By: Roger A. High,
Executive Director, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Sheep and Wool Program
How do you grow an industry? By promoting growth of an industry and getting young people into the sheep industry! That is exactly what the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program and the Ohio Sheep Improvement have done in 2014 to get growth in the sheep industry!
As one of the Request for Proposals to the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program (Ohio’s check-off program), the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association requested check-off funds for a Starter Flock/Mentoring Program. After OSWP Board of Director acceptance, the Starter Flock/Mentoring program was sent to Ohio sheep breed associations and to county sheep membership organizations. The plan was to provide funding for four (4) new flocks in 2014 through this program.
The Ohio Sheep and Wool Program and the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association will be providing funding to the Ohio Shropshire Breeders Association and the Ohio Cheviot Breeders Association in 2014 for their starter flock programs. These are the two (2) breed organizations that requested funds for their programs in 2014.
“We are hopeful that with these type of Starter Flock/Mentoring programs that we can connect young people to an experienced sheep farmer and not only provide them with a good starter flock, but also with knowledge from experience” states Roger A. High, Executive Director, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Sheep and Wool Program.
The success of this starter flock/mentoring program lies in the hands of each young person and their families as well as the breed association that was sponsored. The Ohio Sheep and Wool Program Board of Directors and the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association Board of Trustees hopes that over the next several years, we will have a number of successful young people continuing in the Ohio sheep industry.
Photo: Left to Right: Denise and Jim Percival, representing the Ohio Shropshire Breeders Association, and Roger A. High, Executive Director, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and Ohio Sheep and Wool Program. Front: Grady Page, Xenia, Young Sheep Producer.