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DLGC Message From President Susan Holler

DLGC members:

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)

2018 Dakota Lamb Growers Co-op Annual Meeting

Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 3:15 p.m.
Research Park at SDSU, 2301 Research Park Dr., Brookings, SD 57006

DLGC Schedule:
2:30 pm Registration with coffee break
3:15 Election of Officers and DLGC Business
5:00 Social Hour and SDSGA Auction
7:00 Banquet featuring “Fresh American Lamb” and “Make it With Wool” Style Show – FREE with DLGC Pre-registration

Shepherd’s Shuffle Fun Run/Walk will be held at 7:00 am on Sat., Sept. 29th at the Research Park at SDSU. Register at: ><.

Questions: Contact Phyllis Pates at or 605-695-5157.

DLGC Message From President, Susan Holler:

I hope the New Year is off to a good start for you and lambing is underway or about to commence. During the past couple of years, we have come through a process of updating DLGC documents* to align them with how the Co-op is currently functioning and how it will function as we move farther into the 21st century, thanks to contributions from board members, the past manager, and legal and financial consultants. The board continues to implement changes to improve the Co-op.

The board approved the administrative fee increase to $3.50 per head, so you will notice that on your report from Superior. After the end of the 2018 marketing year, you will receive a refund of $1 per lamb delivered if you delivered more than 50 lambs and you owned the shares corresponding to the number of lambs delivered. For instance if you own 200 shares and you delivered 250 lambs, you will receive $150. This policy will give value to shares and encourage members to own a share for each lamb delivered, allowing members who no longer use their shares the opportunity to find a buyer.  If you have equity shares for sale please contact Phyllis, the new office manager, so we can put you on the list. If you include the price you would like for your shares it would be appreciated by members interested in buying shares, in addition to potentially making your shares more marketable. Recent transactions have been averaging $10/share but that price is between the buyer and seller.

Based on favorable feedback from the 2017 annual meeting in Fargo, in combination with the ND & MN annual meetings, the board has agreed to combine the DLGC annual meeting with the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association Annual Convention in Brookings, SD on Saturday Sept. 29th. Please note that this will move our meeting up in the year considerably; as a result we will forgo a 2018 summer meeting. We hope there won’t be too many conflicts with harvest. The SDSGA convention includes workshops all day Friday, meetings & speakers on Saturday, in addition to receptions both evenings. The DLGC meeting is set for mid-afternoon on Saturday so mark your calendars!

We continue to work with Superior to identify additional delivery points so more members can participate. Discussion at the annual meeting focused on Eastern ND. We would appreciate suggestions. The location will most likely need a certified scale for GIPSA (The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration) requirements.

As always we appreciate constructive participation from members to guide board decisions and improve YOUR cooperative. By working together we can improve our industry!

DLGC 2017 Annual Meeting, West Fargo, ND on December 2, 5:00 pm

Please join the DLGC Board of Directors on Saturday, December 2, for the 2017 Annual Meeting. The DLGC Annual Meeting will be held at the Double Tree Inn**, West Fargo, ND, in the early evening after the conclusion of the North Dakota Lamb & Wool Producers Association and Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers joint annual conference. The MN and ND organizations have planned a North Dakota Sheep Industry Tour for Friday, December 1 (begins at 10 AM), and a full day of educational sessions, including a trade show, for Saturday, December 2. The Dakota Lamb Growers Cooperative meeting will follow the joint convention activities around 5:00pm (meeting at the Double Tree Inn).

DLGC members will vote on the amended and restated Uniform Marketing Agreement (ballot included with Notice of Meeting mailing). New members are especially encouraged to take advantage of the networking opportunities and educational sessions offered this weekend.

Call 701-551-01 to reserve your room at the Double Tree Inn by November 7. Ask for the NDLWPA Convention rate ($109 plus tax per night). The North Dakota Sheep Industry Tour on Friday is limited to 55 people, so register early! This tour costs an additional $20 (lunch included). You will return by 4:30 pm Friday. A Lamb Dinner Social followed by a fundraiser auction is scheduled for 5 pm Friday evening.

For DLGC members who are Minnesota and North Dakota residents, use your respective state’s registration form (see below) for registering for the conference. DLGC members who are not MN or ND residents, please register using the attached MLWP’s registration form, and pay rate according to membership status in your state’s producer organization. If you have any questions about registration, please contact Randy Kinney (DLGC member and MLWP President) at kinneylamb AT gmail DOT com.

ND MN Convention 2017 sched

MLWP 2017 conference registration (1)

NDLWPA 2017 conference registration (1)

We are currently planning on gathering for dinner after the Annual Meeting, so please email NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 27 so we can get an idea of how many DLGC members are interested in dinner Saturday night.

** Double Tree Inn: 825 E. Beaton Drive, West Fargo, ND 58078–just off I94. Take the Veteran’s Blvd exit.

Thank you for supporting your Dakota Lamb Growers Cooperative!


2017 Annual Meeting, December 2, West Fargo, ND & Fall 2017 newsletter release

Message from DLGC President, Susan Holler:

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.



SAVE THE DATE: DLGC 2017 ANNUAL MEETING, December 1 and December 2, Fargo, ND

The DLGC Annual Meeting format will change this year, as we join the Minnesota and North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Associations in Fargo on Dec. 1st and 2nd. This should make it easier for members in these groups to also participate in the DLGC meeting. Our annual meeting will be Saturday evening. Please stay tuned for details.

DLGC 2017 SUMMER MEETING-August 11 and August 12, Pierre, South Dakota

Mark your calendars for Aug 12th for the DLGC summer meeting at Dakota Lakes Research Farm near Pierre, SD. After his presentation at the December annual meeting, Dr. Dwayne Beck invited co-op members to a personalized tour of the research farm. This should be a great opportunity to learn about sustainable agriculture including soil health, cover crops, and grazing. We will have a board meeting Friday evening (August 11) following dinner at Red Rossa Italian Grille in Pierre. Please join us for dinner and input on the Uniform Marketing Agreement as we finalize a compromise proposal for the 1 lamb-1 share policy.

Friday, August 11:

6:30 pm             Members’ supper at Red Rossa Italian Grille (reservations under DLGC, 808 West Sioux Ave., Ste 200, Pierre, SD 57501)

8:00 pm           Board of Directors meeting at Governor’s Inn, Anderson Room  (700 W. Sioux Ave.)


Saturday, August 12:

8:30 am            Dakota Lakes Research Farms Tour (farms located 17 miles east of Pierre on Highway 34)

12:30 pm          Lamb Dinner at the Prairie Regional Extension Center (the old Kenyon Building, 412 West Missouri St.)

The Governor’s Inn (605-224-4200) is giving DLGC a rate of $86.95 + tax for August 11 (checkout 8/12). Please reserve your room directly with them and mention the rate. Please R.S.V.P. by noon Monday, August 7, if you plan on joining the Board of Directors for supper, Friday’s Board meeting, and Saturday’s dinner. Email or call Mina at 605-651-9530 to R.S.V.P.

SAVE THE DATE: DLGC 2017 ANNUAL MEETING, December 1 and December 2, Fargo, ND

The DLGC Annual Meeting format will change this year, as we join the Minnesota and North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Associations in Fargo on Dec. 1st and 2nd. This should make it easier for members in these groups to also participate in the DLGC meeting. Our annual meeting will be Saturday evening. Please stay tuned for details.


Dr. Dwayne Beck manages the research facility called Dakota Lakes Research Farm. The Dakota Lakes Research Farm is a cooperative effort between South Dakota State University and the Dakota Lakes Research Farm Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation created by family farmers and local businesses in the 1980’s.  This group owns the land, buildings, and other fixed assets. They work with the manager in prioritizing research projects and planning capital improvements. Full-time operations at the present site began in the fall of 1989.  The entire facility has always been managed using true conservation agriculture techniques (continuous low-disturbance no-till and diverse rotations) since its inception.

The funds needed to operate the research program at the center come from three main sources. They are provided by SDSU in several direct and indirect forms; some come from grants funded primarily through commodity checkoff programs; and the remaining resources are generated from profits stemming from the production enterprise at the Station. The production enterprise is managed so that the research program is optimized. That is the main purpose of the farm. Within this constraint, the goal is to make as much money as possible on the production enterprise and spend all of this money on research projects, facility improvements, and equipment purchases and upgrades.

The unique cooperative arrangement between South Dakota State University and the agricultural producer members of the corporation has resulted in substantial success.  The primary impact was the development of programs that have allowed   producers to profitably adopt conservation agriculture techniques in a large portion of central South Dakota and throughout the grassland ecosystems of North America.  Identification of the extremely important role played by crop rotation in minimizing weed, disease, and insect problems while increasing potential profitability was the key contribution to this       success.  Principles developed at the Dakota Lakes Research Center have been successfully applied to many ecosystems around the world. The intellectual and fiscal contributions of the producer/owners of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm   Corporation are the key to the successes achieved at this point. What has happened so far is only the beginning, conservation agriculture research and development continues and is expanding into new areas. (From