The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association’s 82nd Annual Convention will be held at the Holiday Inn in Spearfish Sept. 27-28, providing an opportunity for sheep producers from across the state to hear the latest information on sheep industry topics.
The two-day convention starts with a tour of Mountain Meadow Wool Mill in Buffalo, Wyoming. The family-operated mill owned by Karen Hostetler is dedicated to supporting local ranchers and raising awareness about ranching culture in the American West. The company aims to revitalize the American wool industry through eco-friendly operations and fair prices for ranchers.
Mountain Meadow Wool Mill is the largest full service spinning mill in the West. They will take visitors through the mill to learn the entire process from raw shorn wool to the hand dyed finished yarn that is their end product.
The group will tour their facility seeing an up close view of the factory and each of it’s
machines as the wool is washed, dried, combed, spun and hand dyed. Afterward there is an opportunity to purchase natural, quality products made with their yarn. This will be rare opportunity to see the complete process of sheep to shelf.
The group will have a lamb lunch boarding the buses to head to our next stop the Boller-Mills Ranch in Wright, Wyoming.
Travis and Traci Mills are in the heart of natural resource development. Tour participants will learn how these young, progressive producers manage their operation. There may even be a shearing contest.
The group will have supper with the Mill’s family before boarding the buses to depart for Spearfish.
The main convention day Sept. 28 is themed “The Many Wonders of the Wool Industry.” Morning sessions will feature updates from the American Sheep Industry, American Lamb Board, American Wool Council and SDSU.
Several honored guests planning to join this year, including American Sheep Industry executive director Peter Orwick, American Lamb Board vice-chairman Gwen Kitzan, Wool Council Chairman Randy Tunby, and Dr. Joe Cassady, head of
the Department of Animal Science at SDSU.
Six wool industry leaders will visit from around the world to share their perspectives in a round-table discussion that will explore local, specialty markets all the way to international markets.
The Saturday luncheon will feature the Master Lamb Producer awards where select South Dakota lamb and wool producers are recognized for excellence in their area of the industry. Dr. Jeff Held and Dave Ollila with an SDSU Extension will give an update and a review of the “Power of Partnership” between South Dakota Sheep Growers Association and SDSU in the afternoon. The annual business meeting is the final agenda item.
Saturday evening will culminate with the annual auction and lamb banquet. The coveted “Trapper of the Year” and “Shepherd’s Award” will be presented followed by the South Dakota finals of the “Make It With Wool” contest.
Friday Sept. 27
Tour – “Wyoming Wool and Beyond” Tour of Mountain Meadow Wool and Boller Mills Ranch
7 AM – Departure from Holiday Inn Spearfish to MMWM Buffalo, WY
Arrive 9:30 AM at MMWM for tour
11:30 AM Depart MMWM for Cowboy Carousel, Buffalo WY for lunch (provided)
1 PM Depart for Boller Mills Ranch Wright, WY
5 PM Supper (provided)
7 PM Buses depart for Holiday Inn Spearfish
Saturday Sept. 28
“The Many Wonders of Wool Industry”
7:30 – 7:35 AM Wade Kopren - Welcome
7:35 – 7:45 AM ASI Update
7:45 – 8 AM ALB Update – Gwen Kitzan
8 – 8:15 AM Wool Council Update – Randy Tunby
8:15 – 8:30 AM SDSU Update – Dr. Joe Cassady
8:30 to 10 AM 15 minute presentations from 6 wool industry leaders
• Ben Hostetler – MMWM
• Dawn Brown - Independence Fiber
• John Helle - Duckworth
• Mike Boney - Burlington Industries
• Jack Ewing - Crescent Sock Company
• Rick Powers - Lempriere USA & Rafter 7 Merinos
10 – 10:30 AM Vendor Break
10:30 – 11:30 AM Roundtable Q & A with wool industry leaders
11:30 – 1 PM Awards Luncheon and Lt. Governor Rhodes (Keynote)
1 – 1:45 PM The Power of Partnerships SDSU Extension/SDSGA – Dr. Jeff Held and Dave Ollila
1:45 – 4:30 PM SDSGA Business Meeting
5 - ? Social hour, banquet, auction, MIWW