McGovern Announces Hubbardston Farmer to Serve on American Lamb Board

Today, Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) announced that Tom Colyer, owner of Greenwood Hill Farm in Hubbardston, Massachusetts, is among the newly appointed members of the 2016 Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Board. Each appointee will serve 3-year terms. Colyer and his wife Andrea naturally raise Merino sheep and sell yarns, sheepskins, and meat from their farm.

“Our local farmers are a vital part of our economy in Central and Western Massachusetts.  I am so proud that Tom Colyer has been chosen by Secretary Vilsack to serve on this important board,” Congressman McGovern said. “This is an incredible opportunity to showcase the important work being done by our local farmers, both here in Massachusetts and across New England. By bringing together a diverse group of farmers from across the country, this Board will provide the resources needed to help this industry grow, and will give our local farmers additional tools to help them succeed.”

“As a proud Massachusetts farmer who has worked to represent the Commonwealth’s sheep industry for more than two decades, I am honored by this appointment,” Colyer said. “I am a vocal supporter of buying local products, and I will continue to look for ways to help our region’s sheep farmers succeed as I serve in this new role.”

Colyer has been Director of the American Sheep Industry Association, representing Massachusetts, for over 20 years.  He has also served as a member of the Executive Board of the organization for two terms representing the six New England states as well as New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. 

In addition to Colyer, who will represent producers, the newly appointed Board Members include Gwendolyn Kitzan of South Dakota (also representing producers), Martin Auza of California (representing feeders), and Jeffrey D. Oatman of Colorado (representing first handlers). The board is composed of six producers, three feeders, one seedstock producer, and three first handlers. The Secretary of Agriculture appoints approximately one-third of all board members each year.

In 1966, Congress authorized the formation of industry-funded research and promotion programs such as the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Board. There are currently 22 such research and promotion boards across different specialties. These boards empower farmers and ranchers to leverage their own resources to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotional activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which ensures fiscal responsibility, program efficiency, and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.