February 2005 --
Why You Should Vote ?Yes? for American Lamb
It is important that we, as lamb producers, support the upcoming vote on the American Lamb Referendum. This program went into place in January of 2002 and has since raised approximately $2.3 million per year. I have been impressed with the promotional programs presented by our lamb board, which is composed of 6 producers, 3 feeders, 3 packers and 1 seed-stock operator. Some of the programs include: a cooperative effort of wine and lamb, a culinary chef promotional program and a recipe program.
There is a need to make retailers aware that we have a product superior to that of Australia and New Zealand. We must increase the supply of American lamb in the meat counters! I encourage you as fellow producers to ?stand up? and let the American public know the pleasure, quality and satisfaction of dining on American lamb. In order to do this we must vote ?yes? in the February lamb referendum!
I run 1,850 ewes and will be voting in support of this issue. As a fellow sheep producer, I encourage you to go to your local FSA Office and vote ?yes? with me.
President, Montana WoolGrowers Association
Dear Sheep Industry News,
A great amount of effort was put into developing the framework for this new lamb checkoff. I hope every sheep producer or handler will take the time to vote and to vote yes. We, as an industry, have just witnessed the lack of funding to promote our product and the negative effect it had on the industry.
We have an opportunity to help ourselves increase the exposure of our product and be able to tell the merits of eating American Lamb. We lamb 1,500 head of ewes and will be voting yes for the checkoff.
Pilster Ranch Corporation
We are writing to show support for a ?yes? vote for our U.S. lamb industry. We need to deliver a positive message about lamb to the American consumer. With our product, that message is easy to deliver to the American consumer. But we need this mechanism to deliver this message.
With all segments of our industry working together as this plan provides, we can develop a promotional program that is efficient, positive and a win for producers as well as consumers.
John and Nina Baucus
Wolf Creek, Mont.
I want to encourage every producer to vote in the checkoff referendum and to vote YES. I have been the secretary of the Montana WoolGrowers Association for 30 years and I can tell you it was a marketing disaster when we removed our American lamb sales force from the business of selling and promoting American Lamb.
We had top-notch lamb ambassadors, folks like Bill Blake and Bill Broscovac, who cannot be forgotten. Meat case managers and restaurant owners appreciated their sincere activity to promote American lamb sales. After the defeat of the referendum in the United States, our competitors, New Zealand and Australia, increased their checkoff charges and took away American lamb market share. No one was touting the advantage of buying fresh American Lamb grown right here in America. If we all vote YES we can change the direction of more imported lamb meat sales. If this referendum is defeated, I can predict that we will continue to see more lamb from foreign countries and less American lamb in the meat cases of the United States.
Sheep producer and secretary-treasurer
Montana WoolGrowers Association
In February sheep producers have an opportunity to help themselves by voting ?yes? in the upcoming American Lamb referendum. Promotion is vital if we hope to keep American Lamb on the minds of chefs and consumers. I strongly believe we need to fund campaigns such as ?American Lamb ? 10,000 Miles Fresher? and other similar campaigns.
These campaigns can continue to benefit sales of American Lamb. I believe the future of the sheep industry will be prosperous, in part due to strong sales of American Lamb. Strong sales depend upon adequate promotion. I plan to take time and vote for the referendum and hope other producers will do the same.
Utah Wool Growers Association
I would encourage all sheep producers to vote YES in the upcoming American lamb check-off program at their local FSA office. The Montana WoolGrowers has voted to support the referendum with a ?yes? vote. We need a promotional program to promote our American Lamb. Let?s decide our future.