The relationship between the Forgey Family and sheep industry began with Dwayne Forgey’s father, Hank Forgey. Hank started the business back in the fifties, and after a period of time working for Bob Evans in Dayton, Ohio, Hank moved back to Rio Grande to manage the Evans Farm.
In 1969, Hank decided to start work at his own farm. Dwayne explains, “I had a 4-H sheep and started building my own herd alongside my dad, and now we are partners in the sheep business.”
Continuing, Dwayne shares, “We’ve had numerous champion carass lambs at state fairs. We’ve had carass lamb champions at the North Carolina State Fair and the West Virginia State Fair along with many county champions. Our show lambs and breeding sheep have been widely received by breeders and exhibitors throughout Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan. Our show record consists of many winners in county, regional and state fair shows.
Forgey Club Lambs really got serious in the 1970’s with the purchase of a Forest Nelson Ram from Meeker County out of the infamous “Big Boy” line, a first certified meat sire. In the early 90’s, we purchased a Hill Country “4” son and a group of twenty McIlrath Yearling Ewes from Steve Lee of Kentucky. Although we had experienced considerable show ring success in the past, it was this acquisition that put us at the top consistently.
Our breeding stock predominantly traces back to Bruce Achor, and we have used three “212” sons the last six years. The mettle on which we have constantly based our breeding program is two mainstays of any serious sheep producer: cutability of carcass and production.
Dwayne found himself at a point where he needed to go “all in” or “get out.” He chose to move forward, but with his day job as a teacher, he would need to become more efficient. He needed a barn that could more efficiently manage an increased number of sheep. He decided to apply for the Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation (SOACDF) diversification grant. He began working with Brad Bapst, the Small Business Development Director, at Ohio State University (OSU) South Centers to create a business plan and complete the application. Dwayne said, “I had experience working with OSU South Centers previous to this application as I had applied for and received a couple of diversification grants prior to this one. I received excellent help with the business plan and application for the SOACDF grant from Brad Bapst. He had great input that made all the difference.”
Dwayne submitted the application and received the grant for $35,000 (half of the project cost) for a 48 x 80 barn. Dwayne said, “It was an absolute God send. We are not only raising breeding stock and club show lambs; but we are now also processing lamb meat and selling it. We have a permanent handling area so I don’t have to set up and tear down all the time, which has saved us time and labor costs. We are also planning to expand the meat processing part of the business to a year-round operation. Other future business development includes our daughter. She is graduating from OSU as an Animal Science major with a focus on quality control, and will be coming back to the farm.”
For more information about Forgey Club Lambs, go to www.championdrive.com and search the Breeders Directory for Forgey Club Lambs. To contact Dwayne Forger, call 740-441-7410. To contact Hank Forgery, call 740-701-7410 or email address firstname.lastname@example.org.