Congratulations to LaVonne Stucky for being named the 2019 Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award Recipient for the Gallatin Chamber Ag-Committee in Montana.
LaVonne Stucky was born on a farm and dairy operation in the Manhattan area and has lived in the Gallatin Valley her entire life. LaVonne and her husband Chris operate a modest sheep farm and wool processing operation on a portion of the original homestead that belonged to Chris’ family near the East Gallatin River. She laughs and wonders how her life’s path and two bum lambs lead her to become involved in the sheep and wool industry 20 years ago. She is quick to say that purchasing and operating a wool mill has been one of the most difficult and rewarding accomplishments of her life. LaVonne’s wool mill specializes in processing raw wool in small batch orders from small flock owners. The mill processes raw wool it receives from its customers into roving, batts, yarn and felt.
LaVonne is passionate about educating youth and adults about the sheep and wool industry. She feels strongly that reaching out to inform and educate those not involved in agriculture will strengthen and preserve agriculture’s presence and heritage in the Gallatin Valley.
LaVonne has been a volunteer at the Gallatin Chamber Ag Committee’s Farm Fair since its inception 15 years ago. LaVonne spends 3 days every Farm Fair teaching 4th grade students about sheep and wool at her “Ewe to You” learning station. The 4th grade students are given and opportunity to learn about lamb as a source of protein, wool as a beneficial fiber, and lanolin as a useful and consumable by-product of wool processing.
LaVonne believes in providing those interested in entering the agricultural field with an opportunity to do so. She feels that niche markets and specialty products are an opportunity area for people to enter the agricultural field. As such, LaVonne helped to create Women of the Dirt, which is a networking group for southwestern Montana farming women. The group is intended to provide support for its members as they pursue their food and fiber production endeavors.
LaVonne is quick to laugh and remark that she has a mouth and isn’t afraid to use it. LaVonne’s motivation to communicate with, and educate people about agriculture is very apparent and one of the rewards she enjoys as a person in agriculture in the Gallatin Valley.