Message from the Owner

Stan & Jean Potratz, Owners

An Example of the Impact of a Change in Agric. Subsidies

Whether you love them or hate them, govt. subsidies are a force in our lives-though their power over us is often overlooked or minimized. I was reminded again of their influence during a recent trip to England and Wales...

For decades British sheep and beef cattle farmers have been paid a substantial govt. subsidy (often equaling a third of their annual income). Until this year the basis for the subsidy, in general terms, was the number of cattle or sheep raised. Therefore, the more animals you owned the larger your subsidy check would be.

A similar system and set of incentives existed for crops and dairy animals. The result of these incentives, played out over decades, was a very intensive farming system for the UK.

British sheep farmers responded to these "carrots and sticks" by investing heavily and consistently in improved pastures (fertilizers, grass varieties), efficient barns and modern handling facilities. Ewe sizes were kept low to keep more sheep per farm. High stocking rates were the norm.

Why? Because it enabled keeping more sheep per farm-and thereby qualified them for a larger subsidy check/cheque.

That system, with all it costs and benefits, is now history. The UK farm subsidy is substantial still. But the new basis is very different.
From 2006 onwards farm owners and tenants (not the same as a renter) are paid a fixed amount of govt. subsidy per acre/hectare... proportionate to its historical productivity. The only requirement of the subsidy is to keep the land "in good heart".

How to change their farming practices to best respond to the totally new incentives is the prime subject of current discussion among UK farmers.

Sheep farmers there are now looking at much less intensive production systems involving easy-care sheep breeds (and composite breeds), reduced stocking rates, and, if the market will reward them for it, moving to slightly larger body sizes for ewes and rams.
The full impact of the change in subsidy basis will take many years to express itself on both UK's farmers and its agribusinesses.

Best wishes to all,
Stan Potratz

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General Premier Comments

Industry News & Comments

  1. Lamb prices in the USA are still high enough to encourage people to enlarge their breeding flocks where ever possible.

    And ever-more meat goat herds are established across the country. This surprises me as keeping meat goats successfully requires fences and equipment specific to the species. There is also a serious learning curve. But that's probably a good thing, over the long term, as these factors will limit the number of people raising meat goats 5 years from now-and ensure that prices will remain higher than they otherwise might.

    Nonetheless, I expect the economic forces to stay in place that will allow sheep and goat to remain high. Cattle are on a different cycle.

  2. For those interested, the USDA is considering changing the rules to allow the importation of sheep semen from countries with scrapie. That means we may soon have access to European sheep semen (if the change becomes law).

    What do "Euro" sheep  offer? Terminal sires with superior muscling. Fine wool sheep adapted to intensive production systems.

  3. Premier is considering sponsoring a 1 week coach trip for 40 US sheep producers to the UK in early June of 2007. The tour would visit a major sheep industry event (on a commercial farm in northern England with over 1000 ewes); upland and lowland sheep farms; an auction market; purebred stud sheep farms and the famous cities of Edinburgh, York and London. If you're interested in learning more, contact Premier privately. If enough are interested, we will make it happen.

by Stan Potratz

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From Premier...

Premier's fall 2007 "Equipment that Works" catalog (2006 catalog shown above) is coming soon! It should be in the mail to you by the end of October. It features ear tags, management tools, clippers and shearers, plus many reference guides and books. Below we have listed a few of our improved and new products for 2007.

Improved products for 2007:

  1. Lamb 'n' Kid Feeding Bottle
    The improved design will have markings for each ft. oz. and every 50 ml.
  2. Ring Expander
    It will be made of stainless steel. This will more than double the life.
  3. Creep Feeder Gate
    Same design, but will be galvanized instead of painted. This will more than double the life.
  4. Trimming Stand
    Same design, but will be galvanized instead of painted. This will more than double the life.
  5. Medi-Boots
    Redesigned and will offer a reusable and a disposable style. Both boots will have a more accurate fit to the leg and hoof structure of a small ruminant.
  6. Restraint Cuffs
    Now offering three sizes: small, medium and large.
  7. Big Bale Feeders
    Modified hole design is larger, Has ber welds. Upgraded to 9 gauge wire (was 11 gauge). 

New products for 2007:

  1. Goat Health and Welfare Book
    This 175 pp. hard-back book contains detailed pictures and text on a variety of goat diseases. Written by David Harwood.
  2. Storey's Barn Guide to Sheep Book
    Step-by-step visuals for getting acquainted, basic care, feeding, lambing, wool production and record keeping.
  3. Lamb/Kid Covers
    Washable and resuable cloth lamb cover provides newborn lambs protection & warmth.
  4. Wire mesh panels for goats
    Panels will have 3/8" support rods around the frame along with two horizontal support rods internally. The remainder of the mesh will be made with 3/16" rods. Panels will have a  3" x 3" opening. 48" tall; lengths will be 48", 72" & 96".
  5. Heiniger Camelid Comb
    A specialized comb designed for shearing llamas, alpacas, vincunas, guanacos and camels. Will leave 6 to 10 mm of fiber. The twin beveled 13-tooth comb is 77 mm wide and 3.65 mm thick.
  6. Comb Lifter
    Shearing machine attachment that lifts the cutting level of the unit leaving approximately 1" of fiber. Fits any standard 3" shearing machine using standard combs.
  7. Gorilla Tape
    "The Toughest Tape on Planet Earth!" The gorilla tape trademark is so accurate that we could not resist the opportunity to offer the best "duct" tape on the market.
  8. Hoof Rasp
    The S-shaped hoof tool has two filing levels (coarse and fine).
  9. Electronic Drencher
    One touch trigger administers the exact dosage with precision. Electronic display shows the number of dosages and the total volume (ml) of product. Individual animal dosages can be changed incrementally.
  10. Megaflow and Rojo float valves by Jobe
    Versatile float valves that can be mounted from the side or bottom of a water tank. The Rojo can also be mounted on the top.
  11. Hudson Float valve
    An alternative float valve option. This valve is a top mounted unit only.
  12. Heated Pet Bowl
    Heated bowl for pets. Holds 1.5 gallons of water. Chew resistant cord. Automatic shutoff.
  13. Heated Bucket
    Available in 2 and 5 gallon sizes. Automatic shutoff. Chew resistant cord.
  14. Floating Tank De-Icer
    Floats on the surface of a water tank to prevent freezing. Automatic shutoff. 3 year warranty.
  15. Submergible De-Icer
    Powerful de-icer that is simply placed in a water tank to prevent freezing. Automatic shutoff. 3 year warranty.

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Special Prices from Premier!

Save $10
when buying 2 rolls of PoultryNet 42

Free Shipping!

When ordering 2 or more rolls of net
on our website.
(Not available by phone.)
Visit our website for details.

PoultryNet 42 (#201800) is a prefabricated roll of netting which is 42" x 164'. It has white vertical plastic strings which are "welded" to black and white electro-plastic horizontal strings and supported by white plastic posts-which are built into and spaced throughout the netting.

The close spacing of the verticals (every 3 in.) and lower energized horizontal strands (every 2 in.) of our nets combines a physical and pain barrier to birds and predators. Arrives at your door as a complete 164 ft. roll. Works well with our 20B energizer.

To get your special price when ordering: Use Code: News 20
If ordering from our website: Enter News 20 in the "Catalog Source Code" box on the "Checkout-Confirm & Submit" screen. The discounted price will not show when you purchase the above item, however, we will adjust the price when we receive your order. Offer good through Sept. 30, 2006.

When buying 2 rolls of PoultryNet 42 (#201800) - Reg. $152 ea. Sale  $147 ea.


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Premier Tip

A Basic Guide for Deworming Horses

  1. Treat all horses grazing together at the same time with the same product.
  2. Medicated feed must be completely eaten within 12 hours or removed.
  3. Ensure that your horse gets the correct dose for his/her weight. Do not under-dose as this can lead to resistance in the worm population.
  4. Take into account the horse's age, type, local environment and climate.
  5. Keep a record of when you worm and what product was used.
  6. Treat horses that are at grass during the winter, even if only for short periods.
  7. Do not overstock the paddocks.
  8. Worm horses 48 hours before moving to a new paddock.
  9. Always ask your vet for specific advice.
  10. No single worming drug will kill all the horse's internal parasites.
  11. Do not administer drugs more frequently than recommended.
  12. The key to worm control is to break the life cycle of the worm with dewormers and pasture management.
  13. Feed horses adequately and never off the stable floor.

See Premier's Horse Fences.

by Premier's Sales Consultant, Mandy Farrier

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Premier Employee Spotlight

Mandy Farrier

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere, author unknown. This is Mandy's favorite statement and she's this month's featured employee.

Mandy, who specializes in horses, has been with Premier for 2 years as a sales consultant and helps take care of the horses here at Premier.

When we asked Mandy what she likes best about her position, she says, "I am able to go outside and work with the horses plus do a variety of other things inside. It makes the day go quickly if I am learning how to do something new. "What she likes best about Premier, "is that everyone is willing to help each other and pitch in with other jobs if necessary. The family atmosphere is also great."

Mandy's family includes her boyfriend Matt of 5 years, her own quarter horses Dilly, Crickett and Mister, 2 cats Jocie and Tango and a fainting goat Damien. She says that of all the animals double as children in her life, Matt too!

Her hobbies of course include horseback riding, she can play a mean game of volleyball, she likes to read and has been a 4-H Leader for 7 years. She also enjoys cooking, canning and gardening plus she has been a Pampered Chef consultant for almost 4 years. (The staff at Premier really enjoys it when she tries out new recipes for us.)

Mandy and Matt just purchased a house and 20 acres. Congratulations, now is the time for "sweat equity".

We are glad that Mandy is part of our team.

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Heavenly Layer Bars

1 stick margarine
1 pkg. graham crackers
1 12 oz. chocolate chips
1 6 oz. butterscotch chips
1/2 c. pecan/walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Melt 1 stick margarine and mix w/ one package crushed graham crackers. Press onto baking sheet.

Spread over top 1 bag 12 oz. chocolate chips, 1 bag 6 oz. butterscotch chips, chopped nuts (optional) I usually use pecans, but walnuts are also good. Spread over the top 1 can sweetened condensed milk.

Bake at 350 for appox. 27 min.

This is a recipe from Mandy's Grandma Farrier that she made for her grandkids when they went to visit her. Thanks Mandy!

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