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2017 Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School debuts in Oregon’s Willamette Valley

Apply by Jan. 6th for the March 14-14, 2017 School

NLFA’s 31st annual Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School debuts March 12–15, 2017, in Albany, Oregon, located in the heart of Oregon grass seed country. The 2017 School was moved from summer to spring to allow participants to get the most out of seeing the area’s unique grass fed lamb production and marketing systems in operation. Planned visits within a 70-mile radius of Albany, include a startup sheep dairy in Jefferson, a three-year old on-ranch harvest facility, a full service fiber mill in Lebanon, vineyard grazing in Eugene, and a unique variety of both large and small sheep growing operations. An optional tour to the Oregon Coast that ends at Portland International Airport is available for those wishing to stay an extra day.

Tom Nichols, past manager for the Sheep Research Center at Oregon State University and current president of the Oregon Sheep Growers Association, is directing the 2017 School.

“The Imperial Valley in Southern California and the Mid-Willamette Valley are among the few places in the country that have developed this unique grass-fed system,” Nichols said. “It is the perfect place for producers to learn about it and spring is the time to do it. One evening will be spent around the barbecue with the grass seed growers and sheep producers detailing the way they work with each other. Then, on the day we hear about sheep grazing in the vineyards, we’ll be adding a tour of the winery. We are opening with a session of 30-second pitches (we like refer to it as speed dating) where participants and industry leaders can learn who you are, what you do or what you are working on, and what you are looking for.”

Since the first Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School, in Fort Collins, CO, the School has rotated between Sioux Falls, SD, San Angelo, TX, Greeley, CO, Columbus, OH, Philadelphia, PA and Dixon, CA. Known for its intense program that balances classroom time, site tours and one-on-one exchanges, the program offers participants opportunities to listen to industry leaders, academic experts, as well as make connections with other producers representing all parts of the country. Participants will find that Oregon is rife with new ideas and new resources useful to sheep operations.

Lamb Feeders Day at the Oregon Coast

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Leave Albany this morning and drive through the Oregon Coast Range for a walk on the beach in Newport, Oregon. Follow the coastline north for lunch at Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, coffee break and enjoy all things cheese and ice cream in Tillamook on to way to the Portland Airport (by 7:00 pm) in time for late flights (or to an airport hotel for those taking flights the next day). Cost per person $89: includes motorcoach tour, lunch and gratuities.

Deadline for applications is January 6, 2017

Cost to the individual participant consists of their transportation to and from the selected school site in Albany, OR plus a $200 per person registration fee. NLFA provides meals and lodging for the participants and covers the cost of site tours and program supplies. Lodging will be assigned on a dual occupancy basis.

Participants must be 20 years of age to apply. The application process consists of a written essay. A group of approximately 24–26 participants will be selected for the 2017 school. A couple may apply to attend; however, both must be involved in the sheep business and each must fill out a separate application.

Complete your application form (pdf) and submit it electronically or download a copy and return by email or fax (503) 585-1921. For question or more information, call the NLFA office at 503.364.5462 or email us at info@nlfa-sheep.org.

Tentative Agenda

2017 Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School Albany, Oregon

Monday, March 13, 2017
        6:00 pm         Welcome Reception

Monday, July 11, 2016
        Breakfast at hotel
        7:30 am         Load bus
        8:00 am         Magruder Farms; Grazing based sheep dairy
        10:00 am       Snow Peak Fiber Mill and Yarn Shop
        Noon              Lunch
        1:00 pm         Load bus to tour ewe and lamb operations
                                          Nichols Livestock; Fall lambing Dorset flock (roadside/pastureside tour)
        1:45 pm        Wahl Livestock; Winter lambing, shearing, working facilities
        4:45 pm        George Miller; Equipment, facilities, electric fencing
        5:30 pm        Dinner
                                          Tour of grass seed cleaning warehouse
                                          Panel discussions:
                                          • Local lamb feeder panel
                                          • Custom grazing from the Livestock owner’s and grazer's perspectives.
                                          • Getting started in the sheep grazing business —Young producer panel
        9:00               Return to hotel

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
        Breakfast at hotel
        7:00 am       Board bus
        7:30 am       Tour Kalapooia Grass Fed Processing
        11:00 am     Tour old crop feeding operations in Halsey/Shedd area
                                          Electric fencing demonstration
        12:00 am     Lunch at or catered by Shedd Cafe
        1:30 pm       Ayers Lane, Irrigated improved pastures
        2:00 pm       Hubbard Hampshires
        4:00 pm       Vineyard Grazing at King Estates
        5:30 pm       Dinner
                                           Panel Discussion with Direct Marketers and Chefs

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
        Oregon Coast Tour (optional)
        Departs Albany and ends at Portland International Airport by 7:00 PM


The Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School is made possible with major support from our sponsors.

Major Sponsors
National Sheep Industry
   Improvement Center
American Lamb Board
American Sheep Industry Association

Legacy Fund donors
Bowman Wool & Livestock
Mountain States Lamb & Wool Co-Op
Rocky Mountain Sheep Marketing
SRC Milling Company LLC
Carolyn Gerdes, Tier Haus Farms
Don Gnos, Footrot Flats
Don Godby, Godby Sheep Company
Harold Harper, Harper Feedlot LLC
Mike Harper, Mike Harper Livestock
Jeff & Jay Hasbrouck,
   Double J Lamb Feeders
Ryan Indart, The Indart Group, Inc.
Don Meike, Sussex Ranch LLC
Stan Potratz, Premier Sheep Supplies
Steve Schreier, Schreier Farms
Milt Ward, C.D. Ranches
Tom & Karin Watson, Silverdale Farms
Ernest Woodward,
   Ernest Woodward Ranches
Phillip W. Cohn
Rufus C. De Zeeuw
Kenneth Johnson
Duane Klindworth
Jim Mansfield
Kathy Meyer
Tom Nichols
Carol Postley


In 1950, Howard Wyman helped organize the National Lamb Feeders Association. He served as president, secretary-treasurer, and in 1986, he began what has become the annual Sheep Industry Leadership School. In 1996, the NLFA Board honored his contribution by renaming the school the Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School.