Lamb board: Expanding the knowledge of future industry leaders
The American Lamb Board (ALB) believes that education for young producers is of the utmost importance for the long-term viability of the US Sheep Industry. As ALB works to build awareness and demand for American Lamb, we need progressive and innovative producers working to increase our efficiencies and ability to deliver consistently high-quality lamb. The lamb checkoff supports young producer programs that provide opportunities for producers to learn about innovative technologies and management practices and exchange ideas with like-minded individuals in the global sheep industry.
Earlier this month, Rebecca Miller of Ohio and David Fisher of Texas attended LambEx in Perth, Australia, as the two young leaders representing the US. They were joined by young leaders from Australia and New Zealand. LambEx is the premier sheep and lamb event bringing together sheep producers, processors, researchers, educators and suppliers. This international educational event allows the US delegation to identify new innovations and technologies that could be incorporated in the US to increase production efficiencies and the competitiveness of American Lamb. It is held every other year in Australia, attracting perhaps the largest group of people devoted to the industry from around the world. In addition to attending LambEx, the US delegation toured a state-of-the-art, multi-species processing facility, stud ram operation and several progressive sheep stations.
“The trip was a meeting of the minds in the truest sense. The young leaders I got to know are driven and passionate about the future of sheep farming. The shepherds I met from all over care deeply about their roles to feed and clothe the world. These people are why I love the sheep industry, here, in the U.S., and abroad” said Miller.
“The tour gave great insight into how Australian producers have been highly successful utilizing technology and collecting data to enhance the genetics of their flocks. This gives validity to the need for US producers to further our use of these tools. I returned with a greater understanding of the global marketplace and some meaningful friendships.” said Fisher.
In addition to the International educational event, the American Lamb Board joined with the American Sheep Industry Association’s (ASI)Young Entrepreneur Stakeholders Committee host a group of 18 young entrepreneurs representing 10 states from California to New Jersey. The two-day tour of Northern Colorado included visits at some of the most innovative feeding operations in the country, embryo transfer and artificial insemination technology discussions, a Mountain States Rosen plant tour, first-hand experience with ALB’s flavor research being conducted at Colorado State University, and a visit to the National Wildlife Research Center. The tour provided incredible networking opportunities for the future leaders of our industry to share ideas and ask questions among a group with their peers from incredibly diverse operations and geographic locations. The young entrepreneur’s group experienced the value of working together for the common goal of providing high-quality American Lamb.
These kinds of programs represent ALB and ASI’s commitment to fostering the next generation of leaders in the sheep industry.
–American Lamb Board