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2022 Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School 


The 35th annual Howard Wyman Leadership School took place in Greeley Colorado June 19th- 22nd. Over the 4 days, attendees visited operations and processing facilities around the Greeley area, as well as spent time in a classroom setting learning from industry experts. The school welcomed 24 participants from 15 states. The event kicked off on Sunday night with a welcome reception and an opportunity for school attendees to meet each other.

Beginning on Monday morning, the group loaded a charter bus and started a busy day of travel across Colorado’s sagebrush country. The first stop on the tour was Colorado Lamb Processors, a brand new, family-owned, and lamb processing facility located in Brush, Colorado. The tour of the facility included the opportunity to view the outside handling facilities and a walk-through of the plant. The next stop was the Rule Feedlot. The tour included a driving tour of the feedlot located on the Rule families’ secluded Ranch in rural Brush. Spence Rule discussed the opportunities and challenges associated with the location of the feedlot in the Colorado sagebrush during the driving tour.

After a short break for lunch, the tour continued at JJ Lamb Feedlot in Ault, CO. Jeff Hasbrouk, past NLFA president and JJ lamb Feedlot operator gave the school a tour of the feedlot including the operations shearing, bleeding and wool storage barn. The last stop of the day was a Harper Livestock Lamb and Cattle Feedlot located near Greely. Tour attendees were welcomed by Megan Harper and had the opportunity to view a state-of-the-art animal health handling facility designed by Temple Grandin. The day ended with a lamb chop dinner at the Eaton Country Club provided and cooked by the Harper family.

The second day of the school included classroom time where students visited with USDA Market Reporters and learned about the new USDA News Mobile Application. USDA experts, a local order buyer, and HWSILS attended Abdullah Hussaini was also on hand to discuss ethnic trends and markets in the eastern portion of the country. Dave Johnson from Equity CO-OP presented a mock video auction to the attendees and explained the changes surrounding online auctions. The day provided an opportunity for tour attendees to visit with presenters as well as provide insight into their work within the sheep industry.

The third and final day of school provided a time for industry organizations to visit with school attendees. The American Sheep Industry Association and National Lamb Feeders Association both gave updates on the organization and provided information on how to get involved.

The NLFA would like to provide a special thanks go to the 2021 school organizer, Ron Cole for putting together a fantastic tour highlighting the Colorado sheep industry. In addition, NLFA would like to extend sincere thank-you to all of our contributors, especially the following sponsors: American Lamb Board, American Sheep Industry Association, JJ Lamb Feeders, Harper Livestock, and Steve & Diane Schreier.