DLGC Message from President Riley Braaten

Greetings Fellow Shepherds,

It’s amazing how some things can change dramatically and some changes move much slower.  Parts of our region have gone from very dry to actually being almost too wet this fall.  The moisture has been quite a surprise in many areas and some subsoil moisture has been restored.  With snow on the way for some of us in the next few days, hopefully you have finished up the outside work for now.

The lamb market has slowly changed.  We still have very strong prices on slaughter ewes, which is great for those moving ewes that don’t produce well enough to offset these high feed prices.  Fat lambs have remained strong for the 4th quarter.  Superior Farms had once said perhaps we could maybe see $2.00 fat lambs as a new normal. Anyone’s guess is as good as the next, and hopefully it’s true as we continue to see higher input costs in agriculture.

DLGC annual meeting is coming up the 2nd week in December.  It’s a time for our producers, those who help at delivery points, and Superior Farms representatives to get together and share some thoughts and ideas, as well as enjoy some reminiscing and laughter.  Our producers are like family and I look forward to enjoying the long overdue gathering.  We hope to see you December 9th and 10th in Fargo, ND.

May each of our producers take this time to thank each other for being part of the lamb industry and encourage each other to continue to support and promote our products.  We give thanks to God for another strong season in the lamb market and for the rain that has fallen on the land.

May you find all the tagged ears in your flock alive and well.

DLGC Message from President Riley Braaten

Greetings Fellow Shepherds,

Well what a year it’s been.  From hot and dry weather for us in the Midwest to lamb markets that hit record prices.  Some producers have had tough decisions to make on whether they should keep replacement ewe lambs with these high prices or if they should sell them and wait another year by not culling many ewes.  Yet cull ewe prices have been so strong that many producers have cleaned house with their flocks and shipped those ewes that are not meeting their standards, and with feed prices being so high that might be the best economical decision.  We get many calls about this market and how long it’s going to stick around.  Visiting with people in the industry, they seem to think that $2.00 cash lambs may be the new normal.  History has told us different with a hard crash after such high prices.  When we hit that high earlier this summer there was some resistance from the consumers.  We have since fallen off of our highs about $0.30 – 0.35.  Seems as though we may have stabilized for now.  Only time will tell what will happen. 

The DLGC Board contacted Superior Farms when cash prices outpaced our contract.  After months of tough negotiations, the Board did agree on a one year contract with Superior Farms which improved the bottom line for our producers.  We will start a negotiation process again early this winter with them.  We know many producers are not happy with the difference between the cash market and the contract this year.  We have finally hit a time, as of right now, where the contract is as high or higher than the cash.  We as producers must fulfill our signed contracts with Superior Farms.  Please make every effort to deliver the number of lambs you contracted for.  The 2021 contract results will impact our 2022 negotiations.  Contact Phyllis if you need to know the number of lambs you contracted.  We all are hoping we have entered into new times in the sheep industry and our hard work will be blessed with profitable prices. 

As another summer comes to an end, we at DLGC are thinking about our members.  We hope everyone has enough feed, or has been able to secure additional feed, for the winter.  We hope everyone has a safe harvest.  And, we all pray that the rains continue into the fall so subsoil moisture can be restored back to normal.

May you find all the tagged ears in your flock alive and well.

Riley Braaten, President

Members Classified Ads

FOR SALE:  Ram Extra – Siremax composite terminal sires. Best of the best. That’s why we retained these to use on this end as single sires and backups. Contact oneillfamilyfarm54@gmail.com or 507-458-6244. (posted 11/11/21)

FOR SALE:  Livestock Guard Dog Pups ready to go by the DLGC annual meeting (12/9).  They will make your life easier and your predator’s lives miserable. From generations of on-the-ball LGDs who earn their keep. Contact Cindy Wolf at 507-450-5453. (posted 11/11//21)

FOR SALE:  Ile de France rams and ewe lambs. Visit our website hasbargenlandcattle.com to view current sale offerings. (posted 11/11/21)

FOR SALE:  4 female Anatolia shepherd, Akbash, Great Pyrenees cross puppies for sale.  16 weeks old , raised with sheep and cat friendly. Asking $250 but willing to negotiate.  Call or text 605-530-4444. (posted 11/11/21)

FOR SALE:  11 mid-sized round rye straw bales.  $40/bale.  Contact Dan Meseberg at 605-880-8859. (posted 9/1/21)

FOR SALE:  Nice registered Polypay ram lambs. Ready to go to work.  Montrose SD. Priced at $500-550. Contact Robert Hoiten at 605-771-9874 (posted 9/1/21)

FOR SALE:  9 week old male akbash, pyrenees, anatolian shepherd mix puppies.  Raised with sheep, cats and children.  Call Dan at 605-530-4444.  (posted 4/1/21)

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‘VIRTUAL’ 2020 Annual Meeting – Thursday, Dec. 3rd

The 2020 Annual Meeting will be held “VIRTUALLY” Thursday, December 3rd at 7:30 p.m.  Zoom connection details can be found on the ‘Members Only’ page.  You can also contact Phyllis at dakotalambgrowers@gmail.com for details.

DLGC Needs Current Addresses for:

Burton, Kerwin (Pierre, SD)
Cotton, Benjamin or Adam (Hillsboro, ND)
Hagens, David or Diana (Steele, ND)
Hartman, Curtis (Hebron, ND)
Jarrett, Sigrid
Kleinsasser, Randy (Buchanan, ND)
Kuntz, Cheryl
Perry, Robert or Elizabeth (Marion, SD)
Peterson, David Duane
Pfliger, Richard (Bismarck, ND)
Reimnitz, Gladys (Mitchell, SD)
Schlosser, Paul or Sarah (Kindred, ND)
Stadheim, Lynn (Hettinger, ND)
Veal, Larry (Meadow, SD)
Stein, Theo or Rebecca (McClusky, ND)

DLGC Message from President Riley Braaten

     Greetings fellow shepherds and ranchers. Well 2020 continues to be an interesting and trying time for many producers. From weak lamb markets to dry hot weather in some regions to devastating storms and wet weather in other area. Yet one thing is for certain in these troublesome times that God will prevail and win the battle even though we may not quite see the light that is shining bright at the end of the tunnel.
     Well I hope all of you were able to utilize the first round of CFAP payments that were paid out. CFAP 2 was released on 9/18/20 and sign up begins on 9/21/20. It’s well deserved to our fellow shepherds and ranchers.
     In the last one to two weeks we have seen an increase in lamb prices. Ewes and ewe lamb prices remain very strong despite weak lamb prices. We continue to see more young producers entering into the business as well as some rejoining again. Relatively cheap feed, and ample amounts, in most regions has been a great blessing for producers. Simple things like utilizing scales this year have been very effective and useful in not overfeeding lambs.
     We have endured the bankruptcy of Mountain States Rosen yet we have one new plant coming online soon (9/21/20), Colorado Lamb Processers. We also have had the Hasbrouck family and Double J Meat Packing purchase the old Ranchers Lamb plant in San Angelo, TX. So maybe we will see these plants start running soon in an efficient and profitable matter.
     Dakota Lamb Growers is currently working on a new contract with Superior Farms. We the board members are working hard to ensure the producers receive a delivery contract that fits their individual operations. We have had tons of interest in joining DLGC this year from new and previous member who have been inactive. The more lambs we can produce the better chance of an increase in the contract. We still must think about the consumer and what they desire. Without them we have nothing
     As we enter into fall, things tend to get busy and rushed. We have breeding season going on and harvest continuing. I ask and stress that we try hard not to get rushed and forget things that are very important such as ‘stopping at blind corners’ or ‘running stop signs’. Or, even ‘forgetting to close the gate’ behind you. Nobody wants to get home and later receive a call that your livestock is out. We all want to make it home for dinner with family every night. Put safety first producers.
     As I close this article I want each producer to know that you are not alone if you are experiencing some form of hardship or heartache. Reach out to a fellow DLGC producer and ask for help or a shoulder to lean on. We are here for you guys. We are only a phone call away if you have any questions. If we don’t have the answer, we will search and dig to find the answer. May God bless each and every one of you. May God’s love be bright and radiant and shine down on you. I pray each of you find your ear tags in your flock alive and well and that this harvest be plentiful and bountiful for each and every one of you
With love and hugs. Sincerely,

DLGC Message from President Riley Braaten

Greetings to my fellow ranchers and shepherds. For most producers, you are probably nearing the end of another lambing season and some are already preparing to wean lambs. I hope that this year was better than 2019 weather wise. We experienced a little bit more mild spring and not so much snow here in northeast South Dakota.
As we entered into a new year we were watching market ready lamb prices steadily climb. As these prices were rising, little did we know that Covid-19 would be sneaking up behind us, and would economically change the way consumers eat lamb. We soon would find the cash market going from $1.70 on March 1st to $1.01 by April 1st. Suddenly restaurants and hotels are closed and lamb consumption going way down. People would find themselves temporarily laid off and facing tough financial decisions on essential spending.
As to where this market is going to go is anyone’s guess. I would hope producers would stay current with marketing lambs as they reach selling weight. Delivering overweight lambs is something this suppressed market can’t handle. Our wool industry is experiencing the same thing. All wool trade has come to a halt and some producers may experience a wool value of $0.00. Many producers are storing their wool in the barn for better days to come.
I believe this economy will turn around and become great again. When you ask? That I don’t know. We are survivors and ask God for the strength and wisdom we need to get through these trying times. I ask that each producer find another producer or multiple producers to reach out to and share your time with whether it’s just to listen, or to lend a hand where help is needed. May God bless each and every one of my fellow lamb producers. Take care and enjoy your spring.

2019 Annual Meeting – Dec. 2nd – Sioux Falls, SD

Ramkota Hotel, 3200 W Maple St, Sioux Fall, SD 57107 (605-336-0650)
Schedule of Events:
5:00 pm Social
6:00 pm Dinner
7:15 pm DLGC Business Meeting: Financial Report; Election of Officers; Discussion on Status of Membership and Equity Shares
** Door Prizes**

Please RSVP by Nov. 25th to Phyllis so we have an estimate on attendance for meal planning. dakotalabgrowers@gmail.com or (605)695-5157

Superior Farms 2020 Contracts will be available to be signed at both the Annual Meeting and Superior Farms Update meeting.

Summer Meeting – July 26th – Spencer, Iowa

What:                 Dakota Lamb Growers Co-op Summer Meeting

When:                Friday, July 26, 2019 at 9:30 am

Where:               Holiday Inn Express, 916 13th St SW, Spencer, Iowa  (712-580-2200)

Topic:                 Moving forward with the Co-op

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Michael Boland, University of Minnesota Professor and Director of The Food Industry Center and specialist in Cooperatives and Agribusiness.

DLGC Message From President Susan Holler

DLGC members:

We are looking forward to seeing you on Friday, July 26rd in Spencer, Iowa for our summer meeting, as we join with the Center of the Nation Sheep Sale and The Suffolk U. Plan on joining us at 9:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Express. We are looking forward to meeting with Dr. Mike Boland, University of Minnesota Professor and Director of The Food Industry Center and specialist in Cooperatives and Agribusiness.  As your board continues to improve your co-op, we hope you will join us to learn from Dr. Boland’s vast experiences.

After the DLGC meeting, there will be free educational programs on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning sponsored by The United Suffolk Sheep Association. Friday’s events include speakers, a lamb dinner, and hands-on live ram evaluation. Even though this is a free event be sure to register (see Summer Meeting article on page 2). The event concludes with the NSIP Center of the Nation Sheep sale on Saturday afternoon.

As 2019 continues to be a very challenging year due to the volatile weather, one bright spot is that market lambs are benefiting from the cool weather. Producers have reported that lambs are up to 3 weeks ahead of their usual marketing schedule. As a result, it is beneficial to stay current with your lamb weights and hopefully capture some of the summer marketing price incentives.

Looking forward to seeing you in Spencer.