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Minna White is a farmer, artist, crafter, and felter. Not only does she own a farm that raises Navajo Churro sheep, but she is the artist behind LanaDura.com. An amazing business that sells felted and hand-crafted items from the sheep’s wool.

Lana Dura’s felted bags began as a idea-speck in the hearts of two shepherds who raised Navajo-Churro sheep for more than fifty years combined. Their goal is to give sheep a job and allow them to live long, productive lives contributing to the sustainability and durability of their farm. The sheep are paid to produce a product annually by contributing their wool fiber. Visit HeritageBreeds.org to get involved. This podcast series is brought to you by LivestockConservancy.org.

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This week on The Farm Report concludes the three part series on the sheep and lamb industry. Guest-host Talia Ralph fills in for Erin Fairbanks today and is joined by the co-producer of the series, John Wilkes. The first guest is Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO of English Lamb and Beef Executive. EBLEX exists to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the English beef and lamb sector. He talks about sheep in the global markets and how, for instance, the UK sheep sector could be affected should the American market open up. John also asks Jean-Pierre about how the possible outcome of the Scottish referendum could affect the lamb and sheep industry. After the break, Talia and John speak with Cody Hiemke who is a lamb buyer with Niman Ranch in San Francisco. Cody gives a great overview of where the US industry is currently and what to expect from the sheep and lamb industry in the future. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

"We need to keep lamb in the forefront of consumers' minds." [7:40]

--Jean-Pierre Garnier on The Farm Report

"Here in the Midwest and out east, there's a lot of demand for the direct market of lamb." [28:00]

--Cody Hiemke on The Farm Report

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Hosted By
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This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks picks up where she left off last week with the second part of the series on the sheep and lamb industry. Opening the show with the co-producer of the series, John Wilkes, a US based livestock consultant, writer and speaker with a background as a UK sheep and beef producer and farmer, the two talk technology in the sheep realm and how it has ultimately helped the industry. Despite the initial negative connotations that might be associated with using such technology like an ultrasound with livestock, John explains that this technology can be very helpful to aid in pregnancy detection and the problem comes in with whether it is legal state by state for anyone other than a licensed veterinarian to perform the procedure, though it is noninvasive. After the break, Erin welcomes Dr. Bret Taylor, Animal Scientist of the USDA Agricultural Research Center, who adds to the discussion of technology in the sheep and lamb industry. Talking about his work with the Sheep Experiment Station, he shares that it is in place to develop integrated methods for increasing production efficiency of sheep and to simultaneously improve the sustainability of rangeland ecosystems. Tune in for another sheep and lamb-centric episode! This program has been brought to you by Heritage Foods USA.

"The main thing is estimated breed values, and using the technology of ultrasound to take measurements of the animal as it's growing at various points in its life to ascertain the amount of meat that it's carrying." [2:23]

"The estimated breed value gives indication of that animal's sire, or the producer of that animal, if it is looked to improve the breed and have characteristics which you would find acceptable and look to improve your production." [3:05]

-- John Wilkes on The Farm Report

"The US Sheep Experiment Station... was actually the USDA's answer to begin solving many of the sheep industry's as far back as 1915." [18:42]

"It's not the lack of understanding the technology, I think the majority of sheep producers that I visit with... think it's the coordination of those [technological] efforts. We know that those technologies are extensive and expensive." [26:53]

-- Dr. Bret Taylor on The Farm Report

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