Shepherd’s voice: Sheep industry honors Susan Crowell

Susan Crowell award
Susan Crowell, former editor of Farm and Dairy, earned the 2020 Shepherd’s Voice award, for print, from the American Sheep Industry Association, in Scottsdale, Ariz., Jan. 24. (Rebecca Miller photo)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Susan Crowell, Farm and Dairy’s former editor, evoked this saying when she accepted the 2020 American Sheep Industry Association’s Shepherd’s Voice award for print, in Scottsdale, Ariz., Jan. 24. Crowell was honored for her work with the newspaper for more than 30 years, and her support in covering the sheep industry, both regionally and nationally, throughout that time.

She also served on the advisory council for Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Be bold

She arrived at the conference, wearing a T-shirt that read “Be Bold.” That was intentional, she said.

“Now’s not the time to be timid,” Crowell said. She pointed to the other award winners and their accomplishments. They weren’t afraid to think creatively or take risks in growing their businesses or in supporting the industry.

That old saying? If it ain’t broke … ? Crowell advised looking at it another way. “What if it ain’t broke, but it’s slowing you down or holding you back?”

The industry honored others with 2020 awards as well:

Frank Moore

Moore, of Wyoming, was named the 2020 McClure Silver Ram award winner. Moore helped to found the Mountain States Lamb cooperative in 2001, and has continued to be active on the board of directors for the cooperative. More than 100 sheep farmers and ranchers are members. The group purchased its own processing facility under Moore’s leadership, in 2016.

Bill Sparrow Jr.

Sparrow, of North Carolina, earned the 2020 Distinguished Producer award. He is a longtime representative for his state on the national level. He has served with the national organization. He was instrumental in helping with the merger of the American Sheep Producers Council and the National Wool Growers Association 31 years ago that created ASI.

Reed Anderson

Anderson, of Oregon, earned the 2020 Industry Innovation award for his work as a sheep farmer and processor. He raises sheep, but also built his own processing facility, named Kalapooia Valley Processing, and now has control over the entire process, from birth to plate.

Mike Caskey

Caskey, of Minnesota, won the 2020 Camptender award. He is a second-generation sheep farmer, who has worked for 40 years with the Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program. He was chairman of the board that produced the sheep production handbook, which is used industry wide.

Joe and Aggie Helle

The Helles, of Montana, were honored as the 2020 winners for Wool Excellence. The family has been active in the American Wool Council and the National Make It With Wool program over the years. Their flock is the basis for the Duckworth clothing company.

Lane Nordlund

Nordlund, of Montana, was named the 2020 Shepherd’s Voice, in broadcasting. He has been an industry advocate for the industry, covering many events around the country and sharing stories through various media outlets.


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Farm and Dairy Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Miller was tapped to lead the newsroom in 2019. A veteran journalist, dog wrangler and traveler, she lives on a 220-acre, 325-ewe commercial sheep farm in Lisbon, Ohio, which she runs in partnership with her mother. She can be reached at 330-817-6179 or



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