Life in the livestock business is not for the faint of heart as this winter is proving. The extra hours to move snow so animals can be cared for is adding up. Those of you who have started lambing have had record low temps to deal with, while those of us getting ready to shear are trying to keep the sheep dry while hoping the shearers can make it to the farm. As your co-op we continue to address improvements for the future. While we have been in existence for 2 decades (2019 is our 20 year anniversary), we have had to change with the times. We are in a good place now with a contract with Superior farms, which for most of the year has brought us a premium for our lambs. On Nov. 28 in Sioux Falls, DLGC met with Superior Farms including Rick Stott, Brian Phelan, Lesa Eidman, Shane MacKenzie, Rob Rule and Mark Dumdi. This was a great opportunity to interact and learn more about Superior Farms management directly from the company. There have been marketing challenges due to the older facilities at the Denver plant. After a year with weather events including hail, wind storms and more recently fire at a neighboring facility, they feel the plant is much better prepared for 2019 due to recent modernizations. Superior continues to look to the future as electronic grading comes on board. The Dixon plant is utilizing this technology, while Denver will adopt it soon. There will be a trial period for us to adapt to the feedback we receive. If lambs have electronic ear tags individual carcass data will be obtainable. This may take some adjustments on our part — if you can’t measure it; you can’t manage it — applies here. Once we receive the measurements we can adjust our management to provide a more desirable lamb. With better data we can strive to produce a better lamb which will benefit the industry while incentivizing us to provide these lambs. Additional programs coming on line include Flock54, a collaboration with University of Idaho. We took away a lot of valuable information from the meeting with Superior and we are looking forward to the possibility of making this an annual opportunity to help us work more closely with Superior on our contract.
As we continue to move DLGC into the future, the board has had conference calls with cooperative specialists, Dr. Mike Boland, UMn, and Dr. Frayne Olson, NDSU, in an effort to continue to improve. A great opportunity coming up this summer is the NSIP Center of the Nation sale July 26-27th in Spencer IA. There is an educational program planed in addition to the sale. We are looking into joining the event for our summer meeting so MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
I hope your lambing goes smoothly inspite of the challenging weather and everyone resurfaces ready for spring and summer. “Alone we can do so little; TOGETHER we can do so much”. Helen Keller.
Check out these articles from the Spring Newsletter located on the Members Only tab:
- Direct Deposit option from Superior Farms
- Summer Meeting – July 26-27 (Tentative)