Sheep Industry News December 2023

Greg Groenewold Named Wool Excellence Winner

F ollowing in the footsteps of his father, Greg Groenewold has been selected as the winner of the 2024 Wool Excel lence Award by ASI’s Wool Round table. Grant, Greg’s father, received the annual award in 2016. The award will be presented at the Wool Recognition Lunch on Jan. 11, 2024, during the ASI An nual Convention in Denver.

the lamb industry adjustment plan filed with USDA in 1999. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also announced appoint ments to the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Board of Directors. Newly appointed members are: • Producers – Patricia R. Sanville, Frederick, Md.; Randy Tunby, Baker, Mont. • Expert in Marketing – Barry Savage, Newton, Mass. ASI is the official nominating entity for directors to the sheep cen ter and is pleased with the appointments by the Secretary of Agricul ture. ASI successfully added the center to the 2014 Farm Bill and is actively supporting re-authorization in the upcoming legislation. “The center has proven to be a great partner in strengthening the sheep industry with project support, such as creation of the com mercial wool testing laboratory in 2022, support of the new lamb processing facility in Colorado and the launch of Sheep Genetics USA in 2021,” Boner said. did that until about seven or eight years ago.” Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, Greg fought off the effects of the disease with a work ethic that few could match. “That’s how he defined himself, as a hard worker” Guy said. “As a partner, he was the hardest-working person – both physi cally and mentally – that I’ve ever seen. For 10 years, he didn’t let the disease slow him down. And even when the symptoms started to show up, he worked every day for another six years. He’s still in the office one day a week even now.” As an independent, family-run business, Groenewold Fur and Wool operated outside of the traditional American wool industry for many years. Greg was the one who started the operation’s assimilation with ASI approximately 20 years ago. “He’s a very nice guy, and has always been easy to work with,” said ASI Wool Consultant Barry Savage, who first met Greg back in 2003. “They are setup a bit different than many of the wool exporters, but Greg has always been flexible when we’ve made suggestions.” The company had exported wool into China for more than a decade before establishing a working relationship with ASI. “We’ve always been very independent, and it wasn’t really our style to work with an agency like ASI, but Greg embraced it,” Guy said. “And that led to my dad embracing it."

T he U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in early November the appointment of five members to serve on the American Lamb Board. All five of the appointees will serve three-year terms, beginning in January 2024. Newly appointed members are: • Steve Breeding, Seaford, Del. – Producer (100 or less head). • David McEwen, Galata, Mont. – Producer (More than 500). • Catherine Harper, Eaton, Colo. – Feeder (Less than 5,000). • Carlos R. Barba, Naperville, Ill. – First Handler. • Michael N. Duff, Blackfoot, Idaho – Seedstock Producer. American Sheep Industry Association President Brad Boner of Glen Rock, Wyo., appreciates these volunteer leaders’ willingness to serve the national sheep industry organizations. ASI is proud to have nominated these individuals for ALB to the Secretary of Agriculture and looks forward to their work on behalf of the lamb business. ASI developed the lamb checkoff as a key part of “I was very surprised when I found out,” Greg said. “Then I was a bit emotional because my father had won the same award. It kind of took my breath away.” Groenewold Fur and Wool Company is a third-generation operation. The company’s fur operation helped open doors for exporting wool to several countries, including China and Germany. And Greg was a driving force on the wool side before he was even old enough to drive. “From the time he was probably 10 years old, he was riding in the trucks to pick up wool,” recalled his brother, Guy. “And when he was old enough, he was the one driving the truck. By 1980 or so, he was selling most of the wool, picking it up from the shearers, grading and sorting it, pretty much everything. He

USDA Announces ALB, NSIIC Appointments

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