Message from the Owner

The Era of Cheap "Stuff" is Over

It's no secret that prices for most items (fuel, feed, supplies, equipment) that we all purchase to care for our families, livestock and land have increased sharply. But:

  1. How high will prices go?
  2. When will prices come down?
  3. What will prices be in 5 years time?

A. Fuel and electricity
Will rise by 10% and then drop back 15%. Why? We users (who, after much complaining, are innovative and adaptive) will gradually respond to the higher costs by using less. Suppliers of oil, gas, coal, wind energy, biofuels, etc. will respond by producing more btu's of energy. But we're not going back below $3/gal. for gasoline or diesel. Too much demand and too few low-cost sources. Electricity costs may not decline at all. So the era of cheap fuel and the products made from it is truly over.

B. Feed (grain, hay)
Year on year costs/values will stay roughly where they now are (high!). The weaker US $ (as low as it may go) will generate large export sales of meat, grain and dairy products to the Far East. Major weather events anywhere in the world in key areas will drive costs higher. Good weather events will drive them lower. In time production of feed and food will go up-but food consumption in the Far East will keep pace with the increased supplies so prices won't go down. So make the adjustments to the high prices on your own operation.

C. Supplies and Equipment
I predicted rising prices—and advised buying while prices were low. My hunch was correct. A price "tsunami" is occurring. Wave on wave of increases is upon firms like Premier. Higher worldwide costs of oil, steel, copper, zinc, plastics and other raw materials are passed from source to core manufacturer to downstream manufacturer to supplier to customer. 90% of Premier's suppliers have raised prices in the last 6 months. Steel increases have occurred every 30 days.

The grim truth is that the price increases are not over. Another grim truth is that the low prices of the past 10 years are not coming back. Why?

  1. The weak US $. It's impact is still not fully felt even though the $'s decline is probably over. (The $ is not going to strengthen until the US public, as a whole, works smarter, consumes less and relies on products that last longer. We've become wasteful. The bill for our wasteful habits is now due).
  2. The high price of energy. Here also there is a lag time in years between the rise in the US cost of oil/gas/coal/electricity and its final impact on the cost of items we buy made of metal/plastic/fabric.
  3. The rising economies of China, India, Brazil, etc. Previously they could not afford "stuff". They can now. So they compete with the US for resources.

For the USA it's adapt or fall behind.

by Stan Potratz

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What's New

Now Live! - Premier's NEW Horse Fence Website

  • Exclusively horse fences
  • Enriched with diagrams, photos, "dos & don'ts"
  • Simple online ordering
  • Most items shipped free

You can still visit for all species and products.

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Special Price from Premier!

$10 off! Clippers, Shears and Packages

(Remember: FREE SHIPPING on qualified website orders)

Purchase a clipper, shear or a package (see below) and receive $10 off! This offer cannot be combined with any other claim codes or offers. However, free shipping on qualified website orders still applies.

Order soon! This promotion expires on July 15, 2008.

Premier's Shear & Clipper

Less motor "whine". Kinder to your ears. Less likely to upset animals.

High performance motor
Permanent rare-earth magnets produce more torque (power under load) and require less size and weight than the magnets in ordinary motors.

Produces less heat per unit of power. Fan forces air forward and out through the head. So the heads run 20F cooler.

Easy to hold & maneuver
Short in length. Weighs up to 15% less than others. Smaller grip. More comfort in the hand.

Unique 3 year warranty!
Covers all labor and parts for 3 years from the date of purchase. This includes shipping to and from Premier by UPS ground and a $10 reimbursement to cover the cost of freight back to Premier on any qualified machine under warranty.

Promo Codes:
For website orders: WNEWSB
(type code in the Promo Code Box at checkout).

For phone orders: NEWSB
(advise Premier's sales consultant at time of purchase).

829000 Premier 4000s Shearing Machine only $332 ($342 reg.)
829001 Premier 4000s 13T Package $359 ($369 reg.)
829002 Premier 4000s 20T Package $359 ($369 reg.)
829001 Premier 4000c Clipper only $261 ($271 reg.)
829002 Premier 4000c Clipper Package $304 ($314 reg.)

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Floor Space Requirements for Chickens

The minimum amount of floor space needed per chicken depends on several factors, including bird type, the presence of indoor roosts and the size of outdoor run.

Free-range chickens and chickens with adequate outdoor runs and indoor roosts:

  • Heavy breeds-4 sq. ft. per bird (2 sq. ft. if slaughtered before 16 weeks of age)
  • Light breeds – 3 sq. ft. per bird
  • Bantams-2 sq. ft. per bird

Confined chickens without access to outdoor runs:

  • Heavy breeds-10 sq. ft. per bird (6 sq. ft. if slaughtered before 16 weeks of age)
  • Light breeds-8 sq. ft. per bird
  • Bantams-5 sq. ft. per bird

Excerpt from Sue Weaver, Chickens (Hobby Farms Series). Item #981024 (Laguna Hills, CA: BowTie Press). Reprinted with the permission of the publisher.

New Poultry Products from Premier, visit

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Premier VIP

External Parasites (Lice, Keds and Mites)

External parasites can affect sheep at any time of year. Transmission occurs during times when sheep are held in close confinement and have long wool, e.g. winter in the Midwest. Spring or summer treatment gives us an opportunity to control external parasites as ewes are shorn and in many cases sheep have not been released to pasture. External parasites that affect sheep are classified in three general groups: lice, keds and mites.

There are many species of lice that can infect sheep. Lice species are divided into two general classifications. The group that feeds off of dead skin cells is commonly called chewing lice. The other group feeds off of body fluid and is called suckling lice. The importance of the difference is in control. Ivermectin is only effective if the species of lice feed off of body fluid. Treatment of chewing lice requires topical application of insecticides. Lice spend the majority of their life on the sheep. They can survive in the environment for only short periods of time. The ability to survive off the animal contributes to their rapid spread among penmates. Lice eggs (nits) are resistant to insecticides, therefore using a prolonged activity pour-on like Delice or Ultraboss gives a higher treatment success. If you are treating with a short-acting insecticide treatment should be repeated in one to two weeks. Sheep with wool loss should be inspected to see if there is evidence of nits. They are small (size of a pin head) and "glued" to the wool fibers. If you are unsure your Veterinarian can confirm the presence of nits by examining the affected wool under a low power microscope or magnifying glass. Adult lice are difficult to see with the naked eye but can be visualized with a magnifying glass as well.

Keds consist of only one species of insects. Many shepherds refer to keds as ticks, although technically they or not ticks as they have only 6 legs. They are actually a wingless fly. Keds spend all of their life on sheep. The male and female both remove blood from the sheep and cause itching, scratching, wool tags on fences, hide damage and poor fleece quality. Keds are only spread by direct contact. They are often seen at shearing as they are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Treatment for keds is easy. Pouring with Delice pour on after shearing is highly effective. Since the keds feed off of blood, injectable Ivermectin is also effective, but more costly. Keds are unique in that the female ked is larviparous. This means that the female ked does not lay eggs, instead the eggs and larvae mature inside the female ked and she lays pupae that then develop into adults. The pupae stage is resistant to pour-on and Ivermectin. Because most of the life cycle is sensitive to treatment one treatment will significantly drop the population. Two treatments 2 weeks apart are necessary for total eradication of keds.

Mites are different than lice or keds in that they burrow below the skin surface or in the wool follicles whereas lice and keds inhabit the surface of the skin and wool. As mites burrow they cause extensive tissue irritation causing the sheep to itch frequently. This results in a scab or crusty lesions. Affected are often wool-less areas on the head or feet. If the lesion is in a wooled area the wool will fall out and the skin will be reddened or covered with a scab. Mite infections can be confirmed by having your Veterinarian do a skin scraping of affected areas. The skin scraping is examined under a microscope and if mites are seen they can be identified to the species which may help with control. Because mites survive off of body fluids injectable Ivermectin is very effective. Repeated administration 2 weeks apart may be necessary for problem cases. Topical amitraz, available in a dip call tactic is also very effective.

Treatment for ectoparasite control (lice, keds or mites) is always more effective and easier on shorn sheep. Many producers find that immediately after shearing is labor-efficient and in the upper Midwest this coincides with the time of the year that ectoparasites are a problem. If treatment of heavy wooled sheep is necessary be sure to part the wool so that the pour-on contacts the skin.

By J. Larry Goelz, DVM, Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, Pipestone, MN 56164, (507) 825-4211

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Premier Employee Spotlight

Cheyenne Miller

Cheyenne Miller

Our photographer, our resident "ghost hunter" and a new mom at Premier. Cheyenne Miller is our featured employee. From Fairfield, Iowa, she says "photography allows me to use both sides of my brain in unison-the artistic side and the technical side. Photo work at Premier is challenging. Every photo shoot is unique. I can immediately see the results of my work." The best part of her two years at Premier "have been the people," she says. "They are very down to earth and personable. It really is like a family."

Speaking of family, Cheyenne and her husband Andy are proud parents of their first child, a daughter, Carys Elaine, born May, 11. Also sharing their house is a very fat cat-Buddy.

In her spare time she is the co-founder of a paranormal investigative group named SPOOKS. Yes, she hunts ghosts!

Cheyenne records, photographs and video tapes anything out of the ordinary. She also enjoys reading military books (honestly she does) and free-lance photography.

For whatever life throws at her, she says that "Fortune Favors the Bold." Her dad told that to her on her wedding day. She says, "so far, so true."

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Macaroni Salad


1 lb macaroni, cooked & drained
1 large green pepper, chopped
4 large carrots, shredded
1 small onion, chopped (to taste)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can condensed milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 cups mayonnaise

Mix together macaroni, green pepper, carrots, onion, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl combine condensed milk, sugar, vinegar and mayonnaise. Pour over pasta. Mix and store in a large container and chill over night.

from Sara McArtor, Premier employee

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