Your 2016-2017 ASI Executive Board
Benny Cox - President
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 50 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 - Vice President
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
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
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
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.
Region IV = Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Background: I am a third generation Sheepgrower from Western South Dakota. My wife Pam & I raise, sheep, cattle & hay. We have three children who are grown, have families & live close by. We have been active in the S. D. Sheepgrowers since 1992 when we got our first flock of 200 ewes. I have served as Treasure's,vice President & President of our state organization. I currently have been sitting on the predator management committee for ASI.
Bob Buchholz - Region V
Region V = Texas
Steve Osguthorpe – Region VI
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.
Randy Tunby – Region VII = Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
Background: We own a diversified sheep, cattle and hay operation 25 miles north of Baker in Eastern Montana. My father who will be 90 in April is still an active part of the ranch along with my wife Amanda who is an elementary teacher. Our daughter Abigail inherited the teaching bug and is in her 2nd year as an elementary teacher, while our son Zane is finishing college with plans to come back in the future becoming the 4th generation on our ranch. We raise purebred Targhee sheep selling feeder lambs and seedstock, both rams and ewes. On the bovine side we raise commercial Angus/Simmental cross cattle. I graduated from Montana State University in 1988 with a BS in Animal Science. After college I came back home and have been ranching full time since. I have been involved with the Montana Wool Growers since the early 90’s, and then served on the board of directors from 1999 until I concluded my tenure as President from 2011 to 2013. I have also served and continue to serve on many different civic and advisory boards locally and at Montana State University. I have served on the ASI Wool Council on two separate occasions and was the Vice Chair in 2018. I also set on the Predator Management Committee for ASI in the past.
Sarah Smith – Region VIIII
Region VIII = California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington
Background: Sarah Smith is a Regional Animal Science Specialist with Washington State University Extension based in the Columbia Basin in Central Washington. She received a B.S. in Animal Sciences and M.S. specializing in ruminant nutrition from Washington State University. Sarah’s primary responsibility is to provide educational outreach for beef cattle, sheep and hogs producers from farm to harvest. Sarah’s outreach programs are specialized around animal care and handling and food animal quality assurance at the farm/ranch level, at animal feeding operations and at harvest facilities. Programs are also to promote sustainable and profitable production of food animals for livestock producers of all sizes, including youth livestock producers. Sarah also serves as the coordinator for the highly-demand and nationally recognized annual Washington State Shearing School, a 5-day Beginner and 1-day advanced school. She is a member of the WSU MEAT Team (Meat Evaluation and Analysis Team) that is responsible for programing from farm to table, such as LAMB 300 that has been offered in the Western US. Sarah is a certified trainer of quality assurance programs for the various food animal species and author/trainer of the new national Youth for the Quality Care of Animal Care curriculum. Sarah has been with WSU Extension for almost 19 years. Sarah also farms with her family where they raise wheat, cattle and a small farm flock of sheep.
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.