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Lamb Coop

In: Business and Management

Submitted By zoey1218
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Sheep production is mostly found in southern Pennsylvania. The number of sheep and lambs has fluctuated over the years, as well as the main sources of revenue for producers. In the past, sheep were sought for their wool and meat, but the current wool market is weak because it is not used very often. Producers’ main source of revenue now comes from lamb; however, there is still a lack of a market. Pennsylvania has no large lamb slaughter facilities and the only nearest one is located in Michigan, which means producers have to either go to a smaller plant for custom slaughter or spend a large amount of money to transport the lamb to a larger plant. In New Holland, PA there is an auction market for live lambs, but the biggest competitors for lamb are producers in Australia and New Zealand. These producers sell frozen lamb in the United States market at competitive prices. Lamb was never usually a big part of the American diet, but since the country has become so diverse the lamb market has grown because its main consumers are among ethnic populations. Other lamb producers and I are contemplating forming a cooperative to market lambs. We are looking at three different options. We could consider combining our lambs and selling them live through the New Holland auction or a processing plant. Another idea is to buy or rent a slaughter facility to butcher our own lambs and use the co-op to market the meat to ethnic markets. Our last option is to create a co-processing arrangement with an existing slaughter plant and share the costs and profits from both the slaughter and marketing.

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