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South Dakota Sheep Growers Honor Two Master Lamb Producers

BROOKINGS, S.D. - For more than four decades, the South Dakota Master Lamb Producers Association has recognized excellency in sheep production and management by innovative producers. After a 2020 gap year, Kelly Froehlich, South Dakota State University (SDSU) Small Ruminant Extension Specialist was able to award two South Dakota producers at the 84th South Dakota Sheep Growers Annual Convention in Pierre.

The 2021 Master Lamb Producer recognized in the Purebred Division was Shady Lane Farms from Redfield, and the Feeder Lamb Producer Division recognized Pam and Steve Clements and family from Philip.

Shady Lane Farms

Chad and Nicole Jessen accepting their Purebred Division award from SDSU Extension's Kelly Froehlich.
Shady Lane Farms awardees. From left, Chad and Nicole Jessen accepted the award from Kelly Froehlich, SDSU Extension.

Shady Lane Farms is owned by Nicole Jessen along with her husband Chad; two kids, Cael and Della; and dog, Trixie, and it is home to a flock of 150 registered Polypays and 50 commercial ewes. The farm flock is registered in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) and boasts quality ewe lamb and ram genetics. Their quality has been evident with top sheep sale prices this past summer. Shady Lane Farms sold the top ewes at the South Dakota Sheep Grower Association Premium Ewe Sale in Huron and had the highest-selling ram at the NSIP sale in Spencer, Iowa.

Clements Ranch

Clements Ranch staff accepting their Master Lamb Producer award from SDSU Extension's Kelly Froehlich.
Clements Ranch awardees. Front row, from left, Tarra Schofield, Steve Clements, Kelly Froehlich, Pam Clements, Kylie Reckling, Jenny Reckling and April Schofield. Back row, from left, Jake Schofield, Matti Reckling, Matt Reckling and Rylie Schofield.

The Clements Ranch is a third-generation ranch owned by Pam and Steve Clements. Along with their family, the Clements raise 300 Targhee-based ewes in Philip. The flock is focused on maternal traits and features a quality wool clip that has been previously sold to the military for uniforms, as well as Faribault Woolen Mills. All the ewes are bred to a terminal sire, and lambs are raised on well-managed grasslands and sold as feeders. The Clements have also been highly involved in the sheep industry. Steve has served on numerous committees and in leadership roles for both the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association and the American Sheep Industry Association with the strong support of his wife, Pam, and family that keep the ranch running.

The following sponsors are graciously recognized for their support in the success of this program: Big Gain Feed, Inc.; Center of the Nation Wool, Inc.; Farm Credit Services of America; Hamlin County Farmers Coop; Hub City Livestock Auction, Inc.; Menno Livestock; Sioux Falls Regional Livestock; South Dakota Livestock Foundation; South Dakota Sheep Growers Association; Sydell, Inc.; and Van Well Livestock, LLC.