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DENVER, Colo. - Outstanding U.S. sheep industry members were honored for their contributions to the industry at an awards luncheon held Jan. 27, at the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Lorin Moench Jr. from Salt Lake City, Utah, received a standing ovation as he accepted the McClure Silver Ram Award for his lifetime of achievement and dedication to supporting the American sheep industry. Moench has served in most leadership capacities and on most sheep-related committees, teams and taskforces over the past several decades, including serving as ASI president, Utah Wool Growers Association president and American Lamb Board chair. With a commercial flock of around 10,000 ewes, Moench is truly a premier sheep producer. In addition, he has opened up his family ranch to numerous sheep groups who have used his facilities for meetings, dinners and entertainment all while developing a tremendous wildlife hunting program that compliments his sheep production program and has improved wildlife habitat.
Moench credited his wife, Mary Ann, to the success he has experienced in the industry. "I couldn't have survived without a good companion to help at home. Through my years of serving, I have met a lot of good people with various opinions, but by everyone understanding differing points of view, I think we can grow and develop this industry."
The Camptender Award was presented to G. F. Kennedy, DVM, of Pipestone, Minn., for his mentoring of a countless number of veterinary students over the past 50 years. He has a passion for working with young people and developing them professionally. Kennedy has taken the lead role in many issues related to sheep health, including vitamin E levels, baby lamb health, nutrition and scrapie. He has developed many nutritional products that have not only saved many a lamb, but also helped producers become successful with their flocks. He is known for making his advice practical and straight forward, always with the producer in mind. Through his years of work, he developed one of the first sheep supply catalogs with Pipestone Veterinary Clinic.
"I am appreciative and humbled by the award," stated Kennedy when he accepted the award. "Sheep are a very important part of my life commitment to service. My initial ownership of sheep enabled me to cope with veterinary practices and allowed me to acquire the expertise to further help the industry."
A prime example of the management of sheep and environmental stewardship practices for a very long period of time, the Moore family of Cottage Hill Farm, Flushing, Ohio, was the recipient of the Environmental Stewardship Award. The sixth, seventh and eighth generations of the Moore family currently work on the farm and have a tremendous commitment to environmental stewardship through everyday management practices with their sheep flock. The farm was deeded in 1810 and has grown to be an operation of more than 1,000 ewes. Highlights of the Moore family's commitment to conserving natural resources include the development of springs to provide more efficient water for livestock; close work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service to construct fence, stock tanks and hundreds of feet of pipeline to ensure pastures are properly grazed and create an approved nutrient management plan; the use of intensive grazing practices, which include forage analysis to improve the quality and quantity of pastures; the use of horses, rather than motorized vehicles, on a regular basis to check and trail sheep to save energy and produce a calmer atmosphere; and protecting streams by careful, planned manure applications outside buffer zones.
Rick and Marcia Moore accepted the award on behalf of the family who thanked the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and others for nominating them stating it has been a "humbling experience."
The California Farm Bureau Federation's Communications Department received the Shepherd's Voice for Media Award. The sheep industry within California has a valuable ally and news friend within this agency. Within recent years, the readers and viewers have seen many articles and videos highlighting the sheep industry within California. Articles have ranged from the success of the California ram sale, ASI's Let's Grow initiative, how targeted grazing efforts add to the value of lamb and wool products and promoting the industry and its products to the consumers in the West. All of this is done through key outlets - Ag Alert, a weekly publication that has included coverage of sheep ranchers and the lamb business; California Magazine, a bi-monthly magazine connecting urban and suburban readers with the farmers and ranchers who grow their food; Food and Farm News, a daily news service that highlights facets of agriculture production in radio sound bites and distributes to key media contacts for their use; and California Country, a weekly video tour of California's agricultural landscape that focuses on the people involved in growing and preparing food and farm products.
David Kranz, manager of the communications department, accepted the award on behalf of the federation, stating, "Our work is a team effort among reporters, designers and photographers. We work in cooperation with the California Wool Growers Association and thank them for being so newsworthy."
ASI is a national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 82,000 sheep producers.