2008 Master Lamb Producer winners announced
The 2008 South Dakota Master Lamb Producer recipients were announced at the 2008 Master Lamb Awards Luncheon held during the 71st annual South Dakota Sheep Growers Association Convention, Sept. 27, in Lead, SD.
Recipients in the Purebred Division were Deneke Family Targhees and Darrell Deneke of Huron and Brookings, SD. This operation is a nationally recognized purebred Targhee sheep flock located at Huron and Brookings. Their progressive 80 head Targhee flock is built on performance based elite genetics providing foundation animals for breeders across the U.S.
The Raymond and Barbara Garness Family of Newell, SD are this year’s recipients in the Lamb to Finish Division. They have a 425 head commercial Rambouillet ewe flock with superior wool qualities in a finished lamb production system. Growthy home-raised Suffolk rams are produced for stud use in the flock.
This year’s convention agenda discussed a wide variety of topics including sheep production in an era of higher feed costs, SDSU sheep research initiatives, progress in scrapie eradication and national animal ID, and the SD animal damage control program. The agenda also included a women’s program and tour, discussion on China’s role in the global wool market, and an American Sheep Industry update.
In the feed costs discussion, Dr. Jeff Held with SDSU compared feed costs from 2006 to 2008. He said pasture and grain costs have doubled over the past two years and that forage costs have gone up 25 percent. He said one of the best ways to reduce feed costs is to reduce feed waste. Another way to reduce feed costs is to reduce the pounds of feed offered by utilizing more nutrient dense ingredients. Held said there are other alternatives when combatting the current high corn prices.
“Soybean hulls can replace corn on a one-to-one basis for ewes consuming low and medium quality forages,” Held says. “When fortified with a protein, soybean hulls are excellent energy sources.”
Megan Wortman, executive director of the American Lamb Board, discussed some of the programs and initiatives they are undertaking. One of those initiatives is to increase lamb demand 10 percent by 2010. She said demand is up five percent over the past 10 years.
This year’s convention wrapped up with the annual business meeting, social hour, auction and banquet.