Lone Star State Celebrates Two AnniversariesFor once in the past 50 years, Sandy Whittley was out of the loop. Nearly everyone at the Thursday night barbecue that kicked off a three-day celebration (July 23-25) of the 100th anniversary of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association knew what was coming when she was called onto the Roeder Ranch stage.
Sandy was the star of the evening as she celebrated a 50-year anniversary of her own with TSGRA. She’d already seen the anniversary cake dedicated to her, and was probably expecting a plaque or maybe a gold watch. What she got instead was a nest egg that shows just how much her dedicated service meant to TSGRA members through the years.
ASI Secretary/Treasurer Benny Cox of Texas handed her a souvenir check – the type of check you usually see lottery winners holding – for $42,900. For months, TSGRA members had contributed to the fund while somehow managing to keep their longtime friend in the dark. Contributions have continued to roll in and the total has surpassed $44,000 since that late July night near Kerrville, Texas.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather,” Whittley said a week later. “Some people have ribbed me about hand-carrying or babying the people I work with, but it has never bothered me one bit. I love them all, and they know it. I never dreamed they would do this. I’m perusing my bucket list pretty seriously.”
Every banquet, meeting and social opportunity offered that weekend played to a packed house as Texans came to Kerrville in droves for the 100th anniversary, an event that Cox and a special committee had been working to plan for the past three years.
Slideshows celebrating the long history of both the association and its womens’ auxiliary group were highlights of the lunch and dinner on Friday. A handful of past presidents of both groups were recognized for their roles in the association’s 100 years of advocating for sheep and goat raisers within the state.
ASI Executive Board Meets in KerrvilleThe executive board of the American Sheep Industry Association met in conjunction with the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ 100th Anniversary meeting. Actions taken during this meeting were as follows.
Budget discussions were a primary objective for the meeting. The board recommended the 2016 Wool Trust budget, the Fund II budget and the ASI dues rate to the ASI board of directors for approval. It was recommended that the dues rate for state associations remain at 3.5 cents per stock sheep and $8 per member. Three ballots were presented to the BOD in August for consideration.
It was suggested and approved that ASI not sign the Tri-Lamb Memorandum of Understanding and recommended refocusing the priorities of this group. It was also moved to adjust the Fund II budget proposal to reflect that the $5,000 for Tri-Lamb will not be needed.
Two requests for Guard Dog funds were approved. The Helle (Mont.) sheep operation’s U.S. Forest grazing allotments are under attack (see page 14). This operation is a ranching neighbor to the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, which is also under attack. The board approved supporting the legal action with up to $40,000 from Guard Dog funds.
As a member of the Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, the board also approved supporting a video explaining the issues of federal wild horse management with a $1,000 Guard Dog contribution.
In other action, it was moved that ASI draft a white paper describing to the American Goat Federation the challenges, opportunities, services and benefits that it could share with that organization. Finally, the board approved support for the development of an insurance product to cover the liability of Livestock Protection Dogs.