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DENVER, Colo. - Outstanding U.S. sheep industry members were honored for their contributions to the industry at an award luncheon held Jan. 27, 2006, at the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Convention in Mesa, Ariz.
John Paugh, of Bozeman, Mont., received a standing ovation as he accepted the McClure Silver Ram Award for his 30 years of service to the Montana WoolGrowers Association and his many contributions to the sheep industry. Paugh has served on numerous state and national boards and councils and has attended the ASI annual convention for more than 20 years.
For the last 18 years, Paugh has been a member of the Montana Board of Livestock representing the sheep industry and is involved with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Montana State University, proving much encouragement to the staff and their policies, convincing them to conduct sheep-related research.
Currently, Paugh is president of the Montana Sheep Institute and serves as ?honorary president? of the Montana WoolGrowers Association, which nominated him for this award.
A second McClure Silver Ram Award was bestowed posthumously to Maurice Guerry of Castleford, Idaho.
?He believed in being a part of the sheep industry, he believed in his family and he believed in his religion,? comments Marlene, his wife, who accepted the award on his behalf along with sons, Mike and Mark; daughter, Maurine Nihill; and other family members.
Guerry contributed to numerous state and national boards in his more than 60 years of service to the sheep industry. He served as an officer on the Idaho Wool Growers Association and on the American Sheep Producers Council (the predecessor organization to ASI), as well as serving on many state-wide committees pertaining to issues such as state land-grazing fees and district-grazing regulations. He also represented the sheep industry in Washington, D.C.
Inducted into the Southern Idaho Livestock Hall of Fame in 1983, Guerry continuously helped and encouraged others in the sheep industry, including the younger generation, until his death on Dec. 10, 2005. Guerry was nominated by the Idaho Wool Growers Association (IWGA) for his exceptional commitment to the sheep industry.
?Maurice was part of the foundation of today?s Idaho Wool Growers Association,? comments Stan Boyd, executive director of IWGA.
?He was involved in all aspects of the sheep industry,? Boyd continues, ?and his opinion was very highly regarded by his peers.?
Bob Hendershot of Circleville, Ohio, was presented the Flock Guardian Award for his participation in the sheep industry through his more than 30 years of work with USDA?s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Ohio and is the current state grassland conservationist.
Hendershot?s direction, guidance and leadership to conservation programs directly impact grassland management and sheep production. Through grazing schools, field days, conferences, radio and TV appearances and print articles, he promotes pasture-management practices and provides direct technical assistance to farmers, grazing councils and producers.
He has served on the board of the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program and as president of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, which nominated him for this award.
Accepting the award, Hendershot says, ?It?s an honor to accept this, predominately from my friends in Ohio. I appreciate this very, very much.?
The Camptender Award was presented to Bobby Acord of Marshall, Va., for his efforts addressing the agricultural and conservation aspects of the Wildlife Services? program mission. Acord recently retired from USDA?s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) after 37 years of emphasizing the importance of science-based wildlife management.
His efforts included: reforming the agency?s equipment and workforce while specifically correcting past criticisms leveled at the program by special-interest groups; establishing the National Wildlife Research Center and its field stations; working to improve wildlife-management tools; developing better methods of managing wildlife damages; and improving the public image of veterinary services.
Nominated by the Montana WoolGrowers Association, the sheep industry merits Acord with this award for taking the front-line on animal disease issues such as scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, brucellosis and foot-and-mouth disease.
?I?m truly, deeply honored by this,? says Acord. ?Quite frankly, I have to accept this award on behalf of the hard-working men and women of APHIS.
?It?s interesting to note that the predecessor organizations of ASI had the foresight to cause the transfer (of animal control) from the Department of Interior to USDA through hard work and perseverance,? Acord continues. ?I think it?s fair to say that had that not happened, they would not have a program today.?
The Soulen Family (Phil, Margaret and Harry) of Weiser, Idaho, were the recipients of the 2006 Environmental Stewardship Award for their ground-breaking efforts which established a Candidate Conservation Agreement on their land. This agreement is the first of its kind in the United States, providing conservation for as many as 20 species of concern in Idaho, including sage grouse and the Idaho ground squirrel.
The Soulen?s host rangeland and wildlife students from the University of Idaho, who help develop the rangeland monitoring and habitat mapping necessary to reach the ranch?s conservation goals. Margaret was instrumental in establishing the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission and serves on the Center for Conservation Incentives board and on the ASI executive board. Harry and Phil have both served on countless boards, including the state Bureau of Land Management and on Western Range Association.
Phil Soulen and Margaret Soulen Hinson were present to accept the award at the luncheon.
Upon presentation of the award, Soulen states, ?I would like to thank my son-in-law, Joe Hinson, Margaret?s husband, who encouraged us and started all of this.?
Soulen also thanks Karen Launchbaugh, Ph.D., of the University of Idaho for the nomination, and the industry for their recognition.
Kyle Sharp of Columbus, Ohio, is this year?s recipient of the Shepherd?s Voice Award for Print Media for his contribution to the sheep and livestock industry as editor of Ohio?s Country Journal, a statewide agricultural publication. Sharp was nominated by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association for recognition of his sheep-related feature articles and his dedication and service to the Ohio sheep industry.
?We try to do the best we can covering our state and I consider the sheep industry to be a good part of that,? says Sharp accepting the award. ?It?s nice to be recognized for this.?
ASI is a national organization supported by 43 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of nearly 67,000 sheep producers.