Position Announcement
American Lamb Board Director of Sustainability Programs
Background and Job Summary
Sustainability has become a top priority for the American Lamb Board (ALB). Several new projects have been recently funded and more are in the works to promote the sheep industry’s commitment to sustainability and to quantify and improve the industry’s environmental impacts. ALB is working with Michigan State to evaluate the sheep industry’s environmental footprint including emissions estimates and to develop mitigation strategies and best practices. ALB also received a USDA Climate Smart Commodities Grant to quantify the benefits of targeted grazing in four pilot areas including a solar grazing site.
Rapid development of utility scale solar farms across the country has stimulated significant need for sheep grazing as a means of vegetation management. Based on a 2021 report published by the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), 550 GW of solar energy production is a goal for 2030. It takes approximately 7,300 acres of solar infrastructure to generate 1 GW of energy (NREL). Thus, approximately 4,015,000 acres of solar infrastructure are needed to meet this goal. Broad estimates suggest 2 sheep are needed to manage an acre of solar infrastructure. Potential exists for flock expansion by more than 8 million sheep in the US flock by 2030.
There are increasing opportunities for sheep grazing contracts in wildfire-prone areas of the US. Sheep grazing helps to eliminate dried plants that might otherwise become wildfire fuel and grazing in vineyards helps clear weeds as well as reduce or eliminate herbicide use. Grazing contracts present tremendous opportunity for growth of the U.S. sheep flock, improving the availability and price competitiveness of American Lamb, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through green energy production and biological vegetation management.
These grazing opportunities should garner interest from current sheep producers who desire to increase their profitability and grow flock numbers and attract new shepherds who may have never raised sheep before. Therefore, Training is needed to ensure these individuals are prepared for grazing demands. Successful solar grazing on utility scale sites will require large flocks and intensive grazing programs to satisfy solar grazing contracts.
The American Lamb Board is an industry-funded national research, promotion and information checkoff program that works on behalf of all American producers, feeders, seedstock producers, direct marketers and processors to build awareness and demand for American Lamb. This position will support the American Lamb Board’s mission and goals set forth by the 2023-2028 strategic plan. This could be a remote position with significant travel required.
Responsibilities and Duties
The individual in this position will fulfill two main objectives:
1) develop and maintain a nationally recognized solar grazing education program and potentially other contract grazing opportunites
2) work with industry partners to improve American Lamb sustainability furthering the climate-smart project initiatives.
This individual will be responsible for developing and managing the American Lamb Board’s
solar grazing education program and other contract grazing opportunities. This program will include, but is not limited to, online modules, on-farm education programs and grazing schools, and consulting services for grazers and industry partners. The individual in this position will be expected to work with academic and industry professionals and organizations (such as the American Solar Grazing Association) to conduct at least four grazing schools annually in different geographic regions of the country. Further, this individual is expected to develop industry partnerships, establish external support for education programs, and engage in conversations with solar industry professionals to improve development of “sheep-friendly” solar installations.
This position will also assist the American Lamb Board with:
• Managing the Climate Smart Grant project including coordination with the project manager and the four pilot grazing site research leads and identifying sheep producers to implement new climate smart grazing plans;
• Promoting new educational tools and mitigation strategies developed with Michigan State University designed to reduce emissions;
• Support industry educational opportunities to expand domestic sheep production and increase productivity and competitiveness.
The successful candidate will have superior communication and leadership skills, experience developing, coordinating, and teaching educational programs, extensive sheep experience including forage and grazing management, an understanding of lamb quality attributes and current lamb market dynamics, and knowledge of the growing solar industry.
Qualifications and Skills:
• B.S. degree in an agricultural related field (M.S. degree preferred)
• 5+ years of experience in sheep husbandry, forage and grazing management
• Solar grazing experience desirable
• Experience developing, coordinating, and teaching education programs
Salary and Benefits:
Salary commensurate with experience. Will include support for travel, education program development and advertising. ALB will consider a remote work arrangement.
Application Process:
Submit your resume, a cover letter articulating your goals for this position and vision for the sheep industry related to sustainability and contract grazing and two references to:
Megan Wortman
Executive Director, American Lamb Board
303-759-3001 ext. 2
The selection committee will begin reviewing applications on May 1, 2023.

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