DENVER — The American Lamb Board (ALB) is partnering with the National Lamb Feeder’s Association (NLFA) and the American Sheep Industry (ASI) to blaze a new trail for young producers in the sheep industry.
In cooperation with Texas AgriLife Extension, the inaugural sheep industry Trailblazers Tour will take place September 26-28, 2021, in Texas. The tour will feature all facets of the Texas sheep and goat industry and is a collaboration of NLFA’s Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School, ASI’s Young Entrepreneurs and ALB.
Interested individuals 20 years of age or older are eligible to apply to attend the tour. Preference will be given to young entrepreneurs and young producers age 20-40.
Young producers will get a glimpse of what sheep production looked like in Texas 100 years ago as many families are still operating on the same ranchland, as well as experiencing a new generation of young producers who are capitalizing on technology and innovation to combat and prevent sheep production issues.
For more than a century, Rambouillet sheep and Angora goats were foundational to ranching in west Texas. While mohair and wool are still produced, meat goats and hair sheep have gained significant popularity in the region, resulting in a diverse small ruminant industry. Texas producers have capitalized on the strengths of these different species and breeds to capture value in today’s ever-changing market and maximize production in the rugged Texas landscape. Historic fine wool ranches, premier Dorper seedstock operations, large scale meat goat production herds, state-of-the-art feedmills and local custom processors are all on the itinerary for this unique 4-day tour.
The tour begins in Austin to experience American Lamb in the heart of Texas BBQ and the local food scene. From there, tour participants will travel through Texas’ scenic hill country, the Edwards Plateau, and eventually conclude in the sheep-ranching hub of San Angelo.
The Trailblazers Tour application is available on the National Lamb Feeders Association website. Applications are due June 25. There is no application fee, but accepted participants will pay $250 to attend, due upon acceptance. Meals, lodging, supplies and tour-related expenses are covered. Each participant is responsible for his/her own transportation to and from the tour site.
The American Lamb Board is funded by the American Lamb Checkoff and is charged with building awareness and expanding demand for American Lamb and strengthening its position in the marketplace, thereby increasing the potential long-range economic growth of all industry sectors.
–American Lamb Board
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