Let's Grow Continues Funding to Improve Productivity EfficienciesJUDY MALONE
ASI Director of Industry Information
Just in time for the holidays, the Let’s Grow Committee announced the recipients of its second round of funding in mid-December 2015.
“Again, the quality of the grant requests was superior,” said Mike Corn, chair of the Let’s Grow Committee and American Sheep Industry Association vice-president. “I applaud the applicants for the content depth and thoroughness that they incorporated into the documents submitted to the committee for consideration, giving the committee great insight into the proposed projects.”
On Dec. 7-8, following the committee’s mission statement, members comprehensively discussed and funded 15 of the 27 submitted grants, infusing more than $200,000 back into the American sheep industry to help improve productivity efficiencies.
“A trend that we are seeing with the applications is that many are considering projects that carry a broader, national reach versus a more local approach,” continued Corn.
Alan Culham, Let’s Grow program coordinator, added, “A common theme to the funded proposals is that concepts and ideas are gaining approval over items and assets.”
A list of awarded projects follows -- Requesting Party, Grant Title and Reach of the Grants.
• California Wool Growers Association – Improving Sheep Carcass Quality through the Development of a Range Ram Index Utilizing Ultrasound Genetic Measures – California
• Dakota Lamb Growers Cooperative – GM1 Sheep Production for Huntington’s Disease – National Reach
• Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office – Tri-state Small Ruminant Summit – Let’s Grow Together – Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana
• Michigan State University – Improving the Adoption of Accelerated Lamb Production in the USA – National Reach
• National Lamb Crop Task Force – Roadmap To Boost National Lamb Crop – National Reach
• NSIP Fine-Wool Sheep Breeders – Building a Fine-Wool Sheep Breeders Group – National Reach
• Optimal Ag Consulting, Inc. – 2016 Sheep Producer Webinar Education Program – National Reach
• Oregon Sheep Growers Association – Let’s Grow the West! – Oregon, Washington, California and Wyoming
• Pennsylvania Sheep and Wool Growers Association – Penn State Sheep Home Study Course Enhancements – Pennsylvania
• South Dakota State University Extension – South Dakota Post Weaning Lamb Performance Program - Phase 2 – South Dakota
• Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Shepherds for Profit -- Texas
• United Suffolk Sheep Association – Building Value for Suffolk Sheep Using a Performance Registry – National Reach
• University of Arkansas – Let’s Grow Arkansas Small Ruminant Regional Conference Series – Arkansas
• University of Nebraska, University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Engaging the New Biology: Establishing the Foundation for Genome‐Enhanced Breeding Values in the U.S. Sheep Industry – National Reach
• Utah Wool Growers Association – Leading Edge Sheep Production – Part II – Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada
The committee also approved up to $25,000 to be set-aside for the fifth round of State Mentor Program funding. State associations will be contacted in the next few weeks to apply. The state-mentor funds focus on the continued partnerships of state-level mentors with beginning producers, educational workshops, reference materials and industry outreach.
It is the intent of the committee to offer another round of funding in this fiscal year. Information about the program, progress of funded grants and other materials are available on the Let’s Grow pages at Sheepusa.org/Growourflock. Let’s Grow also maintains a Facebook page that is accessible at
The Let’s Grow Committee is made-up of industry leaders from across the country including Corn (N.M.); Lesa Eidman (Calif.), John Fine (Ore.), Ben Lehfeldt (Mont.), Wes Limesand (N.D.), Wes Moser (Iowa), Dr. Stanley Poe, Sr. (Ind.), Rick Powers (S.C.), Rob Rule (Iowa), Susan Shultz (Ohio), Bill Sparrow, Jr. (N.C.) and Dr. Dennis Stiffler (N.Y.).