High demand for lamb evens out wool woes for sheep producer


High demand for lamb evens out wool woes for sheep producer

An Illinois sheep producer says lamb prices and wool distribution are top of mind for the industry, but on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Anne Crider of Arrowsmith serves as the Region 3 Director for the American Sheep Industry Association. She tells Brownfield COVID-19 help boost demand for lamb leading to improved prices for producers.

“A lot of people decided to go to the local producers because they could see how it was raised, they could talk to the person who raised it and therefore they knew it was safe to eat. And I think that had a lot to do with the new popularity in lamb.”

On the other hand, Crider says the pandemic, trade conflicts and shutdown of the only commercial wool testing lab the past few years have backed up the wool supply chain, forcing producers to stockpile their wool.

“We do have a new lab that is in the process of being put together in San Angelo, Texas and that is going to make us a lot more competitive in that commercial market because before we always had to ship samples off to another country to have them tested.”  

She says the American Sheep Industry Association has been a big help through these challenges; from keeping the experimental sheep station running in Idaho to making sure sheep producers were included in pandemic assistance loans.