Date of Graduation
This study provides a comprehensive overview of the current lamb production and marketing environments in WV in view of current and prospective industry changes. Production and marketing inefficiencies, declining demand together with stiff competition from foreign supplies are significant challenges facing the sheep industry. A survey was developed and administered to WV sheep producers to characterize their production and marketing environment, as well as their marketing needs and concerns. Lamb sale transactions from livestock auctions markets in WV were analyzed to determine price trends and price discovery models in the WV sheep industry. The SAS (Statistical Analysis System, 1985) Kruskal-Wallis one-factor least squares analysis of variance by ranks was used to analyze the producer surveys in order to characterize the current marketing situation in WV and rank the factors affecting specific management decisions. Marketing choice models were hypothesized and tested, using binomial and multinomial logistic regression estimation techniques to discern factors contributing to production and marketing decisions by producers. Analysis of variance using the GLM procedures of SAS was used to test the effects of year, month, location and lamb market class on lamb price and lamb sales. A log seasonal exponential smoothing model was used to forecast lamb prices and sales by category, for 2002â€“2005. The empirical results suggest several production and marketing inefficiencies are present in the WV sheep industry. The need to enhance cost efficiency through improvements in scale or size of operation, choice of lambing season, reproductive management, genetics, nutrition and health were identified. Improvements were also necessary in aligning production and marketing objectives, aiding communication between producers, middlemen and consumers, and in capitalizing on price signals. Sheep producers have some control over how they produce and market their product. The interaction of production and marketing objectives and commensurate changes in production and marketing strategies can influence overall enterprise productivity and profitability. The results of this study can be used by individual producers or extension educators to develop and evaluate different production and marketing options and opportunities for sheep production in WV. The information can be used to better develop outreach and education programs tailored to meet the needs of lamb producers and the expectations of lamb consumers. This undertaking will strengthen production and marketing linkages in the WV sheep industry, help improve the potential for stabilizing markets, becoming more market driven, reversing the overall decline in sheep numbers and promoting economic stability and economic growth in the region.
Singh-Knights, Doolarie, "An analysis of West Virginia lamb marketing alternatives." (2003). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9778.