Next Generation Makes PlansKYLE PARTAIN
Sheep Industry News Editor
It’s been said that you can’t figure out where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. The Young Entrepreneurs got a lesson in where the industry has been from ASI Past President Clint Krebs during their two-day meeting in Scottsdale.
Given the task of presenting the history of the association “without making it boring,” Krebs did his best to meet the demands of his daughter Shelby, who serves as co-chair of the committee.
“At the first meeting of the association, they talked about wool prices, imports and coyotes,” Krebs reported. “It must have been a pretty good conversation because we’ve been having the same conversations for the last 150 years.”
Krebs went on to outline the history and general organization of ASI before turning the floor over to a pair of individuals who truly fit the bill as young entrepreneurs: Ashley Yousling and Evan Helle.
Yousling is a successful blogger, having created the popular Woolful blog, and has since moved to 40 acres in Idaho with hopes of building her own flock and a fiber mill. Knitting – particularly with wool – has long been her passion.
“Everyone has a story,” Yousling said in her presentation, “and by sharing your story, you’re creating an opportunity for others to connect, feel something through your story. These people become your tribe.”
Yousling’s presentation, “The Necessity of Community,” was all about building that tribe. While you might never know them personally, they will be the ones that support your endeavors. “To create a tribe, you need a message that is personal, relevant and anticipated,” she continued.
Most of all in today’s social media world, it’s important to be genuine, she adds. “There’s someone, somewhere who will hear, see, feel what you have to say, and step alongside you and support what you’re doing. That’s a community.”
The Young Entrepreneurs also heard from Helle about the Duckworth line of clothing that features wool from his family’s flock. Much like Yousling, the company is working to build a community – a tribe, if you will – of supporters.
On Friday, the group enjoyed hearing about opportunities offered by working with Superior Farms from Superior CEO Rick Stott. The employee-owned company is North America’s largest processor and marketer of lambs, processing one third of federally inspected lambs in the nation each year.
Industry experts from the American Lamb Board, Pipestone Veterinary Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and West Feeds also spoke to the group during its two days of meetings in Scottsdale.