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ity is that these self-imposed restrictions limit our untapped capacity. Jim Collins’ first sentence in his book Good to Great wisely stated, “Good is the enemy of great.” We can do great things and expand our “frying pan” if we stretch beyond our comfort zone and try something new.

We expand our frying pan as we fail often, fail fast, and most importantly, fail forward. We can expand our frying pan if we learn from the failure because it causes us to stretch and grow. We can expand our frying pan by exposing ourselves to new thoughts, reading an inspirational book or meeting unique people. It is surprising how, with just a little effort, a little discomfort and a little stretching, our pan gets bigger. The employee-owners of Superior Farms are continually exploring new technologies, new markets, new products and new ways to deliver a better product, often failing and learning along the way. We then share that learning with our customers and producer partners. Thanks for your support of Ameri- can lamb and Superior Farms. If there is anything we can do to improve your lamb experience – or help expand your frying pan – please let us know. 

Rick Stott President & CEO

We put limitations on ourselves all too often, without realizing how it restricts our potential. Nick Saban, one of the most successful coaches in college football history, told this story: “I was a kid fishing in West Virginia and couldn’t catch a fish. An older boy next to me was catching everything – big, small, but throwing the big ones back. Finally, frustrated, I asked, ‘Why are you throwing the big ones back but keeping the little ones?’ He replied, ‘Because I only have a 9-inch frying pan.’” How big is your frying pan? The real-

Nick Saban, Univ. Alabama Football Coach Courtesy of Yahoo Sports


growth numbers in online sales and home delivery sales are head-turning. Walmart saw online sales increase by 41 percent in the third quarter of 2019 and anticipated 35 percent growth for the full year compared with the prior year, according to CNBC. Both Kroger and Walmart expect to see 10 percent of their total sales come from home grocery delivery sales by 2025. For its part, Amazon continues to increase the number of markets for its home grocery delivery service while mak- ing the service more accessible by reduc- ing order minimums ($25, down from $49 when the service began). Recently, the company announced that the service will be free of monthly service charges for its Prime members. We were happy to see our own lamb sales grow at a healthy 28 percent in 2019 compared with 2018 with Amazon Fresh.

We anticipate more online and home deliv- ery sales to include lamb in the future with Kroger and Walmart. Part of the challenge of the home gro- cery delivery business has been the reluc- tance on the part of consumers to trust someone else to pick out their fresh items, such as meat and produce. While shoppers are comfortable enough having someone grab paper towels or a box of Cheerios™, the fresh items have posed more of a hurdle. Convenience and strong customer service models seem to be winning the day, though, as consumers become more comfortable with someone selecting their bananas and chicken breasts. At Superior Farms, we strive to serve our customers as best we can, whether they are traditional retailers or online stores, and will work to delight our customers and the consumers they serve. 

It’s no secret that Amazon has invested heavily in its home grocery delivery ser- vice, Amazon Fresh. Since its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, the online giant has continued to push hard into the grocery space. But if you thought other retailers were going to sit idly by and watch this development, you’d be wrong. Walmart and Kroger have both made aggressive moves into online sales. Does this mean brick-and-mortar stores will soon go the way of the dodo bird? Probably not anytime soon. However, the Anders Hemphill V.P. of Marketing and Brand Strategy

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WOOD GRILLED AMERICAN LAMB & ASPARAGUS Recipe by Rustic Joyful Food | Courtesy of American Lamb Board

Servings: 4 Preparation time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS 2 lbs. boneless leg of American Lamb

1 C. plain Greek yogurt 2 cloves garlic, crushed Pinch of red chili flakes 1/2 tsp. black pepper Salt to taste

Herbed Yogurt 1 C. plain Greek-style yogurt 2 T olive oil 3 green onions 1/2 C flat leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS Prep the lamb by removing any butcher’s twine and slicing through the thickest parts of the leg to make one uniform cut. You can ask your butcher to do this for you if you’d like. The night before you plan to grill, combine lamb, yogurt, garlic, chili flakes and pepper in a gallon-sized freezer bag. We don’t salt the lamb until it’s time to grill. Marinate the lamb in the refrigerator overnight. When it’s time to grill, heat your grill/ smoker to 350°F. Place the lamb in the center rack and season with salt. Depending on the thickness of your cut, grill 7-9 minutes per side for medium. Once you flip the meat, add asparagus to the grill and cook alongside the meat while it finishes. Remove meat and asparagus at the same time. Dress asparagus with pesto and season with salt after cooking. While the lamb cooks, prepare your sauces. In the work bowl of your food processor, combine all herbed yogurt ingredients and pulse until chopped and smooth. Spoon yogurt into a dish. Give the mixer a quick rinse and prepare the pesto in the same way. Place all ingredients into the food processor, pulse several times, and taste for seasoning. These sauces can be done in advance, but they get better as time goes on. Both sauces last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. To serve, slice the lamb against the grain and serve with sauce and asparagus. 

1/2 C cilantro 1 garlic clove Salt and pepper to taste

Red Pepper Pesto 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1/2 C flat leaf parsley

1/2 C cilantro 1 garlic clove The juice of a lemon 1/3 C shredded Parmesan 1/2 C olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

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Of course, the same analysis applies for the high-performing brood stock. Lambs weighing more than 120 pounds represented 20 percent of the lambs pro- duced and could have generated an addi- tional $9,500 of revenue. Tying these lambs back to both specific ewes and rams can provide extremely valuable informa- tion to identify the right ewe lambs to keep as replacements. Perhaps even more economically sig- nificant for the com- mercial producer

small snapshot of the information gleaned from this study. But it is clear that using genetic selection tools such as Flock54 S- M and EID tag technology will provide sig- nificant advantages to producers. If you would like to read the study in full, please contact me and I will be glad to share the full report. Additionally, if you would like to implement Flock54 SM and EID tag technology in your flock, please reach out with questions. 

Lesa Eidman Director of Producer Resources and Sustainability Superior Farms was actively engaged in the “Leading Edge Genetic Selection Demonstration Project,” a study that has been widely followed in the sheep indus- try. This study used genetic testing tech- nology to identify the sire of each lamb, accurately follow the growth and efficien- cies of the lambs from birth to harvest, and demonstrate the value of using sires with known genetic characteristics. There were many findings in the study that have a significant impact to produc- tion efficiencies at the farm level. Specifi- cally, the benefits of identifying individ- ual animals with electronic identification (EID) and utilizing the Flock54 SM genetic test to verify parentage and identify genet- ic traits of the animals. Using the tag and genetic technology to identify the bottom 10 percent of the ewes producing light or no lambs will have a significant financial return to producers. So often, we rely on averages in our industry. And while the average weight of the lambs being sold sound better than last year’s, it is imperative to realize that there are significant outliers on either side of the average. As an example, with an average weaning weight of more than 100 pounds, the heaviest weaned lamb was 160 pounds, while the lightest was 54 pounds. But more than 11 percent of the lambs weighed less than 80 pounds. If these lambs had been equal to the average it would have added an additional $5,000 in profit. Tying these underperforming lambs to specific ewes and potentially underperforming rams can help producers identify which brood animals to keep and which to cull.

are the differences observed between the lambs that were twins raised as twins, a twin raised as a single or a single raised as a single, and how that impacted the pounds of marketable lamb weaned per ewe. Even though the average weight of a twin lamb raised as a twin is sig- nificantly lighter than either the single lamb or the twin raised as a single, the total pounds of marketable lamb is nearly doubled. This means that there is an economic advan- tage to selecting ewes that consistently raise and wean twins versus ewes that only wean a single lamb. It is also important to note that, despite the material difference in weight between twins and singles at weaning, the difference was much less at harvest. This is merely a

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Cynthia works in our Accounts Receivables department and has been with Superior Farms for 11 years. “My typical day involves applying cash payments, collection and short pay,” she explains. Superior Farms’ leadership position in the lamb industry and the relationships she’s built over the years across the company are just a couple of the things that make Cynthia proud to be an employee-owner. As she says, “I see the full value of every employee contribution and I feel lucky to be a part of it.” When asked to share something about herself most of us might not know, Cynthia says, “I used to ride skateboards with my cousin Steve Caballero, who is a professional skateboarder.” Roll on, Cynthia!

Cynthia Garza

Justin is a Livestock Accountant in our Sacramento office and has been with Superior Farms for nearly five years. Justin’s responsibilities include tracking our live inventory and feedlot perfor- mance, ensuring that producers are paid for their lambs and associated bills, and supply and cost projections. When asked what makes him most proud to be an employee-owner, Justin says, “Without a doubt, the commitment to innovation. Across both our prod- ucts and processes, we are always looking to do things newer, better and more efficiently.” What you may not know about Justin is that, in his free time, he enjoys partici- pating in a live-action combat game called Amtgard. This involves sword and sorcery roleplay and, as Justin explains, “I spend my weekends hitting nerds with sticks.” At home, Justin has one daughter, who is waiting to hear back on her college applications. “I just got married last year, and picked up three grown stepchildren in the bargain,” he says. As an employee-owner, Justin says he feels more aware of the company beyond his department. “I keep abreast of the industry. I pay attention to sales and operations. This is my company,” he explains, “and I want to make sure we’re doing the best we can.” Well said, Justin! 

Justin Smith

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Superior Farms 2530 River Plaza Drive, Suite 200 Sacramento, CA 95833



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