Idaho ranchers to serve on sheep boards
Milt Ward of Paris, Idaho, was elected to represent the lamb feeders on the American Sheep Industry Association’s (ASI) Executive Board at the 2014 ASI/National Lamb Feeders Association (NLFA) Convention in Charleston, S.C., Jan. 23-25.
Ward was born and raised on a cattle ranch in the rural southeastern Idaho town of Paris, where he still resides. In 1979, he went to work for C.D. Ranches, owned by Calvin and Alicia Dredge, and headquartered in Rupert, Idaho. In 1990, Ward purchased his own ranch but continued working part-time for C.D. Ranches. In 2000, following the passing of Calvin, Ward gave up his operation and went back to working full-time with Alicia.
Today, C.D. Ranches runs 6,000 ewes, 250 mother cows and 200 yearlings. The ewes spend the fall and winter grazing on the border of southern California and Arizona, returning to Idaho for the spring and summer. The ranch also operates a small lamb feedlot in Idaho.
“The lamb business is my livelihood,” said Ward. “In my term on the ASI executive board, I hope to be able to offer valuable ideas that will help promote the industry. I believe the Let’s Grow initiative came about at a time when industry promotion was critical and I hope we can continue to provide incentive to grow as a whole.”
In addition to his membership with the NLFA, Ward is a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Idaho Farm Bureau, California Wool Growers Association and is a director for the Idaho Wool Growers Association.
Ken Wixom of Blackfoot, Idaho, was elected to represent Region VII on the American Sheep Industry Association’s (ASI) Executive Board at the 2014 ASI/National Lamb Feeders Association (NLFA) Convention in Charleston, S.C., Jan. 23-25.
Wixom got his start in the sheep business just as he was graduating with a degree in Animal Science from Brigham Young University in 1971.
“I used what money I had to buy 60 old ewes at $20 apiece, and that was where it started,” said Wixom, who today runs 4,000 ewes and 600 mother cows. He also grows hay and crops on about 1,000 acres. “Back at the start we had a really small farm, but we rented some land and just kept working hard.”
Wixom formerly served as president of the Idaho Wool Growers Association.
ASI’s Region VII includes Montana and Wyoming, as well as Wixom’s home state of Idaho. He said he looks forward to working with the rest of the executive board to help the sheep industry grow and thrive.
“Above all else, I’m interested in helping,” he said. “There are some areas I am particularly interested in, such as natural resources and labor issues. But there are a lot of things we need to work on, and I’m looking forward to helping out and doing my part, and of course representing my region.”
ASI is a national trade organization supported by 46 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 81,000 sheep producers.