The future for the sheep industry, as well as agriculture in general, is dependent upon tapping into the next generation of producers. That is exactly what the Emerging Sheep Entrepreneurs Committee is hoping to accomplish at the 2012 American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.
"We are planning a program that will cover topics that are relevant and engaging to younger producers in the sheep business," commented Burdell Johnson, chair of the Emerging Sheep Entrepreneurs Committee. "We also see this as an opportunity to recognize these producers and to introduce them to ASI as well as to the other national sheep organizations that participate in the convention."
The objective of the committee is to put together a program designed to bring relevance to the day-to-day operations of sheep producers between the ages of 25 and 40. Money matters, lending opportunities, profit potential, direct marketing, farm insurance and food safety are just a few of the topic areas being considered.
To encourage participation at the ASI convention in Scottsdale, young entrepreneurs who will be attending the event for the first time can receive a $200 discount off the registration fee. The discount will be applied on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to the first 25 registrants.
Current ASI members can also participate in the program by bringing a younger sheep producer with them to the convention. Members will receive a $50 registration fee discount.
"This program works in conjunction with the Let's Grow initiative designed to increase sheep numbers in the United States," stated John Cubiburu, vice chair of the committee. "Adding younger producers to the industry helps to perpetuate the critical work of the sheep industry into the future."
The Emerging Sheep Entrepreneurs Committee will be meeting during the ASI convention in Scottsdale on Saturday, Jan. 28. Registration forms will be available in November at www.sheepusa.org. Additional information is available by calling ASI at 303-771-3500.