Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School
Report to National Sheep Industry Improvement Center
The 2012 Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School was held July 8-11, 2012. This was the first time the school was held on the East Coast and focused on the non-traditional or ethnic markets. The school was based in Philadelphia, PA; however, the tours took participants to various locations throughout southeast Pennsylvania.
Coordinators were Laurie and Greg Hubbard and Joanne Evans, with the Pennsylvania Sheep & Wool Growers Association. Eight members of the National Lamb Feeders Association Board of Directors served as group advisors.
The final class consisted of 23 participants. Of this group, there were 3 attendees each from Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, 2 each from New York, California, and Idaho, and one each from the states of Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Missouri. Many of these states are not considered major sheep producing states, for example: New Jersey, New Hampshire or Louisiana. During the previous 26 Leadership Schools only a handful of attendees had represented these states. The Leadership School has increasingly drawn attendees from outside the major sheep areas. The location of the 2012 School in Pennsylvania drew greater interest from the East Coast states with more than half of the applications received from the eastern states.
The 2012 class of attendees represented a cross section of industry segments; however, the majority were commercial producers with flocks of less than 100 head. Other members of the group included purebred breeders, lamb feeders, one representative from Superior Farms and one from Equity Livestock Co-Op. The wide range of operations by size and type, along with the diverse experience of the attendees are key to creating a class where student participants benefit from the sharing of different industry perspectives.