In September 2010, the first time in history, a tv show highlighted the strengths of the US sheep industry. It was aired on RFD-TV more than once since I didn't get to view it until January 2011. Members of the American Sheep Industry Association answered questions from people who called the show, in between great videos of different sheep breeders and their operations.
The February 2011 issue of the Sheep Industry News highlighted the Top 10 Sheep Stories of 2010, one that reported the year 2010 had the all-time high for lamb prices and the highest wool prices since 1989. Another story had reported that more than 30% of all lamb is marketed direct from the farm to the consumer or retail and food service buyers like restaurants. That cuts out the middleman and makes it more profitable for the farmer. Indicators point to a strong 2011 as well, Wal-Mart announced that all 40 distribution centers are now committed to carrying domestic lamb through 2012.
Those of us with interest in yarn and/or fiber have experienced an increase in the knitting, crochet and fiber artists industry, not just in the past year. It began dramatically 10 years ago and has been a quiet, steady growth the past few years.
I wanted to pass this information on in case someone was seriously thinking of becoming a sheep breeder. Many voice the desire to have a "few" pet sheep but now is a good time if your family wants to dive in to a new ( and worthwhile) lifestyle. Forgive me for being so prejudiced toward the life we found, we have been blessed .