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12-06-13 *ASI News* MACKENZIE, WHOSE WOOL CAREER SPANS CONTINENTS, TO RECEIVE WOOL AWARD…

Posted by Brian Allmer on December 6, 2013

ASI Sheep Logo 1DENVER, Colo. – John W. Mackenzie (S.C.), whose career in the wool industry encompasses multiple regions across the United States as well as many foreign countries, will receive the esteemed American Wool Council Wool Excellence Award during the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Annual Convention taking place in Charleston, S.C., Jan. 22-25, 2014.

Mackenzie, along with fellow wool industry veteran Doug Lunsford, will be honored during the Wool Recognition lunch on Thursday, Jan. 23.

Mackenzie, born and raised in South America was introduced to the sheep business early in life as his father managed a sheep station with 55,000 sheep where it took 40 days just to shear.

“Although my main preference, as a young man, would have been to become an airline pilot, I chose to go into the wool business so as not to worry my dear mother,” said Mackenzie.

Starting out as a trainee for Hart SAC in Buenos Aires, Mackenzie assimilated his knowledge of wool by traveling to other parts of the world like Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Belgium, England and the Falkland Islands. In 1947, Hart was Argentina’s main wool exporter and remained so for at least 20 years. After leaving Hart, Mackenzie worked as a wool agent and buyer for a variety of wool companies in South Argentina where he owned a small sheep ranch, was shareholder in a well-drilling operation and earned his pilot license.

“Immigrating to the United States as a 48-year-old man in 1987 with my wife and three children was challenging, yet also opened up other opportunities,” confided Mackenzie.

Upon arriving in the United States, Mackenzie spent 10 years as a wool buyer in Montana for Prouvost Lefebvre & Co. (now Chargeurs Wool USA). He appreciated working and reconnecting with wool growers as a buyer of wool pools in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and South Dakota. A company restructure perpetuated Mackenzie’s acceptance of an offer to manage Cal-Wool Marketing Association in California.

“The wool business changed in a big way while I was with Cal-Wool,” continued Mackenzie. “We moved from selling all of our wool on the domestic market to selling both domestically and internationally.”

Mackenzie retired from Cal-Wool in 2008 in conjunction with the board of directors’ decision to close down the warehouse. Mackenzie now resides in Easley, S.C., with his wife where he still enjoys flying.

Associates will be given an opportunity to recognize him for his service to the industry during this event. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be purchased in conjunction with a convention registration.

“We encourage everyone who knows and has been fortunate to work with John to join the Wool Council in celebrating his life-long contribution to the wool industry,” adds Dan Gutzman, chairman of the U.S. Wool Roundtable.

“The Wool Roundtable chose well when they selected Mackenzie as the recipient of the Wool Award this year. It takes key individuals with hard work and integrity to build a successful industry and John definitely stands out in the crowd as being well deserving of this award,” says Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI’s wool marketing director.

ASI is a national trade organization supported by 46 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 81,000 sheep producers.

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LONG-TIME BUYER DOUG LUNSFORD TO RECEIVE WOOL AWARD

DENVER, Colo. – Doug Lunsford, who filled various roles during his more than 30 years in the wool industry, will receive the esteemed American Wool Council Wool Excellence Award during the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Annual Convention taking place in Charleston, S.C., Jan. 22-25, 2014.

Lunsford, along with fellow wool industry veteran John Mackenzie, will be honored during the Wool Recognition lunch on Thursday, Jan. 23.

According to Lunsford, his long career in wool began somewhat by accident when he went to work for Burlington Industries as a teenager in 1966. He worked for about a year in manufacturing, then went back to school to earn a two-year business degree.

“Then, in 1969, I went back to Burlington and worked at a few different jobs, including yarn making and in the wool warehouse and sorting areas.”

In 1976, Lunsford was pulled into the Wool Division of Burlington full-time and a year later found himself in Buffalo, Wyo., where he became a buyer, working directly with growers in western states. By 1988, Lunsford was buying wool for Burlington at warehouses in the central and western United States, eventually being named Manager of Wool Buying in 1990.

“I was buying, but I was also making projections and determining what we needed to buy here in the United States and from around the world,” said Lunsford. “I spent a lot of time traveling during that period, but I made some tremendous friends in the industry and I’ve always treasured that.”

Lunsford also has fond memories of his time working directly with the growers.

“It kept me away from home a lot, but the growers always made me feel at home,” he said. “To be honest, I enjoyed all of my experiences.”

Burlington and its Wool Division closed in 2000. During the Jan. 23 luncheon, associates will be given an opportunity to recognize Lunsford for his service to the industry during this event. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be purchased in conjunction with a convention registration.

“We encourage everyone who knows and has been fortunate to work with Doug to join the Wool Council in celebrating his life-long contribution to the wool industry,” adds Dan Gutzman, chairman of the U.S. Wool Roundtable.

“The Wool Roundtable chose well when they selected Lunsford as the recipient of the Wool Award this year. It takes key individuals with hard work and integrity to build a successful industry and Doug definitely stands out in the crowd as being well deserving of this award,” says Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI’s wool marketing director.

ASI is a national trade organization supported by 46 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 81,000 sheep producers.

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