September 2004 -- The philosophy behind selling wool at the Utah Wool Marketing Association (UWMA) is consistency in both product availability and marketing.
is the number one tool in agriculture, marketing wise,? says UWMA Manager
Instead of utilizing the auction system, Griggs sells wool to both domestic and foreign buyers on a daily basis. This process allows Griggs to ?forward sell? wool coming into the warehouse during times of good market prices.
?We want the producer to make money ? that is the bottom line,? says Griggs.
In order to
market wool on a daily basis, Griggs must familiarize himself with the product.
This is why he spends a great deal of the shearing season on the road, traveling
from one producer to another. Shearing season in
The UWMA was
incorporated as a consignment warehouse in 1926 and is funded by a board of
directors. Now located in a 47,000-square-foot building in downtown
The warehouse accepts both classed and un-classed wool. Once the un-classed and un-graded wool is received, the warehouse grades it and blends smaller lots similar in micron and yield measurements. The wool is then baled in a double-dump cotton baler that makes an average 800-lb. bale. The bale is then wrapped in clear film, secured with high-tension wire and ready for core testing.
?We encourage people with larger flocks to grade their wool,? Griggs says.
UWMA conducts core testing on lots weighing 5,000 or more lbs. (Smaller lots are stored in the warehouse until there is a sufficient amount of similar wool to be core tested. This blending method is cost efficient and allows for the core testing of smaller lots.)
UWMA?s main buyers are Anodyne, Charguers, Lempriere and Forte, Griggs would
like to see more foreign buyers in the market for
that with the help of the American Sheep Industry Association, we can bring the
foreign buyers through the warehouse,? says Griggs about familiarizing foreign
buyers with U.S wool. ?But there is still some fear of
Another concern of Griggs? is the selection process during breeding. He suggests that producers make their wool more uniform, not only in micron or grade, but also in length. To that end, Griggs helps some of his customers with this issue by helping them select bucks or sort through ewes.
?Our goal is to make the producer money not only with his lambs, but also with his wool,? he said. ?If a producer is having luck with the breed they are using for lamb weight, that?s great, but we would like to see him make the wool more uniform in length and grade at the same time.?
had life-long experience working with sheep on ranches in
?What I find rewarding about this job is the fact that I?m working with wool and I enjoy that,? says Griggs. ?I?m doing the business part of it and am getting to travel around and see different wools and grades of wool.?