The last speaker I listened to at the KHSI Expo was Dr. Kreg Leymaster, a researcher from the USDA Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Nebraska. His talk was inspiring, he made me feel pretty fired up about our breed! 🙂 MARC is doing a lot of research on sheep breeds, trying to winnow down which ones are the best producers, the best tasting as lamb, and have the lowest maintenance requirements. I gather that the general vision at MARC is to help America develop the dreamiest sheep breed ever: one that consistently produces 200% or better lamb crops, with no help, thrives on the average forage offered by the open range (not grain feed lots!), and renders high quality, good-tasting lamb. The ultimate put-dinner-on-the-table sheep!
Here are some notes I had on a marketing presentation I heard at the KHSI Expo in Oregon. Dr. Charles Parker has a long background in livestock research, and he spoke on the future of the lamb industry in this country, and how we should be thinking about marketing our product.
So, first off, the future generally looks very bleak! The U.S. lamb industry is actually on an eighty-year severe decline!