Business & Society

Utah State Extension in Summit County: Pooling for Profits

Metta Richins married into the sheep business, and, at age 84, is in her 30th year as lamb pool secretary and the only woman ever to be named as president of the Utah Woolgrowers.

She likes to talk about the good old days of thousands of range sheep in the county but has also adjusted to the realities of small "farm flocks."

Farm flocks are measured in hundreds, while range flocks generally number in the thousands. These small flocks make it hard for sheep growers to make a profit.

Summit County Extension agent Sterling Banks has worked with the county growers and Richins to help pool resources. Pooling allows these small farm flocks to get the same prices as the larger scale ranchers.

"This year we helped the farm flocks get 6-10 cents more per pound than they would have trying to go it on their own," Richins says. "Sterling was also instrumental in getting land and funding for a new county stockyard that allows farmers to bring in their flocks, weigh them and get them ready for shipping. He also helps with the computer aspects of the lamb pool secretary's job."

Banks has also been successful at getting the county grant money to control predators, she concluded.

To find out more about Summit County, click here. For more about Extension in other counties take the Extension tour of Utah.

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