SD Sheep Growers Association to meet Sept. 30-Oct. 1 | TSLN.com

SD Sheep Growers Association to meet Sept. 30-Oct. 1

The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association's 79th Annual Convention will be held at the Best Western Ramkota in Rapid City, SD on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1 2016.

Friday, Sept. 30 will be our sheep industry tour day. Buses will leave from the Ramkota Convention Center with our first stop at the Ellsworth Air Force Base Air and Space Museum. Base Commanders will have a short presentation, with time for questions and answers.

Next stop will be the S.D. Game, Fish and Parks Outdoor Campus –West (Rapid City) where we will break into two groups. The first group will tour the beautiful outdoor campus facility. The mission of the Outdoor Campus is to provide education about outdoor skills, wildlife conservation and the management practices of SDGF&P to all ages in order to preserve our outdoor heritage.

The second group will go to a lamb fabrication demonstration by Mr. Ron Gap from Sturgis Meat Service. Gwen Kitzan, Kitzen Sheep and American Lamb Board Member and Cheri Rath, Executive Director of South Dakota Value Added Agriculture Development Center will facilitate the discussion on adding value to lamb products. Lunch will be provided on-site. The groups will then switch and attend the alternate presentation.

For the remainder of the afternoon, attendees will break into smaller groups and attend a variety of workshops:

Heidi Carroll, SDSU Livestock Stewardship Extension Associate – sheep handling techniques and Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance (SSQA).

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Dr. Larry Goelz, Pipestone Vet Clinic – Lambing time preparation and lamb post mortem analysis.

Marvin Dunster – Training and Management of Livestock Guard Dogs.

Jamie Spring – Working Sheep Dogs

Our main convention day will be Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Ramkota Convention Center in Rapid City. This year's convention theme is "Adding Value to Lamb and Wool".

Morning sessions will feature updates from the American Sheep Industry, American Lamb Board, SD Game, Fish and Parks, and the SD State Veterinary. We are especially excited to have several honored guests planning to join us this year – including Kelly Hepler, the SD Game, Fish & Parks Secretary; Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota State Veterinarian; Peter Orwick, ASI Executive Director; Burton Pfliger, ASI President; Gwen Kitzan, American Lamb Board; and Cheri Rath, South Dakota Value Added Agriculture Development Center.

In line with our theme, Jack Ewing from Cresent Socks will be our key note speaker on Saturday. Wool socks, where the wool is grown and spun into socks in the United States is a true value added story. Brad Anderson from Mountain States Lamb will present options on lamb marketing. Justin Lumpkin – USDA Agriculture Marketing Service will discuss the services provided to producers.

There will be an on-going trade show at the convention center, with unique hand-crafted items from local artists featured this year, as well as the "Fleece to Shawl" contest. Fiber artists will use their skills and talents to produce shawls from SD wool, and the shawls will be auctioned at the evening banquet.

The Saturday luncheon will feature the Master Lamb Producer awards where select SD lamb & wool producers are recognized for excellence in their area of the industry.

The SD Game, Fish and Parks Outdoor Campus will provide another program for kids that will include fishing and kayaking skills.

Saturday evening will culminate with the annual auction and lamb banquet. The coveted "Trapper of the Year" and "Shepherd's Award" will be presented followed by the SD finals of the "Make It With Wool" contest.

–South Dakota Sheep Growers Association

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