The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association LEAD Council would first like to express our appreciation for the journey that has occurred over the past 12 months. While it was an extremely difficult season for our organization, we are humbled and deeply proud of everyone who rallied and brought the LEAD programing to fruition in 2020. Despite disappointments, challenges and ever-changing hurdles along the way our organization was able to deliver an entire show season and a complete points program and that was once in danger of cancelation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 reminded us to take nothing for granted and nothing is guaranteed. Without the support of the LEAD program partners, show managers, breeders and friends who stood strong and remained committed partners, this would not have been possible. We look back on the past year with extreme gratitude and thankfulness for the supporters of the LEAD Council.
As we look toward the 2021 show season, we are eager to begin a new and fresh start. Interest in participation in agricultural events continues to grow and the LEAD Council will remain committed to offering programs that are family oriented and include elements of both education and competition. Now more than ever, the importance of our mission is clear.
• Develop youth to be future leaders of agriculture and the sheep industry
• Provide educational opportunities for youth in relation to the sheep industry
• Provide an opportunity for youth to develop sheep management and animal welfare skills through exhibition programs
The OSIA Lead Council continues to include all sheep youth interested in breeding, commercial, and club lamb type sheep. Statistically speaking Ohio is home to 3,200 sheep producers and 500 OSIA members including 200 youth — the largest membership reach east of the Mississippi.
The funds generated by the OSIA LEAD Partner Program support initiatives throughout the LEAD program. Initiatives may include but are not limited to:
• Supporting sanctioned shows by providing online show management software and a contracted show photographer
• Resources to support the LEAD year-end recognition banquet and awards for achievement in showmanship and lamb performance.