Board of Director Candidates
Four director positions are up for election this year by members of the American Dorper Sheep Breeders’ Society. There are nine candidates who have accepted nominations. Ballots will be mailed to all eligible ADSBS Members around October 15th and must be returned by U.S. Mail, postmarked no later than November 16, 2020. The top three qualified vote-getters will win the three-year terms, and the fourth will receive the two-year term to fill a vacancy. The candidates’ information in alphabetical order appears below.
James Averill, Webberville, Michigan –
The Dorper breed possess all the attributes to become a major player in the US sheep market and I would love the opportunity to help market the Dorper breed to the US sheep industry, consumers, and food service industry as a Board of Director for the American Dorper Sheep Breeder Society. This breed is growing in popularity and we need to ensure the Dorper breed continues to grow whether in the show ring, to the commercial sheep producers, and the retail market/ consumer. There are opportunities for all who want to be a part of the Dorper breed.
In 2012 my wife and I started a small dorper flock in Michigan that focuses on meeting the South African breed standards while being productive on the farm and in the show ring. We have successfully shown and sold our genetics across the entire United States. We take pride in producing sound and productive sheep.
As a member of the Board of Directors I would bring my lifelong experience in agriculture and utilize my leadership and communication skills, problem solving, and collaborative efforts to help grow, promote, and enhance the ADSBS and the Dorper breed.
My career has provided me many opportunities to be in leadership roles such as State Veterinarian for Michigan, to Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture to my current position as the Director of Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. These leadership positions have allowed me to develop an ability to effectively communicate and work in partnerships with various entities while tackling difficult issues. I believe my scientific training, leadership, and communication skills will be an asset to the Board as we continue to grow and enhance this great organization and breed.
Please vote for James Averill, DVM, PhD. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Wesley Glass, Sterling City, Texas – HAS WITHDRAWN
Danny Jones, Smithville, Tennessee –
I am Danny Jones from Warren County in middle Tennessee. I grew up here on my family farm which has been a diversified operation of livestock and crops. Crops we raised included nursery trees, hay, corn, and tobacco. Livestock operations included cattle, horses, and pigs. I was active in 4-H from an early age and one day my 4-H agent suggested that my brother and I try out the sheep project. I was hooked the very first year and began what has been a lifetime passion for raising sheep.
Throughout high school I was actively raising and showing market lambs and breeding sheep. I was on numerous 4-H and FFA livestock judging teams. And my sheep operation helped me to achieve state and national awards in both 4-H and FFA.
I graduated from Lipscomb University with a degree in engineering science. My professional career has been primarily concentrated in the environmental field. For the past 22 years I have been the president and owner of Dynamis, Inc. which provides environmental, petroleum, and wastewater services to commercial customers.
Today my wife, Penny, and I have four children, a son-in-law, daughter- in-law, two grandchildren and two more grandchildren currently on the way. While our children were still very young, I began building up our flock. I wanted them to experience the joy and responsibility I had known in my youth with the sheep. All of our children have shown sheep at numerous 4-H shows and county fairs over the years.
We have been known as Narrow Gate Farm since 2002. My journey with Dorpers began in 2007 with the purchase of a ram and four ewe lambs. We also had three other registered breeds. As I began to experience the amazing traits of the Dorpers, beginning on the day they are born, I quickly focused my concentration on the Dorpers. One by one, the other breeds we owned were sold to other breeders. We added White Dorpers to our operation in 2013. Currently our flock consists of approximately 150 registered Dorpers and White Dorpers. The daily farm operations are handled primarily by my son Dillon and me with other family members assisting from time to time and serving in advisory roles.
For several years now I have enjoyed participating in the national and regional Dorper shows and sales as well as various seminars and training events. I am thankful for the great service of Doug Gillespie for many years in coordinating those events. I have successfully completed the Senior Dorper Breeder Course. Currently I serve as Vice President with the Mid-South Regional Dorper Association. I have worked with our Mid-South Regional board as well as members of the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association to establish an annual Mid-South Regional Dorper Show. Our second annual show was held in August with a great group of participants and sheep.
Youth programs and events have been a particular favorite of mine. When our children were Junior members of the ADSBS, they participated for a number of years in the Youth/ Ewe Lamb Futurity Program. It has been great to see that program expanded in an effort to increase greater youth participation in all regions of the country. For the past couple of years I have worked with Sarah Towery to provide the awards for the Southern States Youth Show funded by donations from members of the Mid-South Regional Dorper Association. And I have been privileged to serve as one of the judges for the Youth Sheep Production Contest, scoring record book entries and conducting interviews. I have been amazed each year at the level of knowledge and capability of our young people participating in this program. If elected to the board I would like to work to continue to expand opportunities and incentives for greater youth participation across the country.
I would now like to talk about the Dorper breed as a whole in the United States. Not only do we as breeders have an extremely productive and useful breed of sheep, but we have an especially unique history, breed standard, and organization. It is truly remarkable to see how far this breed has come since being introduced to this country 25 years ago. I am thankful to the breeders who stepped out and took a chance to bring the Dorpers here, and to those who promoted and exhibited Dorpers in the early years. So many of us are now benefitting from the efforts of those who led the way.
Our breed standard is something that should always be maintained both in the show ring and in the pasture. We have a set of standards unlike any other breed. And as I have learned through the Dorper courses, each of those standards has a purpose based upon years of trial and error. If we as a breed association continue to adhere to those guidelines, we will continue to see success in the breed shows, in market lamb and carcass competitions, and most importantly in the commercial sheep industry.
Our country still has a very high percentage of imported lamb. I believe the Dorper and White Dorper breeds stand poised to replace the need for imported lamb with certified Dorper lamb meat. We have many intelligent and capable people within the breed already who are working to bring their ideas to life by promoting the Dorper lamb brand. I would like the opportunity to work with fellow board members as well as those who are on the front line to expand our markets. I believe if we can move forward with a united effort, we can truly become not only a leader in the sheep industry, but in the US meats industry as a whole. It never hurts to dream big.
And finally, I would like to talk some about the American Dorper Sheep Breeders’ Society as an organization. I have never met a group of livestock breeders who have been more welcoming and helpful than the great Dorper breeders I have gotten to know from across the country. I don’t see a lot of fierce competition and hiding of so-called “trade secrets”. Time and time again I have seen major breeders gladly share any information needed to help someone else with gaining information about their Dorpers whether it be with breeding, feeding, health care, and even in the show ring. I have heard breeders of some of the traditional sheep breeds comment at the shows that the Dorper folks all help each other out and seem to genuinely like each other. It is like a breath of fresh air to hear such comments. That genuine care and concern for fellow breeders has been quite evident this year alone as we have seen a number of our members who have had to deal with serious health issues. To see the outpouring of prayers, support, and encouragement from Dorper breeders around the country has been an inspiration and I know a blessing to those who have had the struggles.
I would welcome the opportunity to help continue that spirit of caring and building each up as we work together to promote the Dorper breed. Success with Dorpers can be realized in many different ways, whether it is in the bank account, in the show ring, building the character of young people, growing family relationships by working together, or simply enjoying seeing a beautiful set of sheep when you look out over your pasture, ranch, or farm. A couple of my broad goals as a board member would be to help as many people as possible find success with their Dorper flock and to help us work together as an association in a united effort to promote what we already know to be the best breed out there. Thank you for your consideration and may God bless each of you, your family, and your flock.
Paul Lewis, Bonanza, Oregon –
My name is Paul Lewis. I graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a bachelors degree in Math. My wife, Kathy, was an Ag Major there where we met and after graduation, Married. We have been involved in the sheep business longer than I like to admit, getting our first White Dorpers in 1996. I am the Past President of both the California Woolgrowers and the Oregon Sheep Growers Associations. I have also served as board member and chair of the National Sheep Improvement Center having been appointed by the USDA. I have served on the ADSBS board and also as President.
I strongly support the South African Breed Standards and am a Qualified Dorper Judge. We have been importing genetics since 1999 from Australia and have been a member of LambPlan since that date. I feel that objective performance measurement is crucial to the continuing improvement of the Dorper breed, be it show or commercial, and encourage the use of NSIP for our members. If anyone wants to question me in more depth, or has anything they want to communicate, my email is: lambchop@whitedorper. com.
I would appreciate your support to be elected once again to the board of the best sheep breed in the world.
Judi Mault, Indian Valley, Idaho –
I am located in Indian Valley, Idaho, a small town where I have been raising dorper sheep at the Lazy J Ranch for the past 15 years. Originally I got involved with these sheep while training border collies, but observed the outstanding qualities of the dorper and soon acquired my first registered fullblood animals. I still train and compete with my border collies, but my focus has turned to this breed of sheep. The Lazy J Ranch has become a frequent stopping point for travelers and tourists interested in exploring a ranch life style environment.
During the years I have partnered with the University of Idaho’s veterinary program, and have held lambing clinics at the Lazy J. At least twice a year the veterinary teaching staff hold ultrasound clinics here to apply hands on techniques with the graduating vets. In addition to the value these clinics provide to the doctors, it also exposes many people to the breed of sheep they may not be aware of. The vet students also come to the ranch to assist me during lambing.
Prior to moving to Idaho we lived on a small ranch in northern California. I worked in Quincy, California as a phlebotomist, paralegal and retired as the Director of the State of California Child Support Services. I have volunteered on the boards of many organizations. I have produced many events such as the Palm Springs Golf Tournament, State of California Annual Conference, horse shows and sheep/cattle dog trials for 15 years. I currently own the Lazy J Ranch Bed and Breakfast Inn.
I believe the show industry is an important marketing tool for the breed, however we must assist the commercial breeder to promote the dorper’s delicate taste and educate the consumer. Grocery stores, chefs and the public need to taste dorper lamb.
The Breed was imported to the US for their commercial utility and these values must not change. Dorpers must be judged based on the BREED STANDARDS.
There are many important decisions this board will make in the next few years and I hope to include the membership’s view points. Please contact me at any time to discuss upcoming issues. Call 208 741-0237. I hope to represent the large and small breeders of the American Dorper Sheep Breeders Society throughout the United States.
Keenland Nix, Mountain Grove, Mississippi –
My name is Keeland Nix. My family operates Deer Run Ranch north of Mountain Grove, MO in the Ozark hills. We have raised Dorper sheep for 16 years and have acquired part of my dad’s small White Dorper flock a couple of summers ago. Many of you have not met my wife, Lacy, as she calls herself the official chore doer while our daughters Payton, Rylan and myself are on the road at the shows and sales. I am an agricultural education teacher at Mountain Grove Schools and also serving as the FFA Advisor.
I have been involved with purebred livestock since the early ‘90’s, when my younger brother and I purchased our first registered Gelbvieh heifers for our FFA project. I was highly involved with the American Gelbvieh Jr. Association serving on the junior board of directors for two years. Lacy and I purchased a small farm in Mountain Grove; I looked for an efficient, highly muscled small ruminant to run on our limited grass. Dorper sheep fit the bill. Our flock has grown from a handful of ewes to approximately 70 head.
Dorpers have taken my family all over the country for shows or sales, meeting lots of folks along the way. It is always fascinating to hear the diverse environments that Dorper sheep can flourish. I look forward to each show/ sale and meeting new people (even though now most people know me as Payton or Rylan’s dad).
I am humbled to be nominated for the Board of Directors as the ADSBS continues to grow in membership and animals registered/transferred. I think that continuation and growth of junior programs is important for the positive growth of the society. Usually, if kids get involved, parents are soon to follow. I have heard many stories start out, “We started a flock of sheep as a 4-H/ FFA project and the kids graduated, but we just couldn’t sell the flock”. Increasing opportunities for leadership and industry exploration with the juniors should be a high priority for the society. I appreciate the society helping the small breeders showcase their genetics through ADSBS sponsored sales like Duncan, OK and Cookeville, TN. I would support looking into more avenues of similar sales, whether online or live auctions to help market Dorper genetics in other regions of the country.
I appreciate the opportunity to run for the ADSBS Board of Directors. Past board members have been very open to new ideas or changes to old ideas to make them fit the industry and I look forward to visiting with new and old friends about the future of the Dorper breeds in the American sheep industry.
Justin Ransom, West Fork, Arkansas-
I am honored to have been nominated to serve on the Board of Directors of ADSBS.
I fostered my passion for agriculture and livestock by growing up in it, raising cattle and growing wheat in TX and OK. I was active in 4-H and FFA and served as a Texas FFA Vice President in the early 90s.
While earning my undergrad at Texas Tech University, I was on the competitive meat and livestock judging teams, and ultimately found my interest in the food industry. After a brief stint as embryo technologist, I earned my Masters and Ph.D. in Animal Science with a focus in Meat Science and Food Safety, respectively from Michigan State and Colorado State Universities. My first job out of college was at USDA Agricultural Marketing Service as an International Marketing Specialist, where I supported trade teams post- BSE and helped validate the new automated beef grading system.
After several years in the government, I wanted to work in “industry” and joined OSI Group then McDonald’s USA where I had oversight of ensuring supply chain quality, safety and animal welfare expectations for their US proteins. In 2017 I moved to Northwest Arkansas and joined the Tyson team leading Sustainability Strategy as part of the enterprise strategy for beef, pork and chicken, as we work to raise the worlds expectations for how much good food can do.
In West Fork, AR we started a family and are building a farm which has allowed my wife Jennifer and I to expand RR Dorpers to a second location while both still enjoying our careers. My dad Bob Ransom started raising Dorpers in mid-2000’s and I purchased my first ewe from Riverwood Farms in 2009. Our focus has been developing our flock of [primarily fullblood] Dorpers to be the best they can be. I found my interest in Dorpers because they are functional sheep which explains why they are the fastest growing breed in the US.
I will encourage and support the board in looking for ways to help producers be more profitable, including working with producers to try to help them find ways to increase the value of Dorper lamb regionally and nationally. Thank you for your consideration. You are welcome to contact me anytime. God bless.
Hello, my name is Brad Roeder. I currently live in Fredericksburg, Texas with my wife Tiffany and our two children Brylie and Brodie. With My parents Billy & Betty Roeder and my brother Brian we manage the Dorpers at Roeder Ranch. Currently I am employed by TAMU AgriLife Extension Service and serve as the County Agent in Gillespie County. Our Dorper interests are varied and broad. Currently the kids show at the majority of the Texas breeding shows and also show market lambs & goats. We raise approx. 90% of the animals we show. We currently run 250 Dorpers, 100 goats and 100 Southdowns. We also have a herd of 200 commercial dorper ewes and 30 cow calf pairs. In our downtime I enjoy training dogs and hunting. If elected I will do my best to represent all Dorper breeders across the US. Most people will know us from the showring, but the commercial Dorper is the backbone of our industry.
Billy Wade, Jamestown, Indiana –
Hello, my name is Billy Wade and I am seeking a position on the ADSBS Board of Directors. My family and I live in Jamestown Indiana and I have been involved in the sheep business all my life. Starting with a family sheep operation of Polled Dorsets that evolved into a fitting service for sheep and cattle. Currently I am employed by Reproduction Speciality Group as the head embryoligist. I am a partner in Paragon Dorpers with Dr. Tad Thompson and also certified as a Dorper judge . Thank you for your consideration.