|Leo Tammi, Shamoka Run Farm, Mount Sidney, Va.
Provide a brief description of your operation.
Leo, his wife, Judy, and son, Aaron, operate a typical family livestock operation in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The family raises sheep, cattle, goats and horses on Shamoka Run Farm. The Tammis have been recognized as outstanding forage producers for their innovative and creative solutions that enhance production and conserve their natural resources.
Why are you an ASI Guard Dog Member?
“The American sheep industry has some unique funding challenges, yet they have been able to leverage limited membership funds into dynamic and effective leadership on issues of concern to us in Washington, D.C. In fact, the small investments we producers make to fund ASI (American Sheep Industry Association) initiatives yield the best returns of any segment of our operation. The chance to make additional investments through the Guard Dog program is an easy choice.”
How do you think the industry has benefited from the Guard Dog funding?
“In recent years, we sheep producers have seen a boost to our bottom line from the ewe lamb retention program and the wool loan deficiency payments. These federal dollars went directly into our checking accounts. A longer list of recent accomplishments would include the Wool Trust Fund, creation of the American Lamb Board, support for Wildlife Services, Livestock Risk Protection Program and support for a scrapie eradication program and national livestock identification program that works. In addition, ASI provides sheep producers a voice in the formation of the new Farm Bill and the creation of ongoing regulation.”
What do you think are the industry’s needs for the future?
We need to maintain a strong presence in Washington, D.C., build on our successes and tell the story of the American sheep producer. In recent years, we have reached out to our fellow sheep producers across borders. Working together on issues of common concern makes us stronger. We can reach across other barriers as well. We can empower ourselves and rural neighbors by creating allies to make our rural communities economically strong, vibrant and dynamic. Just as sound stewardship can restore damaged land, increase biodiversity and clean our streams, so can the values of rural stewardship honor diverse views and temper the sometimes coarse rhetoric that divides and weakens our democracy. May we continue to be a voice of civility in a sometimes contentious environment.
Established in 2001, the Guard Dog Program utilizes the recommendations and donations of dedicated industry individuals to address a variety of issues. We hope you enjoy learning about these individuals, their businesses and their foresight for the U.S. sheep industry. If you would like to become a member of the Guard Dog Program, contact American Sheep Industry Association.