Tri-Lamb Tour features U.S. sheep industry

Young sheep producers from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand are learning how the three countries can work together to build their respective farms and industries.

American Lamb Board member and Michigan sheep producer Dale Thorne is serving as the U.S. host and mentor for this year’s Tri-Lamb Young Leaders Program. He tells Brownfield an 11 day tour across the U.S. this month brings together young leaders from the world’s largest sheep producing countries.  “We have a consumer that wants fresh product, that means it was never frozen, and they want it 52 weeks out of the year.  That’s a challenge for the U.S. industry and it’s a challenge for our friends down under as well.  In this shepherd’s humble opinion, our countries should be working together.”

The tour, which started in Michigan, Thorne says highlighted lambing out of season and confined production systems.  “We went to a confined lamb feeding facility here in Michigan that is quite unique to the whole world actually. Lambs are fed in confinement, but they’re fed on an elevated floor so that they stay a lot cleaner, they stay a lot healthier.”

Young leaders will also visit Australia and New Zealand’s sheep industry as part of the program.

AUDIO: Interview with Dale Thorne

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