The Vermont Sheep Breeders’ Association is a non-profit agricultural membership organization and has been in existence for over 100 years. We are incorporated in the State of Vermont, have a Board of Directors and a written set of by-laws. In addition to soliciting our membership on an annual basis for dues to sustain our administrative services and publications, we write for grants to support our programs.
As a volunteer organization, we could do nothing without the good will, ideas and help of our membership.
Annually we electe a Board of fourteen directors, four of whom are officers. Our purpose is to support, improve and strengthen the diverse community of sheep breeders in Vermont and to work to insure a viable infrastructure to produce healthy animals and get our products to market. We produce lamb, cheese, breeding stock, and wool. Although geared primarily towards the needs of sheep producers, we also welcome members with animals that produce fine fibers, including angora goats, alpaca, llamas and angora rabbits.
Our membership is made up of sheep producers with many different breeds of sheep, farm sizes and farming philosophies. Our aim is to promote humane treatment of animals, a high-level of animal health, and sustainable farmland stewardship on all farms. Through the educational, technical assistance and marketing opportunities that we with others provide, we strive to help our members gain satisfaction as shepherds as well attain profitability in their businesses.
We work collaboratively with a number of sister organizations and institutions. The University of Vermont Extension Services, Vermont Technical College, Vermont Grass Farmers Association and the Vermont Agency of Agricultureare among the organizations that provide education and technical assistance.
Marketing assistance and market opportunities come from a variety of sources, including the Vermont Lamb Promotion Board, Vermont Cheese Council, Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship, and the Vermont Fresh Network. Cooperatives such as Vermont Quality Meats and Pride of Vermont offer members profitable markets for lamb. Vermont’s sheep milk cheeses are among the best in the world.
We also share expertise and experience among our members through workshops and on-farm mentoring, as well as invite experts in production and marketing to educational events and workshops throughout the year. Conferences include speakers such as Woody Lane, Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. David Henderson, as well as successful entrepreneurs, renowned small ruminant dairy experts, cheese makers and spinners from around the world. VSGA’s Sheep and Wool Festival in October is celebrated as one of Vermont’s premier agricultural events.
We have many opportunities for members to provide useful services, including tours of their farms, service on the board of directors and committees, assistance with the Sheep and Wool Festival, mentoring of new sheep producers, articles in our newsletter, information on our website, the production of our Sheep Plus Directory, membership development, and educational workshops.
Our Board of Directors and Committee Chairpersons are listed here. We welcome and applaud your input and help.