“Let’s Grow is the much needed glue to our wonderful and historically rich Industry, creating a positive focus and a common goal for a diverse group of partners.”
Alan Culham – Program Coordinator
Alan Culham is currently the Let’s Grow Coordinator for ASI. Prior to accepting this position in January of 2015, he served as manager of the Michigan State University Sheep Teaching and Research center for over eight years where he taught courses in Sheep Management, Live Animal and Carcass Evaluation as well as coaching the livestock judging team. The MSU Suffolk and Dorset flocks became two of the nation’s premier performance seedstock sources by intensely using NSIP breeding values as a selection tool. Over a period of eight years the MSU flock sold some of the high selling entries at the “Center of the Nation” sale that went on to be some of the breed’s trait leaders for their new owners.
Contact Alan at email@example.com or 517-896-7378.
Susan Shultz - Ohio - Chair
Susan Shultz – Ohio – Chair
Susan Shultz is in partnership with her husband Bill. They own and operate Bunker Hill Farm in De Graff, Ohio. In their sheep operation, they focus on breeding black faced terminal sires for the commercial sheep industry. Their flock is enrolled in the National Sheep Improvement Program and they actively focus on using estimated breeding values as their primary selection and decision making tool.
Susan is the Region 3 director on the American Sheep Industry Association’s Executive Board. She is the co-chair of the Production, Education, and Research Council (PERC) of ASI and serves as chair for the Roadmap Productivity Improvement Committee.
Brad Boner - Wyoming
Lesa Eidman – California
Lesa Eidman was hired by Superior Farms as the Director of Producer Resources and Sustainability in January 2015. This position was established by Superior Farms as part of its long term strategic vision to partner with lamb producers, sheep industry associations and other industry stakeholders to strengthen and grow the American lamb industry.
Prior to working for Superior Farms, she was the Executive Director for the California Wool Growers Association and the California Pork Producers Association for 11 years. As the Executive Director she actively supported the members by understanding their needs, and influencing policy on their behalf. Lesa focused on obtaining grants to host educational workshops, expanded marketing programs, engaged policy makers in the regulatory process, and promoted the products of lamb and pork.
Lesa’s late grandfather always told people that her first word was ‘”lamb” and her first steps were taken in the lambing barn. Lesa was raised in a family whose heart and financial investment have always been in agriculture, whether it be production, education or sales, which is a passion she continues to carry.
Lesa graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business, she then continued her education at UC Davis and obtained her Master of Science in Agricultural and Resource Economics.
John Fine – Oregon
Professionally, John has been a Vocational Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor for 30 years in Douglas County, Oregon. During the same time, he served as the FFA sheep superintendent of the Douglas County Fair and the Oregon State Fair. He retired in 2001 and have had more time to devote to other organizations including our church, the Grange and the Oregon Sheep Growers Association.
His involvement in the sheep industry began when he was nine years old and purchased a Romney ewe for his first 4-H project. For the next 55 years, the only time he did not own sheep was while attending college at Oregon State University. During college, he strived to stay involved in the industry by shearing sheep to pay for the expenses of college.
His present operation consists of about 50 head of Pure Horned Dorset sheep with a few crossbreds and some Suffolk that belong to the grandchildren. Even though their ewes are registered, he and his wife, Peggy, manage their operation as grass-based production. The ewes receive supplemental feed just prior to and after lambing and if a ewe does not produce, she quickly finds a home elsewhere. They have recently been involved in a study to determine the outcome of applying Selenium with the fall fertilizer to improve the blood selenium in the flock.
Ben Lehfeldt – Montana
Ben Lehfeldt is a 5th generation sheep rancher from south-central Montana. He attended Montana State University and received bachelor degrees in Biochemistry and Agronomy. His first work out of college was in St. Louis, Mo. for Monsanto Company as a corn geneticist and he helped to conduct corn yield tests throughout the Midwest.
Ben returned to the Montana ranch after seven years and joined by father in a ranching partnership. His family runs a range operation with registered/NSIP Rambouillet ewes and commercial cattle. The operation includes shed lambing and relies on sheepherders to manage the ewes and lambs for the control of noxious weeds during the summer months. Weaned lambs are fed-out on the ranch using crops produce during the summer months and ownership of the lambs is retained throughout the finishing process in commercial feedlots.
Wes Limesand – North Dakota
Wes Limesand has lived in North Dakota his entire life and is the fourth generation of his family to be involved in the sheep and cattle industries. Wes graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in animal science and worked in that department for 42 years working with both sheep and beef production units before retiring in October 2014. Wes and his wife, Pat, are now living on their farm by Valley City, N.D. where they have a registered flock of Hampshires and an Angus based cow/calf operation.
Wes worked with 14 purebred sheep breeds (wool, meat and hair breeds) producing and marketing seedstock. He has been involved in the production of market lambs, commercial ewe flocks, fed and marketed lambs, niche marketing of carcasses and marketing and coring of different grades of wool. He has also had the privilege of judging sheep and wool shows nationally and internationally. He has sold and exported breeding stock.
He is currently working part time in the sheep division of Central Livestock in West Fargo to revamp the marketing procedure and increase volume and price recovery to sheep producers. This project coincides with ASI’s rebuilding the sheep industry. It helps strengthen the marketing infrastructure in this area.
Wes has been an advisor of the NDSU Saddle and Sirloin Club, the West Fargo FFA livestock projects and mentored area youth with their showmanship and livestock projects. He has served on numerous local and national boards including ND Lamb and Wool Producers, Valley Wool Growers, Red River Valley Fair livestock committee and founding member of Dakota Lamb Coop. He has served three terms as a director for the American Hampshire Sheep Association and Associated Registries and was on their executive committee. He served on the Katahdin Hair Sheep International board of directors for six years and was president of KHSI for two years.
Wes Moser – Iowa
Wes, Esther, Alex, and Caleb Moser operate a sheep enterprise under the farm name of Triple Creek, in the very northwest corner of Iowa. They run a commercial ewe flock of around 900 ewes. Maternal genetics are primarily Polypay, managed on an accelerated schedule with synchronized lambing periods. Recently they have incorporated the Shearwell (UK) record keeping system, to more readily track production, and more efficiently work the flock.
Moser’s have belonged to the Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program since 1980, which provides them ongoing sheep raising education and the opportunity to collaborate with other progressive sheep producers in their region.
Lambs are raised primarily for meat, with most lambs sold on contract to Superior Farms in Denver. Five to ten percent of newborn lambs have gone to Iowa State University for work in developing a vaccine for RSV in human infants, in recent years. Moser’s are also working to produce lambs for medicinal use with Glycoscience Research Inc.
All replacement females are raised and retained based on production records. Maternal rams are also generated from within the flock. Top producing ewes serve as multipliers for own use and females for sale. Lower producing ewes are bred terminal sire. Synchronized lambings have tripled the ram power required, so Moser’s are experimenting with Texel X Suffolk rams to both increase lamb vigor and longevity of the terminal sires. Son Caleb, is managing the flock of NSIP Suffolk ewes to tup with NSIP Texel rams.
Both Alex and Caleb shear in a radius including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska, and spend time on the annual shearing runs in Western states. Alex coordinates a loose knit shearing crew to service both large and small producers and buys wool for Groenewold Fur and Wool.
Stanley, Poe, Sr., Ph.D. – Indiana
Stanley Poe, Sr., Ph.D. – Indiana
Rick Powers – South Carolina
Rick Powers works for the USA and Topmaking Division Manager for Lempriere Australia PTY, Ltd., a family owned but globally positioned raw wool trading company and first stage processor of wooltop, with trading companies, production sites, and offices in Melbourne (Australia), Buenos Aires, (Argentina), Port Elizabeth (South Africa), Christchurch (New Zealand), Shanghai (China), Mumbai (India), Sliven (Bulgaria), and Charleston (SC-USA). Personal responsibilities of divisional management, include wool pricing and trading, wooltops blends, costing and pricing, and business and risk strategy. The Lempriere vision is “Excellence in Wool,” and as a company constantly strives to provide many partners, from growers to fashion brands, with services that are always innovative and evolving, and always assisting the wool grower understand the fashion brand, and to help the fashion brand understand the wool grower, ultimately to the benefit of all.
Rick is also owner of Rafter Seven Merinos, the premiere Merino seedstock producer of Merino and Merino/Rambouillet genetics in the western USA, based now in Eureka, Nev., conducting an annual ram sale in September of each year, auctioning approximately 300 yearling and 2 year-aged rams and special females for sheep producers attending from the USA, Canada and Mexico. The operation also engages in private treaty sales of both rams and breeding animals throughout the year to interested producers and strategic partners. The goal of Rafter Seven is the continuous improvement of bottom line results to the USA sheep industry, and is committed to the idea that the sheep industry can successfully compete with all other livestock industries, and provide positive benefit to our rich USA natural rangeland resources in the process.
Joe Pozzi - California
Pozzi is a fourth generation sheep and cattle producer, raising livestock all his life in Sonoma and Marin counties and a 1984 graduate of Chico State University. He owns Pozzi Ranch Lambs, which direct markets grass- and legume-fed lambs. In order to provide a year-round supply of lamb, Pozzi works with a group of family ranchers in Northern California and the Sacramento Valley who have all qualified for the Pozzi Ranch Lamb Program. In addition to direct marketing lamb to consumers, Pozzi Ranch Lamb can be found at Whole Foods Markets in Northern California.
In 1993, Pozzi created a market for his medium-grade wool for use in natural bedding products. It is used by manufacturers of natural bedding products for pillows, comforters, blankets and mattresses and is source verified. Dedicated to land conservation and the economic viability of family farms, Pozzi has served on a number of industry boards and associations, including past president of the California Wool Growers Association, past president of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, a past member of the ASI Executive Board. Wool Council and Predator Management Committees, past president of the North Bay Wool Growers Association, member of the National Farm Bureau Sheep Advisory Board and past director of the National Wildlife Advisory Board.
Rob Rule – Iowa
Rob Rule – Iowa
Rule runs 650 ewes. He and his family utilize technology in all aspects of the operation including feeding, breeding and tracking – all ewes are bred using AI and embryo transers. Additionally, he farms more than 400 acres of ground.
Rule is a member of the National Lamb Feeders Assocation and on the Pipestone Lamb and Wool Advisory Board. He has served the community as a school board members and president, as well as a First State Bank board member.
Bill Sparrow, Jr. – North Carolina
Bill Sparrow, Jr., lives on a third generation farm in Durham County, N.C., and raises Katahdin sheep and grass hay. Sparrow’s ewes are all descendants of the first 10 Katahdin sheep that were brought to North Carolina in 1987 and breeding rams are purchased from other breeders or from ram test sales. Bill has been active in the American Sheep Industry Association since it was formed in 1989 and has served on the Board of Directors, the Executive Board and numerous committees, councils, and task forces; currently serving on the Legislative Action Council, the Let’s Grow Committee and on the Sheep Venture Company Board.
Bill and Margie have three grown children and he and his father own and operate Redmill Landscape and Nursery providing plants, mulches, soil and landscaping and irrigation services in the Research Triangle Area of North Carolina.
Bill holds degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University and irrigation contractor, landscape contractor and plumbing licenses in the State of North Carolina. He is a certified irrigation designer. He is enjoying his 30th year as superintendent of the Jr. Market Lamb Show at the NC State Fair.