and Wildlife Damage Prevention Board of Utah. Osguthorpe has been married to his wife, Vickie, for 47 years. They have six sons, one daughter and 14 grandchildren. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in animal science.


Ken Wixom – Region VII
Idaho

Region VII = Montana, Idaho and Wyoming

Background: Wixom got his start in the sheep business just as he was graduating with a degree in Animal Science from Brigham Young University in 1971. He used what money he had to buy 60 old ewes at $20 apiece. Today he runs 4,000 ewes and 600 mother cows. He also grows hay and crops on about 1,000 acres. Wixom formerly served as president of the Idaho Wool Growers Association.


Reed Anderson - Region VIII
Oregon

Region VIII = Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington

Background: Anderson is a fourth-generation sheep man. He comes from a diversified family operation that had sheep, cattle, crops and a custom processing business. He started connecting to the sheep industry in high school when he learned to shear. After high school, he had the opportunity to shear in New Zealand for a short time before coming back to the states to start his own shearing career. Anderson and two of his sons, a third son passed away in 2000, run a diversified operation where they raise ewes and feeder lambs, and grow grass seed. They also operate a processing facility and market their Anderson Ranches Oregon Lamb. Being in the “grass-seed capital of the world” – 95 percent of the world’s annual rye grass is grown in the Willamette Valley – makes for a nice resource for Oregon sheep producers like Anderson. Anderson purchases an average of 15,000 lambs annually that he pastures on fields of alfalfa, rye grass and broccoli, to name a few. He and his son also shed-lamb a couple thousand ewes each year. Their ewes are a composite sheep of mostly English breeds – breeds that thrive in the wet Oregon climate. In 1998, the Anderson-brand lamb was established. It started small by processing one to two lambs a week but quickly grew to 200 lambs per week. With the processor unable to grow as fast as Anderson, he began construction on his own processing facility in 2012. This USDA-inspected custom-slaughter facility currently processes 400-500 lambs per week along with 70 head of beef cattle. Anderson has been a member of many local and national organizations, including the American Lamb Board, Oregon Sheep Commission, Oregon Sheep Growers Association, the local fire board and the Lynn County Planning and Building Commission.


Steve Schreier – Lamb Feeder Representative
Minnesota

Background: The Schreiers, Diane and Steve, have raised fed lambs for 31 years, beginning with 500 head, and have fed as many as 5,000 in a year. As with any feeder animal, weight gain is the goal: Getting the stock comfortable with their surroundings and the people who help the lambs eat to weight gain. We like to gain one pound per day. The 100-day timeframe from arrival to finished weight of 145 pounds fits with Schreier’s farm operation. As the spring and fall field work becomes busier, the lambs will be on self-feeders, freeing up Schreier, son Mike and hired hand Dave Woitaszewski to tend to the 1,600 acres of corn and soybeans. Steve is a member of the National Lamb Feeders Association.

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Burton Pfliger - Past President
North Dakota

Background: Pfliger is a third-generation sheep rancher who was born into the business. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science from North Dakota State University in 1985. Currently, Pfliger and his wife Pattie run approximately 400 ewes, which make up a purebred Hampshire flock, a purebred Suffolk flock and a flock of Rambouillet/Dorset cross commercial ewes. The Hampshire and Suffolk flocks are used to produce range and terminal sires. Prior to serving ASI in the various officer capacities, Pfliger served as the Region IV representative and was chairman of the ASI Wool Council. Pfliger previously served as the chairman of the Production, Education and Research Council, and additionally he served on the Legislative Action Council and the Predator Management Committee. He was elected to four terms as president of the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers. In addition, Pfliger served as vice chairman on the executive board of the Ag Coalition in North Dakota, and has served as the chairman of North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) Board of Ag Research, Livestock Granting Committee. He currently serves as the chairman of the Missouri Slope Wool Pool in Bismarck, N.D. Pfliger was nominated to NDSU’s Agriculturist of the Year and was presented the North Dakota Master Sheep Producer award in 2005.