For More Information Contact:
Rita Kourlis Samuelson (303) 771-3500, ext. 29, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Malone (303) 771-3500, ext. 35, or email@example.com
(Electronic photos available upon request)
Denver, Colo. - Two members of the U.S. wool industry were recognized for their years of service during the Wool Recognition Lunch at the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Convention on Jan. 21, 2010. Fred Campbell of Paint Rock, Texas, and Jim Walters of McMinnville, Ore., were this year's two deserving recipients of this industry award.
Campbell has a lifetime of experience in the sheep and goat industries. He is recognized as a visionary in the development of better techniques for growing, preparing and marketing wool and mohair. His long career in the sheep industry began after he graduated from Texas A&M University. In the 1950s, he served as county extension agent, earned a master's degree in wool science and worked at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station near Sonora where he was responsible for the ram performance testing program as well as other breeding experiments. As manager of Sonora Wool and Mohair Co., Campbell refined the wool grading program so that it included fleece skirting in the shearing pen. Campbell has traveled to South Africa, Australia and other parts of the world to encourage wool and mohair sales and use. His vast knowledge and tireless efforts have earned him numerous additional honors and the unequivocal respect of his peers.
Glen Fisher, ASI president, presented the award to Campbell and said, "I think he has done everything for the sheep and wool industry, not just in Texas but the whole United States. Whatever he did was for the benefit of the industry, not for the benefit of Fred Campbell." Fisher was just one of many speakers to praised Campbell during the luncheon.
"Fred has always exhibited integrity and vision and leadership," said Ron Pope, Producers Marketing Cooperative Inc., Texas. "Growers are continuing to reap the benefits of his work."
After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Jim Walters returned to Oregon to finish his college education. He was hired by Pendleton Woolen Mills in December 1949 to work at the Washougal, Wash., plant. After a few years, Walters was promoted to wool department manager. He was instrumental in developing new wool sources for manufacturing Pendleton products. Walters was a big supporter of the ASI classing and skirting programs. He encouraged all U.S. wool growers to use this method of wool preparation and supported the U.S. Wool Marketing Association sales during his tenure. After a 49-year run, Walters retired in January 1988 to spend time with his wife, Kay, and grandkids.
Presenting the award to Walters, Dan Gutzman, wool department manager, Pendleton Woolen Mills, said that he has been a mentor and friend to many and had a significant impact on the quality of the U.S. wool clip. Mike Corn, Roswell Wool, one of several speakers who spoke to Walters accomplishments, echoed those sentiments, "I remember as a kid, at wool sales they would ask if 'Mr. Pendleton' was there. That's what they called you - a lot of them also referred to you as a gentleman."
"Jim Walters was the first to want bellies out, skirting of fleeces and black fiber out and helped change our wool handling. He helped the Kourlis Ranch stay in business, and I tip my hat to you, Jim," said Tom Kourlis, Kourlis Ranch, Colo.
"This award was developed to recognize the leaders that made a lasting impact on the U.S. wool industry and paved the way for those in the industry today," explains Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI wool marketing director. "These two recipients are truly two icons of the wool business and we give thanks for their years of leadership."
ASI is a national organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 82,000 sheep producers.