|David Trotter, Marysville, Ind.
(February 1, 2010) David Trotter and his family own a purebred operation of about 25 ewes of both Polled Dorset and Southdown breeds, with both fall and spring lambing schemes. While the Trotters’ operation started primarily with crossbred sheep, they have been able to transition to purebred stock that primarily goes into the commercial market for breeding purposes. Today, Trotter’s daughters are involved in 4-H and junior shows where they show the purebred breeding stock, and the family also markets breeding stock, with a majority going into commercial flocks to increase hybrid vigor. The Trotters sell their fat lambs primarily two ways: they direct market to consumers in Louisville, Ky., area, targeting the ethnic population, and sell lambs to a lamb handler who sells both locally and ships to a packing plant. The family has also begun to add meat goats to diversify their operation.
Why are you an ASI Guard Dog Member?
“I have been a Guard Dog member primarily because of legislation that has affected sheep producers. Primarily, when we lost the wool act, I served on a long-range committee to help the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) survive, and I saw the need at that point to make sure that ASI had legislative funds to deal with issues that face the industry. As far as the livestock industry is concerned, one of the biggest issues is fragmentation. If we don’t all stand together as a livestock industry as a whole to face animal rights groups and other issues, we will all fall individually. Not only has Guard Dog been there to provide funds to support and sustain the sheep industry, but it has been there to join other livestock industries to fight for what we have, our way of life.”
How do you think our industry has benefited from the Guard Dog funds?
“I think the Guard Dog funds have been there to help our industry oppose the importation of sheep and wool products and protect our own production of those commodities. I also believe it has been there to protect animal agriculture as a whole.”
What do you think are the industry’s biggest needs for the future?
“I think the biggest need for the future of our industry is to expand and improve consumer acceptance of domestic lamb. We have to improve the markets and the consumer acceptance of that product. We also have to understand the needs of the ethnic market in our country, and I feel that we have to protect animal agriculture as a whole. As a part of that, one of our responsibilities as producers is to make sure we are using the most current animal-production practices that will ensure quality assurance to our consumers.”
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 business and their foresight for the U.S. sheep industry. If you would like to become a member of the Guard Dog Program, contact the American Sheep Industry Association at 303-771-3500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.