BROOKINGS, S.D. – The South Dakota Master Lamb Producers Association recognized sheep producers from Alexandria, South Dakota, and Wessington Springs, South Dakota, during this year’s South Dakota Sheep Growers Annual Convention.
Kelly Froehlich, Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Sheep and Goat Specialist, recognized Prairieland Farms and MB Genetics, of Alexandria, South Dakota, in the Purebred Division; and Messmer Farms, of Wessington Springs, South Dakota, in the Feeder Lamb Producer Division during the 85th annual conference held Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in Pierre, South Dakota.
Since 1975, the South Dakota Master Lamb Producers Association has served to recognize South Dakota producers who excel in sheep production. They display excellence through things like outstanding management practices or demonstrating a strong support of the sheep industry at a state or national level.
Recipients can be nominated by other producers or directly by the South Dakota Master Lamb Program. They receive a plaque and recognition at the South Dakota Sheep Growers luncheon during the convention.
This year’s recipients are:
Prairieland Farms and MB Genetics
Prairieland Farms and MB Genetics is a family partnership owned by Megan, Nick, Penny, Clyde, and Henry Nielson and Michael and Barbara Bishop. Together these two families own elite registered Southdown sheep. These “good but functional” sheep excel in the show ring and on the farm. A small flock allows the Nielsons and Bishops to intently focus on the details, and their sheep are well known for being consistent, productive, and true to breed character. This family is influential in the Southdown breed as well as the sheep industry. They have contributed an immense amount of energy to sheep shows and education of youth with their most recent endeavor of spearheading the Great Plains Junior Breeding Sheep Show in Sioux Falls.
Messmer Farms is a fourth-generation farm owned by Jeff and Trisha Messmer. Along with their children, Blake, Austin, Colton, Jacob, and Mariah, they raise approximately 1,200 Merino/Targhee-based ewes in Wessington Springs. Most ewes are bred to a terminal sire and lambs are sold as feeders to the Sioux Falls regional market during the Easter season. In addition, the Messmers have been highly involved in their community, raising money for the local nutrition program for school children and serving on local boards. All members of the family have been involved in 4-H and FFA and have been instrumental in sharing their love of sheep and agriculture.
The following sponsors are recognized for their gracious 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.; LaBolt Farmers Grain Co.; Menno Livestock; SD Sheep Growers Association; Sydell, Inc.; and Van Well Livestock, LLC.