Curt Cline, Director for Commercial Flock Owners, Co-Chairman of Membership Services OSIA
Daryl Clark, Director for Lamb Feeders, Co-Chairman of Membership Services OSIA
As I begin to embark on this subject, I can’t help but think I should have changed the title to, “Where are the resources available to improve your sheep operation?” Maybe I should begin by explaining what type of resource I am talking about. Natural resources are well, natural if you will. Financial resources come in many shapes. I suppose most people would consider a financial resource as a bank or a lending institution, I know my children would place me in this category, as well I as did my father when I was a youngster. Some would consider a financial resource as an investor or a broker which puzzles me a little, why do we call the person we invest and entrust with our money a “broker”? Shouldn’t they be called a multiplier? Anyway, I feel the most important resource to improve your sheep operation comes from other sheep producers. Whether it is at an official meeting, evening educational program or at Ohio Sheep Day, one cannot under estimate the value of talking with other like minded producers.
One thing that comes to mind when I mention the value of these programs is the efforts of Ohio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA). This organization is the united voice of all Ohio Shepherds whether it be club lamb, purebred, commercial, breeding stock, or lamb feeder. Without the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, there would be no legislative voice for Ohio sheep producers, no Buckeye Shepherd Symposium, and without this organizations’ financial support, it would be difficult for OSU Extension to have Ohio Sheep Day and the District programs that take place around the state during the winter.
There are many levels of resources available to Ohio shepherds that are in place because of Ohio Sheep Improvements Association (OSIA). There is $1,000.00 of scholarship funds available yearly through the Ralph Grimshaw scholarship program. There is support for our Ohio youth by working with the Ohio FFA Foundation to sponsor the Ohio FFA Sheep Proficiency award. Educational programs such as Ohio Sheep Day, Buckeye Shepherd Symposium, District programs, Make It with Wool contest, The Ohio Sheep Producer newsletter, ASI newsletters, the list goes on with much, much more. And you, as an Ohio Shepherd can tap into these resources by joining Ohio Sheep Improvement Association to help make sure they are here for our future. For a small fee of $30.00 for individual, or $35.00 for a farm membership you get all these benefits listed plus reduced fees to participate in educational programs. Members also receive membership to The American Sheep Industry as well when joining OSIA.
Last, but certainly not least is the positive impacts OSIA has through legislative work at the state and national level to help protect our industry from special interest groups seeking to take sound, scientific backed management practices away from shepherds. Legislative work is funded and backed by membership numbers within OSIA. Two things have an impact when talking with legislators, financial impact on the area represented by them as well as how many people (potential voters) are being represented by the association. It dose not matter if you have 5 or 500 head (remember the average size flock in Ohio is about 26 head!). OSIA is there to represent you but we need your membership to do that. This is where you come into the picture by joining to help OSIA represent all sheep producers in Ohio.
Visit our web site at or call to join. If you join by April 20th you/your farm will be represented in our member directory for free that is distributed to all members in OSIA. Please help the Ohio Sheep Industry and do your duty as a shepherd to help protect your flock by joining today.
Ohio Sheep Improvement Association
280 N. High St., P.O. BOX 182383
Columbus Ohio 43218