|Jim Magagna, Magagna Bros Inc, Rock Springs, Wyo.
Provide a brief description of your operation.
Jim Magagna has a range sheep operation on which he runs up to 8,000 head of Rambouillet ewes and yearlings. His herds winter east of Rock Springs, Wyo., while his lambing range is nearly 50 miles north of there. The sheep are trucked to summer range on the national forest another 100 miles away. Since 2000, he has reduced his herd to just a few hundred head to allow him to focus on other interests, but continues to have several thousand head of sheep using the lambing range. The range is a combination of Bureau of Land Management, state and private ground with little fencing, so the sheep are herded year around.
Why are you an ASI Guard Dog member?
“I became a Guard Dog member because I have always recognized that it was only aided by the efforts of ASI (American Sheep Industry Association) and its predecessor organizations that I have been able to successfully remain in the sheep business for over 45 years. In addition, the industry honored me by allowing me to serve as a president of ASI. I owe a debt of gratitude for the friendships and leadership skills that I developed in that service. We are a relatively small industry. Yet we have been able to enjoy great success in the political arena, in establishing sheep as an important resource enhancement tool and in protecting our markets. This can only continue with active involvement and strong financial support from every sheep producer.”
How do you think the industry has benefited from the Guard Dog funding?
“To succeed in today’s information age, we must be able to tell the story of our industry. It is no longer sufficient to just tell the public that we produce healthy, nutritious and delicious lamb. We have to publicize the importance of sheep as a resource management tool and demonstrate our commitment to the care of our animals. These are critical activities that ASI has been able to undertake only with the added resources provided by the Guard Dog Program.”
What do you think are the industry’s needs for the future?
“One of our biggest challenges will be to continue to maintain the infrastructure of the industry. This includes scientific research, pharmaceuticals, sheep supplies, shearing crews, sheep haulers and experienced labor. These are all challenges that we must embrace both as individual producers and, most importantly, as a unified industry working together under the proud banner of ASI.”