A record number of people attended the American Sheep Industry Association’s recent annual convention in Reno, Nevada. The organization says a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the group, the oldest national livestock association in the United States, and stronger interest in the industry helped drive the numbers.
“Stronger lamb and wool markets in conjunction with the 150th festivities offered a strong foundation for record attendance at this year’s meeting,” said Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. “A record fundraising target was also achieved by our members.”
Adding to the excitement of the organization’s longevity, the Sheep and Goats report released during the meeting recounted that the sheep and lamb inventory is up 1 percent and the lamb crop is up 2 percent from the previous year. The last National Agricultural Statistics Service report to show an increase in sheep numbers occurred in 2006.
“The industry showed its commitment to increase sheep numbers when we rolled out the Let’s Grow Campaign nearly four years ago,” said Mike Corn, New Mexico producer and chair of the Let’s Grow Committee. “This is an exciting time as we are now beginning to see some of the results of this focused program.”
Officials also encouraged all producers to take a critical look at their operations and policies to identify vulnerabilities and then find solutions to issues discovered.