This year, the American Lamb Board (ALB) developed the Tri-Lamb Young Leaders Program was developed to create a forum of young producers and leaders from the United States, Australia and New Zealand to share ideas, network, and broaden the understanding of sheep production practices in all three countries. Representatives from each country will participate in the forum for two years, with meetings and tours in AU and NZ in 2016 and meetings and tours in the US in 2017. New representatives will be selected in 2018.
ALB received over fifty applications for this year’s program. The applicant pool was impressive enough that the selection committee ended up choosing four individuals to represent the American sheep industry in the program, rather than two.
“We were so impressed and excited by the passion and range of talent from the applicants. Their stories have inspired new thinking about marketing lamb and ways to support and encourage young leaders to get more engaged in our industry organization”, said Wes Patton, ALB Chairman. “The young leaders that applied make us hopeful for our industry’s future.”
The first candidate selected to represent the United States in the Tri-Lamb Young Leaders Program is Brad Osguthorpe, a third generation sheep rancher from Park City, Utah. Osguthorpe, alongside his wife, two brothers and father run a 10,000 ewe sheep operation. His passion for the sheep industry is tremendous, and he is eagerness to continue being actively involved in the American Sheep Industry.
The second representative is Karissa Maneotis, who runs a large sheep operation, High Country Lamb, with her family outside of Steamboat, CO. Maneotis also works at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO and helped oversee the 2015 National Lamb Quality Audit.
The third representative, Katie Olagaray, and her family are third generation Basque sheep producers from Northern California. Olagaray is currently pursuing her Master’s degree, with further intention to pursue a PhD, in ruminant nutrition with a dairy focus at Kansas State University. She hopes to return back to California to work alongside her dad on his operation or begin her own herd.
The final representative, Ryan Mahoney, is a fifth generation rancher from the Montezuma Hills of California. Mahoney works with the Emigh Lamb Operation, running their feedlot operation in Dixon, CA. Mahoney’s progressive ideas about feeding lambs will help the Industry become more efficient.