The Washington State Sheep Producers’ 2019 Golden Sheep Hook Award was bestowed upon Jami Beintema.
She is not only committed to raising quality lamb and wool for the end customer, but she and her husband, Larry, also have a long history of serving the sheep industry through leadership and education of producers and consumers. In 2002, they started raising sheep on their farm in the Kittitas Valley. They selected breeds to meet the unique demands of the creative customers of wool and lamb.
Currently the Cook Creek Sheep Company’s breeding ewe flock consists of Texel, Targhee, Boarder Leicester, Blue-Face Leicester and their crosses. For the past 15 years, they have worked passionately to build a local and online reputation to realize a profit from the various products harvested from their sheep – from raw fleeces, breeding stock, pelts and locker lambs to milled fiber products.
Not only is Beintema a dedicated shepherd to her flock, she is also an enthusiast and mentor to both sheep producers and customers of wool and lamb. She has served the sheep industry and Washington State Sheep Producers organization in a number of capacities through the years. From 2006 to 2009, Beintema was the WSSP executive secretary. Currently, she serves on both the Washington State Sheep Producers and Kittitas County Sheep Producers’ board of directors.
Beintema helped organize the first American Sheep Industry Association Wool Classing School in Washington state in 2017. This past spring she helped organize a sheep grazing conference with the Kittitas Valley Sheep Producers (with the financial assistance of an ASI Mentor Grant).
Book Examines Wool Pool History
As a former manager of the Maryland Wool Pool, David L. Greene has a keen familiarity with the pool’s 60-year history. He’s chosen to share that knowledge in his new book, The History of the Maryland Wool Pool.
The book serves as a fitting memorial as the Maryland Sheep Breeders’ Association decided to end the wool pool in 2017.
“It will most likely not be held again,” Greene writes. “Wool pooling in the Old Line State actually began on May 11, 1926, with the official chartering of the Maryland Farm Bureau Wool Pool, Inc. It gave producers a marketing alternative to the sometimes unscrupulous independent buyers who had traditionally plagued the nation’s wool industry.”
The Farm Bureau pool died out in 1955 and other systems came and went before MSBA President Edward F. Shepter started the Maryland Wool Pool in 1957 and served as its first manager.
“Sheep producer education has always been a major focus of the Maryland Wool Pool and the MSBA,” Greene writes. “When the pool first began, MSBA and pool management worked closely with the University of Maryland, College of Agriculture Extension Service to inform shepherds of ways they could increase the value of wool sheared from their sheep. Sheep producers coming through the line and helping to place their wool on the grading/classing table had the opportunity to ask questions about wool and sheep management of the University of Maryland faculty sorting the fleeces.”
The book will be available through the MSBA. Contact Lee Langstaff at firstname.lastname@example.org to order a copy.