Marketing lambs through DLGC has been lucrative this year. Contract lambs are returning $25-$30/head above the cash market. We are pleased that the co-op can bring added value to member’s lambs. As always it is good to have some parameters to evaluate lambs and receive feedback on management. Oftentimes members and potential members ask what are the benefits to joining DLCG? In addition to the contract and the ability to sell your lambs on a carcass basis, educational opportunities are available as we experienced at our summer meeting during the Dakota Lakes Research Farm Tour. Dr. Dwayne Beck gave those in attendance a practical and thought provoking tour of the research farm and sustainable Ag practices. From seeding earth worms, to no-till crop rotations, to livestock grazing, he challenged us to evaluate our management practices from a sustainable perspective to better utilize the valuable commodity of soil for the future of our operation and for future generations. As an added bonus it was a beautiful morning along the Missouri river.
In an effort to continue updating the DLGC documents, the board has spent several months working on the uniform marketing agreement (UMA) to align it with the amended Bylaws. The 1 lamb 1 share policy has been in the UMA, that we all signed when we joined DLGC, but it has been controversial and challenging to enforce. In an effort to retain share value, a compromise proposal is being presented and voted on at the annual meeting. Members participating in the packer contract must own a minimum of 50 equity shares in order to deliver lambs. Members can then contract and deliver whatever number of lambs the packer allows. The board has voted and approved an increase in the DLGC administrative fee from $2.50 to $3.50/head ($1 increase), effective January 1, 2018, on all DLGC contract lambs. In order to retain share value for those members who own more than 50 shares, a rebate, to be made via check at the end of the calendar year, in the amount equal to $1/lamb delivered/equity share owned over a member’s first 50 shares (share# 51+) will take effect. A modification to this proposal will be for those new members participating only in the Value Added contract who are not able to utilize the packer contract due to location, small numbers of market lambs, or other limitations. These value added participants will be required to own 1 share for each lamb delivered per year they reach 50 shares. Please review the UMA on the Member’s Only page on the DLGC website. We appreciate your feedback ahead of the annual meeting and vote on the updated UMA to make any beneficial modifications.
In closing, in order to function effectively as a cooperative we need member input and participation. We look forward to seeing you in Fargo the first weekend in December as DLGC combines its annual meeting with the ND and MN annual meetings to better serve our members in those associations. We are also very much looking forward to this final approval of DLGC documents to bring them in line with how the co-op is functioning as compared to its inception almost 2 decades ago.