Optimism in the sheep industry, but some segments face challenges
While lamb markets have seen some recovery following disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the American Sheep Industry says there are some parts of the industry that still face challenges.
Peter Orwick tells Brownfield wool and sheepskin markets are facing some headwind, as both are heavily export dependent. “Fifty to sixty percent of our wool goes overseas and the same thing with our sheepskin and pelts,” he says. “Those are markets where we’re going to try and continue to drive more demand.”
He says they’re optimistic for the new year. “Hopefully as we get more clothing and garment distributors back online, we can gain some of that market back,” he says.
Orwick says the industry overall is in a much better position than it thought it would be at the start of the pandemic.
But, he says, the concern isn’t over. “A lot of what we’ve done is try and keep producers, farms, and ranchers, and their bankers talking,” he says. “That’s critical to have that financial support for these operations.”
The American Sheep Industry wrapped up their first virtual convention last Friday.
AUDIO: Peter Orwick, American Sheep Industry