In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) provided a slate of nominees for consideration for appointment as producer-directors of the American Lamb Board (ALB).
Leo Tammi (Va.) was re-nominated for the seat he currently holds on ALB for producers with 500 head of sheep or more with Angelo Theos (Colo.) and Jamie Gillmor (Utah) completing the nominations for this category. For the producer seat representing growers with 100 head of sheep or less, Joanne Nissen (Calif.) and Jim Mason (N.H.) were put forward.
"I believe you will find this slate provides experienced and dedicated producers who have served their industry at the local, state and national levels," stated Margaret Soulen Hinson (Idaho), ASI president, in her letter to the secretary.
Tammi and his wife have raised sheep in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia since 1980, but he has been active in the sheep industry most of his life. He has been active in leadership roles in various associations and has served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Voluntary Scrapie Certification Program Oversight Committee since 1990.
A range operator for over 40 years, Theos runs his sheep on private and public lands. Much of his lamb is direct marketed through a large natural and organic food retailer. He is a past member of the ASI executive board, past chair of the American Wool Council and chair of the American Lamb Council.
Gillmor is a third generation sheep rancher. He and his wife developed a marketing organization that has placed lamb in several upscale restaurants, grocery stores and numerous other venues. Currently, the business utilizes more lamb than the Gillmors produce.
Nissen has been active in many aspects of the sheep business for more than 25 years. She has organized and run wool shows and is a founding member of an education program that teaches 7,500 third graders about agriculture each year.
Having worked as a professional shearer in New Zealand, England, Canada and 17 U.S. states, Mason now runs a small flock of Southdown sheep. He is a member of the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Growers and is the recipient of the New Hampshire Grange Young Farmer Award.
"These individuals are very capable of making decisions in cooperation with the feeding and packing sectors represented on this diverse, industry-wide board," concluded Soulen Hinson.
ASI promoted the ALB nomination process through the ASI Weekly, the Sheep Industry News, Facebook and Twitter.