We caught up with the breeder of the Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb at the 2023 Kansas Junior Livestock Expo. We invite you to read our candid interview with Diamond W Club Lambs below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Breeder Spotlight.”
What’s the pedigree of your champion?
Chief x Blowin’ Smoke (Integrity x Trunk) ewe I bought from Donnie Begalka at Sedalia in 2015.
What makes your operation run smoothly?
Well, things don’t always run smoothly, but planning and organization tend to help a great deal. Also, finding ways to improve operating efficiencies and facilities help to reduce extra labor.
How many head do you run?
We operate out of two locations and have an “East” and “West” division. Craig and Regina run the East division, based out of Logansport, Indiana. Ben, Corineah, Colyer and Graham run the West division in Lyons, Kansas. All together we run around 80 ewes and rely heavily on reproductive technologies such as A.I. and Embryo Transfer within both programs.
Do you have another job besides raising sheep? If so, what’s your occupation?
I am currently a full time Ag Instructor and Livestock Operations Coordinator at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. I spent 10 years coaching collegiate livestock judging teams prior to my role now. My wife, Corineah, is a high school Ag Teacher and FF Advisor in Little River, KS.
Craig and Regina are both now fully retired and get to spend time traveling, going to Purdue basketball games, raising sheep and visiting grandkids.
In your opinion, who has been the most influential ram across the industry?
Drop the Mic was the game changer and his influence can be seen all throughout the industry today.
We made a big jump forward in our operation when our foundation donor female “1702” was born. She was sired by DTM and has been a program changer. Many of our lead females and donors trace back to her.
What’s your favorite livestock show?
Both my dad and my mom were born and raised in Iowa, so for them, it’s the Iowa State Fair. It’s an iconic state fair with a lot of history. If you haven’t been there, take the time to go!
My family just got back from the American Royal a few weeks ago, and to this point, that show lands in the top spot for us, we really enjoyed that experience.
Do you prefer online sales or live sales?
We utilize each option in our operations and find value in them both. I think they compliment each other well. The atmosphere and excitement at lives sales is contagious and provide an opportunity to not only showcase your stock, but network with other breeders and potential customers.
Online sales certainly have their place and have really changed the way people buy. The convenience and ability to purchase with the click of button provide easy access for buyers.
We still value the relationship piece of selling livestock, and regardless of the sale platform, we want to work with buyers to achieve their breeding program goals or show ring success.