2012 ARBA Board Candidate Biographies

by Site Admin on May 17, 2012

Following are Candidate Biographies for the upcoming 2012 ARBA Board Election:

District 2

Peggy Dey: Hello, my name is Peggy Dey. I live in Allentown NJ on our 500 acre family farm where we raise hay and straw. We also raise standardbred yearlings to sell at sales. My husband Steve is a Racetrack Vet and I manage the office. I have a son who farms with us and a daughter who currently attends the University of KY.

And then there are the sheep! We have raised various breeds over the years and each one has taught me a new lesson. Romney’s are such a wonderful breed because of their versatility. They are raised by many producers who “think out of the box” to market the various sheep related products. The northeast is one of the best markets in the country so I see lots of opportunity for growth. These factors make the District 2 Director an important part of the success equation and I think I am ready for the task.

I am a firm believer in keeping the participation of our junior members a high priority for ARBA. A half dozen years ago our our junior numbers were falling. We learned to make it fun, sharing pizza and fellowship, we increased our numbers and today are filling the classes at youth shows around the country.

Thank you for your consideration.
Peggy Dey

Chris Posbergh: Hi my name is Chris Posbergh and I am running for District 2 Director. My experience with Romneys started in 2005 with the purchase of 2 natural colored ewe lambs. I initially purchased these two Romneys to learn more about fiber, but was pleased to learn they produce an excellent carcass too. Since 2005, my Romney flock has grown to 15 ewes. I also have an additional flock of 10 ewes which consists of a combination of Dorsets and crossbreds. I am beginning to completely convert to an all Romney flock since they have proven to be a valuable asset as a true dual purpose breed. Through the local 4-H program, I provide Romney lambs and guidance for several members who do not own any sheep but wish to learn more about them. This gives the members an opportunity to work with sheep which they would not have had otherwise. As a District Director, I would work to increase the involvement of the youth of the organization. Using what I have learned through helping young members in 4-H, I would create a mentor program that pairs a junior member with one or more active breeders. The active breeders would provide advice and help for that junior. By doing this, a junior member could explore all the possible paths with Romney sheep – whether it is showing in the ring, producing top quality fleeces, or producing quality carcasses. Through this program, all the traits that we love about Romneys would be promoted, and at the same time we would be helping the next generation of Romney breeders.

Chris Posbergh

District 4

Carolyn Avery: My husband and I began raising sheep in 1994 when we moved to Oregon. In 1995 and 1996 I bought Romneys from the Rappaports’ Kings Valley Farm and from Silver Creek Lambscapes. We thus started our Romney flock with sheep from two very enthusiastic, very successful Romney breeders whose business plans could not have been more different.

We have continued to benefit in having the generous mentoring of several successful breeders, large and small. We appreciate the breadth and depth of advice offered by these people. One of the best pieces of advice we believe we ever received was from Morris Culver who told us to raise the sheep we liked not necessarily the ones everyone else was raising. As a guiding principle it has served us well.

My previous board experiences have been in other areas and include: Treasurer for the Juneau Education Association; Regional representative to the Alaska State Teachers’ Association; Regional representative to the National Council of Teachers of English; State representative to the Pacific Northwest Library Association and thus member of the Board of the Oregon Library Association; Secretary for PNLA; board member on the Alsea Community Effort, a volunteer group responsible for the building of the Alsea Community Library among other local projects. Currently, I chair the Advisory Board for the Oregon State Library’s Talking Book and Braille Service.

Board members’ responsibilities include voicing the concerns and ideas of members as well as to coming up with new ideas. A Board member should also convey the governing body’s decisions and rationale for those decisions to the members. Being a good listener, keeping an open mind, and providing a different perspective are all part of the job.

I believe that public awareness of Romneys is key to ARBA’s growth and to the business successes of its members. I think that young people are necessary to the future success of this organization and should be sought out, encouraged, and mentored by current members.

Scott Culver: Hello, my name is Scott Culver. I’ve been raising Romneys most of my life – first as my dad Morris’s sidekick when my hand was small enough to turn a breech lamb in the womb – and then as a teenager developing my own flock of Romneys. Now my wife Teresa and I along with my youngest daughter Ashley, run about 40 head of bred ewes both white and natural colored. I am running for re-election as your American Romney Breeders Association Region 4 Director.

As your Region 4 Director, I acted as Chairman of the ARBA Policies & Procedures Committee as well as the Bylaws Committee Chairman. I’m currently chairing the Region 4 Centennial Celebration to be held at the Oregon State Fair on August 24, 2012. At the Centennial Celebration we will be hosting a Romney Breeders Meet and Greet with the help of the Oregon Romney Breeders Association in addition to the annual banquet and meeting. We anticipate a larger than usual youth show and wool show, having added some classes to both events. As part of their Centennial Celebration, a pen sale of Romneys will be coordinated by members of the Oregon Romney Breeders Association.

As I indicated when I first ran for this office, my focus was the promotion of Romneys across the states. That continues to be my focus – hence the new idea for Oregon, pen sales coordinated by Romney Breeders. I also continue to promote Romney wool, whether judging or showing. My secondary goal continues to be working with, and encouraging our youth.

I have many opportunities to work with youth as a 4-H adviser, a judge, livestock director and barn superintendent of the Benton County Fair and coordinator of the Oregon State Fair Romney Show. I also work with the Starter Flock Committee of the Oregon Romney Breeders Association and as an OR Director at Large. I would like to continue as your Director of Region 4 and will promote Romneys and support youth activities.

Thank you,
Scott Culver,
Culver Family Romneys

District 6

Jane Caulfield
Cornersville, TN

I have been raising white and natural colored Romneys in Tennessee since 1985 when I brought down 9 animals from Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Over the years since then, we have developed our farm and increased our ewe flock to 80 or 90 ewes. Our selection process has been aided by incorporating bloodlines from Barnes, Culver, Rooney and Bankhead. Our goals have been to produce, on a pasture based system, a good dual purpose sheep that exhibits the qualities outlined in ARBA’s breed standards.

I believe that it is important to contribute to our association. With this in mind, I have served ARBA as a district director and vice-president. I have been on the AI Committee since its inception and worked with the archive project of ARBA records. Over the years, I have traveled to many ARBA events both in District 6 and through-out the country. It is a great way to get to know other members and to learn about the breed.

I feel, that as the Director for District 6, I can serve the membership of both our district and the association. Please support me by voting for me in this election.

At Large Director

Willis Plank: American Romney Breeders Members,

Hello, my name is Willis Plank and I reside in Hillsdale, Michigan with my wife Chris and our two children Ethan (12) and Caitlin (10).

I have been involved with the purebred sheep industry all my life. My parents Oscar and Paula Plank of Crystal, Michigan, have been raising purebred sheep since before I was born and continue to raise purebred sheep to this day. Growing up I was always involved in showing sheep. I have spent many years showing in 4-H and FFA at our county fair, other county fairs, as well as our state fair. When I was too old for 4-H and FFA I still continued to exhibit sheep at national shows including The North American International Livestock Expo. I truly enjoy raising, breeding, shearing and feeding sheep.

Years ago I attending Michigan State University and received a degree in the two year Ag Business program and also expanding my education by taking courses in the Animal Science program. While at MSU I was involved in the Block and Bridle club and held several office positions for three years. I was also a live-in, student employee at the Purebred Sheep Barn on campus for three years.

I have been employed by a livestock marketing company, livestock feed company and a dairy cattle semen company all in Michigan, all in the sale area.

My family and I have two small flocks of purebred sheep that is slowly growing each year. In addition to the sheep we also raise show rabbits. Currently we have approx. 400 head. We show the rabbits all year long and try and attend the ARBA National Convention each year. With my involvement in the rabbits, I have held many positions with different clubs and organizations. Right now I am the Vice President of the Michigan State Rabbit Breeders Association. I also sit on the Show Rules Committee within the American Rabbit Breeders Association. I have held an American Rabbit Breeders Assoc. rabbit registrar’s license for 9 years and an ARBA rabbit judge’s license for 5 years. In 2011 we started a rabbit supply and cage business to help serve the rabbit breeders need in Michigan.

When I was growing up, I never had the opportunity to exhibiting sheep as much as today’s youth do. That is why I like to stay involved with the youth programs. We need to keep the youth involved and excited to keep the sheep business thriving.

On a side note, I would like to take the time to personally thank the Association for sponsoring the All American Junior Sheep Show. It is a grand event and the best educational tool out there for the youth that want to be involved in the purebred sheep industry. We have attended this show for the last three years (Romney’s have been in it for the last two) with our two children. THANK YOU.

Last year I was appointed by the board to fill the at large position which was held by Ron Andrews, which expires this year. In the short time I have spent on the board, I feel I have been able to give open points of views to the board.

With the next term, I feel I can bring fresh ideas to the board, while working for the membership to move the association forward.

That is why I am asking you to vote for me for the at large director. Thank you for taking the time to consider me to be a part of the Romney board.

Willis Plank

Margaret Van Camp: My name is Margaret Van Camp. As part of a medium-sized Romney breeding program since 1996, I have had the opportunity to learn a great deal about the breed and the registry. I have met and enjoyed the company of many fellow breeders at shows and events on both coasts and many points in between, and had a front-row seat in the workings of the Board of Directors from 1999 to 2011. As a result, I am very familiar with the expectations and time commitment required of a position on such an active board. When not working the farm, I am a high school teacher with 27 years of experience. From this I have developed considerable patience, problem-solving skills and the ability to work efficiently and diplomatically with all kinds of individuals toward productive action. I am sure that this skill set could be very useful if I were to be elected.

I feel strongly that Romneys represent one of the best multi-purpose breeds available. Whether raised for wool, meat, show or breeding stock, Romneys more than hold their own, due in large part to the commitment to breed type exhibited by those breeders who came before us. I will support all efforts of ARBA to maintain and promote the usefulness, versatility, manageability and profitability of purebred Romneys.

As a teacher, I fully understand and appreciate the importance of promoting Romneys among our youngsters. I have judged multiple 4H wool sheep shows at the county level and truly enjoy educating young shepherds. I see our youth as more than just buyers of show lambs, but as the future stewards of our breed. As such, their exposure to Romneys must include more than what they can learn in the show ring. Shows are by far the most popular means of involving youth, but certainly not the only one. I would support efforts to involve youth in wool use and marketing, helping with breeding selections, feed programs and more, as well as show events.

Thank you for considering me as a candidate for At-Large Director.

Margaret Van Camp

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