January 28, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Peter Orwick (303) 771-3500, ext. 33, or porwick@sheepusa.org
Judy Malone (303) 771-3500, ext. 35, or judym@sheepusa.org

DENVER, Colo. - Marsha Spykerman, Sibley, Iowa, has been selected to serve as the Region IV representative on the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) Executive Board. This region is comprised of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Oklahoma.

Spykerman and husband, Vernon, began raising sheep when they moved back to the family farm in 1980 and today have a commercial Midwest operation, running about 450 ewes in an intensive lambing setting. The couple shed lambs their ewes and moves the later lambing group out to farm ground that has been converted to pasture when the lambs are about one-week old. The Spykermans lamb approximately 100 ewes in late February and early March to produce replacement ewes for their flock. The remaining ewes lamb later in the season, producing commercial lambs that are finished on the farm and marketed by the couple.

In addition, the Spykermans also raise corn, hay and have put acreage into grass, which is in a rotational grazing system. The majority of the hay and corn go back into the ewes and lambs on the farm.

Spykerman has served as treasurer of the Iowa Sheep Industry Association and most recently, retired last year from serving six years as the association's executive director where she was instrumental in helping the association rejoin ASI. She has also served on the ASI Lamb Council, was active in the Iowa Farm Bureau and has served on both the Iowa and American Sheep and Goat Advisory Committees.

"I am looking forward to serving on this board and in this capacity. We all need to work within and support our sheep associations. It is important to have producers provide ground-level input to the ASI staff, helping them to be aware of issues sometimes before they become larger problems," says Spykerman of her election to the ASI Executive Board.

Also elected to a second term on the executive board are Tom Colyer, Hubbardston, Mass., Region I; Will Getz, Ph.D., Fort Valley, Ga., Region II; Bob Benson, Noblesville, Ind., Region III; Gary McGehee, Mertzon, Texas, Region V; and Art Swannack, Lamont, Wash., Region VIII.

ASI is a national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of 82,000 sheep producers.