Around the States
Bikers Try Wool, Taste LambThe population of the South Dakota’s Black Hills swells considerably each year during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which provides the perfect opportunity for area ranchers to introduce bikers to American lamb and wool.
The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association did just that on Aug. 8, offering lamb shoulder samples and wool socks to interested bikers at the Stone House Saloon in Belle Fourche, S.D.
“It’s such a great opportunity,” said SDSGA Treasurer Tammy Basel, who has played a role in similar outreach efforts with beef in previous years. “We’re a duel species grazer, so I thought we should do something with sheep this year, as well.”
Basel used $1,000 American Sheep Industry Association Wool Outreach Grant to purchase American wool socks that were given away throughout the day. The American Lamb Board’s Local Lamb Promotional Funding Program provided for smoked lamb shoulder from Kitzan Sheep in nearby Nisland, S.D.
“It was such a great environment because I’ve been to trade shows where people just keep walking by and don’t want to talk with you,” Basel said. “But this was completely different. In fact, I kept having to cut off conversations because other people were waiting to talk about American lamb and wool. We were giving the socks away, but by the time we left, we had them all convinced to go out and buy wool socks. And that was the idea, to get these great American wool socks on their feet.”
Basel said she hopes to make the wool sock giveaway and lamb samples an annual tradition during the Sturgis rally.
Corn Named Sheepman of the YearMike Corn of Roswell, N.M., was named the New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc. 2018 Sheepman of the Year at the association’s annual meeting in Ruidoso, N.M.
“Mike Corn is a great advocate for the sheep industry, both here in New Mexico and on the national level,” said his son Bronson Corn, NMWGI President. “He is an eternal optimist when it comes to the sheep business, and works hard to protect and promote our industry and way of life. He is a rancher, sheepman and a family man, and we are proud to have this opportunity to say thank you.”
The Corn family has been ranching in the Roswell area for more than 135 years. A fourth-generation sheep producer, Corn raises white-faced, fine-wool sheep – along with cattle and goats – on his family ranches, which he operates with his son, Bronson. Corn also co-owns and manages Roswell Wool Warehouse, marketing wool for sheep producers across the West.
Corn is an active member and past president of the NMWGI and is currently serving as president of ASI. He is also active in the Chaves County Farm and Livestock Bureau, the New Mexico Hereford Association and the Chaves County Soil and Water Conservation District. Corn is also an active member and serves on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association.
Corn and his wife, Jennifer, have three children: Bronson and his wife, Barbara, who live and work on the family ranch near Roswell with their children, Garrett and Madison; Jessica and her husband, Craig, who live in Canadian, Texas, with their children, Connor, Creed and Courtney; and Jenny, who lives with her husband, Travis, and their two sons, Tripp and Tucker, in Gladstone, N.M.
Road Show to Make Four StopsThe Ohio Lamb Road Show – supported by the American Lamb Board and the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, among others – is taking Ohio lamb straight to culinary students this month in an effort to promote the protein among up-and-coming chefs.
“We are going to do four educational programs at vocational culinary schools around southwestern Ohio using lamb that was raised in Ohio and showed at the Ohio State Fair,” said Ohio sheep producer Nick Forrest. “Ohio State University will harvest and gather carcass data on all the lambs. We will than take the carcasses to these four schools to break them down and educate the students, as well as some seasoned chefs, on where the retail cuts of lambs come from.”
Chef mentors will then work with a group of five to eight students to take these cuts of lamb and create recipes and dishes in order to serve later that evening to a group of parents, educators and administrators from these four schools and other invitees.
The program is designed to show the value and quality of lamb raised within the state and build a bond with aspiring chefs that will serve the protein well when these students become professional chefs.
Sheep producers who raised the lambs will also share, “How they were raised, genetics, feed intake and how they were taken care of to paint a full picture of the lamb industry.”
The road show is also aimed at increasing interest in the sheep industry, and therefore, the supply of domestic lamb available to consumers.
“With this program we are hoping that the outcome is two phase,” Forrest said. “No. 1, we want these chefs to consider using more Ohio lamb in their recipes, whether at a restaurant, food truck or catering etc. No. 2, by communicating how great our product is and by showing and tasting it, they will have a better understanding of what Ohio lamb is all about.”