Let's Grow Awards Grants

Let’s Grow Awards Grants

Fourteen recipients will receive more than $200,000 in grants to support continued growth in the sheep industry thanks to the latest round of allocations by ASI’s Let’s Grow Committee.

The committee met in Denver on Dec. 5-6 to review 27 grant applications submitted for funding. The committee awarded $208,604 to the fourteen approved grants.

Since May 2015, the Let’s Grow Committee has funded 50 grants, infusing more than $865,000 into the American sheep industry nationwide. One hundred and twenty five grant requests amounting to more than $3.5 million have been submitted to the committee for consideration. Submissions were received from national organizations, state associations, breed groups, producer units and individuals located in more than 32 states spanning the country.

“Originally, each funded grant appeared like a single piece of a puzzle,” said ASI Let’s Grow Coordinator Alan Culham. “However, after four rounds of funding, we are noticing that these individual grants are interlocking together, revealing the bigger picture of how they can and have impacted the industry.”

The Let’s Grow program was developed to ensure that the U.S. sheep industry remained sustainable for future producers of lamb and wool. A strategy to strengthen the industry’s infrastructure by making progress in sheep management and production is vital to achieve this long-term sustainability. Grants that best address the mission of the committee are given priority funding with the mission being “to support, promote and ensure the U.S. sheep industry’s future through the development of innovative and sustainable initiatives that increase the productivity, profitability and growth of the American sheep industry, which will further enhance domestic wool and lamb production.”

In addition, the committee set the dates for round five of grant funding:

• February 15 – Round five grant application will be posted at Sheepusa.org/Growourflock_Funding_Application.

• April 20 – Completed round five grant applications due.

• May 8-9 – Committee to meet and review applications.

The Let’s Grow Committee will also review the State Mentor Program applications at that May meeting, with a total of $25,000 withheld for that purpose.

Desiring to offer the highest level of service to the industry, the committee expanded its scope by referring grants that did not fit the objectives of this program to other organizations that might more appropriately fund the project or to provide materials that might be readily available.

“Where grants might not have fit well into the priorities of the Let’s Grow program, the committee has done its best to recommend that these grants be submitted to other organizations, such as the American Lamb Board, the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, or the National Livestock Producers Sheep and Goat fund,” explains Culham.

Anyone wishing to follow the progress of funded grants can find an executive summary and a progress report at GrowOurFlock.org by clicking on the Funded Projects tab. As work on the grants is accomplished, updates are made available.

Round Four Funded Grants:

• Sheep and Goat Producers of Arkansas – Let’s Grow the Sheep Industry in the South Central United States

• Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service – Texas Sheep and Goat Expo

• Optimal Ag Consulting, Inc. – 2017 Sheep Producer Webinar Education Program

• Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association – Texas Ranchers of Tomorrow – Industry Tour and EBV Ram Sales

• California Wool Growers Association – Improving Lamb Marketing, Quality and Profitability: Options for California Producers

• Montana State University – Department of Animal and Range Sciences – The Prevalence and Impact of Mastitis in Western Sheep Flocks and Cost Effective Strategies to Diagnose, Treat and Avoid its Occurrence

• RightRisk, LLC – Business Tools for Success in 2017

• National Sheep Improvement Program – Industry-wide Participation in NSIP:  Engaging New Sectors of the U.S. Sheep Industry

• Fine Wool Consortium – Fine Wool NSIP Data Genetic Linkage Project; Wool NSIP Index Development Project

• Iowa Sheep Industry Association – Midwest Commercial Sheep Production Workshops

• Leading Edge Sheep Producers – Utilizing NSIP Terminal Sires to Improve Productivity and Profitability of the Commercial Sheep Industry

• ASI’s Young Entrepreneur Committee – Supporting Young Producers Ability to be Competitive

• New Horizon Lamb Corporation – Prepuberal Laparoscopic Oocyte Pick Up for Genetics Advancement thru Shortened Generation Intervals and Multiple Offspring.

• Shearing, Oregon Sheep Growers Association – Wool Harvesting and Educational Outreach