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Michigan producer elected American Lamb Board chairman

Dale Thorne serving second term on board; American Lamb Checkoff releases annual report.

March 5, 2019

2 Min Read
sheep in field at sunset
MARKET EXPANSION: The American Lamb Checkoff is focused on building awareness and expanding demand for American lamb and strengthening its position in the marketplace.bymandesigns/gettyimages

Dale Thorne, a sheep producer from Hanover, Mich., has been elected chairman of the American Lamb Board. He is serving his second three-year term on the board, representing the lamb-feeding sector.

Thorne previously has served as ALB vice chairman, treasurer and chairman of the Research Committee.

“Being able to help increase demand for American lamb is an honor,” Thorne says. “In particular, I am enthusiastic about the progress we are making regarding American lamb quality and consistency, such as the flavor research we expect to complete in 2019.”

Thorne and his family have a flock of 1,000 Polypay ewes, half of which lamb in the fall and half in the spring. Most of the farm’s lambs are marketed at about 80 pounds. The farm also produces hay for the horse market and row crops such as corn and soybeans.

The American Lamb Board’s fiscal 2018 annual report also has been released. The board directs the American Lamb Checkoff, which is focused on building awareness and expanding demand for American lamb and strengthening its position in the marketplace, thereby increasing the potential long-range economic growth of all industry sectors.

Most lamb checkoff investments go toward promotions and marketing efforts. Funds also are invested in research and industry outreach programs that help improve lamb quality and industry collaboration.

Fiscal 2018 result highlights include:     

  • 68% of consumers indicated a preference for lamb from the U.S., up from 40% in 2011.

  • Fine dining menus called out domestic lamb more than 3 to 1.

  • Blogger Lambassadors developed 38 new American lamb recipes, and their combined blogs and social media posts reached more than 1 million consumers.

  • 2,353 consumers attended a Lamb Jam event, and 54% were new attendees.

  • Lamb flavor research addressing quality factors entered final phases.

  • ALB showcased American lamb at 24 festivals and events across the U.S.

During fiscal 2018, Lamb Board expenditures were $2,412,782, of which 66% ($1,599,675) was spent on promotion programs; 18% ($441,204) on communications, 5% on research, 7% on administration and 4% on USDA oversight. The annual report is available at lambresourcecenter.com/lamb-checkoff/resources.

“An exciting year is ahead for the American Lamb Board as we complete landmark research that will benefit all of us in the industry and continue with innovative marketing to increase demand for our great product," Thorne says.

Source: American Lamb Checkoff, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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