Sheep Producers Capivated by Temple Grandin at Annual Meeting

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., Colorado State University, kicked off the festivities at of one of the largest American Sheep Industry Association conventions in the last decade in her trademark way…by mesmerizing the audience with her concrete thinking.

It is impossible for anyone - students, educators, industry leaders or politicians - to understand agriculture and the way it operates without spending time in the field. Nebulous policies and vague guidelines won't work when you're standing in the pasture trying to understand the needs of your flock. And they certainly won't help sell your product to a suspicious consumer, Grandin shared.

"I found that with some things like sustainability, it's easier to define what it's not," Grandin said. "Would you take your sheep out and just strip a pasture? We wouldn't do that now, but I've seen it done. That's obviously not sustainable."

Throughout her presentation, Grandin stressed the need to deal in tangible terms and concepts. Just as she continually urged students to get out into the fields they choose to study, she stressed the importance of producers dealing with complicated topics in real-world scenarios.

"We have to remember that every phone is a TV station," continued Grandin. "Social media magnifies the voices of the far right and far left. The only way to counter such extremes is for those in the middle to make their voices heard. Social media can provide new avenues for building credibility with consumers."

The last time the American Sheep Industry Association held its annual meeting in Denver was in 2000. "If the turnout was any indication, membership was ready to return to the Rocky Mountains. Registration numbers once again topped those of all gatherings but one since the last Denver event," stated ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick.

As the industry celebrated the release of the newly created American Wool logo recognizing the versatility of American wool, textile-industry representatives also took center-stage to share their stories about programs supporting homegrown wool, innovative products and sustainability. The messages reinforced the concept that American wool is being used for the most comfortable socks imaginable, outdoor apparel capable of standing up to the toughest conditions and is an all-natural product that can be worn next to the skin.

According to Kelly Nester, Nester Hosiery, "100 percent American. Farm to Feet is committed to the single, simple goal of creating the world's best wool sock by exclusively using an all-American recipe: U.S. materials, U.S. manufacturing and U.S. workers."

Another textile representative, John Fernsell, Twizel Goods, stated, "Our mission is nothing short of changing the way clothes are made, from the fiber to your front door. Every Twizel item must forge a path to a better tomorrow starting with sustainable materials and the best intentions."

There are global concerns surrounding the development of resistance to antibiotics important in human medicine. Use of antibiotics in human and animal health are among the factors presumed to be contributing to resistance. The Food and Drug Administration wants to help prevent the development of resistance and maintain the effectiveness of these drugs for human and animal health.

Meg Oeller, DVM, Ph.D., Office of Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Drug Development, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, discussed two efforts in this area in her presentation to the Board of Directors. "These endeavors involve increasing veterinary oversight of antibiotics that are considered 'medically important' in human medicine and removing approved label claims for use of these drugs for low-dose long-term production uses, such as to increase weight gain or feed efficiency."

To this end, at FDA's request, the drug sponsors voluntarily changed the marketing status of these particular antibiotics from over-the-counter to prescription or veterinary feed directive status. These label changes now require veterinary oversight in the therapeutic use of these products."

"This process is clear for drugs approved for use in sheep," said Oeller. "Extra-label use (using the drug in sheep when it is approved for other mammalian species) is legal for water medications, following a veterinarian's order. Extra-label use is not legal for medicated feeds. However, FDA "will not recommend or initiate enforcement action" for medicated feed use in minor species (including sheep) provided certain considerations are met. This discretion will now include VFD feeds. The producer, the veterinarian and the feed mill should consult the Compliance Policy Guide and should abide by its considerations to use these feeds."

Oeller also provided a short update on the work of the Minor Use Animal Drug Program - a USDA program known as NRSP-7 in partnership with FDA and university researchers. This program conducts research to support new animal drug approvals of needed drugs for use in minor species of agricultural importance. This program has been responsible for approvals for sheep in the past and has projects in progress.

Jim Richards, Cornerstone Government Affairs, shared political analysis of the recent general election and expected impacts on government. He reviewed the sheep industry's priorities for 2017, stressing the importance of engaging in the 2018 Farm Bill process. Some of the top-tier concerns identified are to update and reauthorize the Wool Marketing Loan, infrastructure funding, sheep pharmaceutical approval and foot and mouth disease vaccine bank. Working through Congress to strengthen wildlife services, bighorn sheep language, new positions for the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station and small ruminant funding were also identified.

It was considered another productive year for the Young Entrepreneurs program with a record number of active participants. From a hands-on wool classing session and competition to presentations on crossbreeding, social networking, generational family transition and much more, the group stayed engaged throughout.

"The sheep industry has again shown a united front with the gathering of all of the national sheep organizations under one umbrella here in Denver," said newly elected ASI President Mike Corn. "This meeting set the direction of the industry for the next year and I look forward to working with each of the volunteer leaders to accomplish these goals."

Elections to the Executive Board resulted in Mike Corn (N.M.), president; Benny Cox (Texas), vice president; Susan Shultz (Ohio), secretary/treasurer; Don Kniffen (N.J.), Region 1; Jimmy Parker (Ala.), Region 2; John Dvorak (Minn.), Region 3; Jeff Ebert (Kan.) Region 4; Bob Buchholz (Texas), Region 5; Steve Osguthorpe (Utah), Region 6; Ken Wixom (Idaho), Region 7; Reed Anderson (Ore.), Region 8 and Steve Schreier (Minn.), National Lamb Feeders.

2017 ASI Convention Presentations

VFD and Dr. Grandin videos from the 2017 ASI Annual Meeting are available on the ASI YouTube Channel at SheepUSA1 

Thursday Genetic Stakeholders, Animal Health and PERC Meetings

NSIP vs Non-NSI Sires
Reid Redden, Ph.D., Texas A&M

Genetic Trends Over Time with Breeds on NSIP
Rusty Burgett, NSIP Program Director

Scrapie Eradication Program Update
Diane Sutton, DVM, USDA/APHIS/VS

Medically Important Antimicrobials in Animal Agriculture - Sheep
Mike Murphy DVM, JD, Ph.D., DABVT, DABT; Veterinary Medical Officer, Office of the Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA

Animal Health Committee Updates
Cindy Wolf, DVM, and Jim Logan, DVM - Animal Health Committee Co-Chairs

Research Update from the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center
Brad A. Freking, Ph.D., USDA, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

National Wildlife Research Center Update
Larry Clark, Ph.D.

Livestock Protection Dog Update
Julie Young, Ph.D. and Daniel Kinka

Thursday State Executives/Contacts Meeting

Tri Lamb AUS/NZ Tour
Ryan Mahoney, 2016/17 Tri Lamb Young Leader

Let's Grow Funding and Resources
Alan Culham, Let's Grow Coordinator

Thursday Resource Management Council Meeting

Public Lands Council
Ethan Lane, PLC Executive Director

National Grazing Lands Council Sterring Committee
Ben Lehfeldt, ASI Representative to Grazing Committee

Domestic Small Ruminants & Bighorn Sheep Respiratory Disease Research
M. A. Highland, DVM, DACVP, PhDc; USDA-ARS Animal Disease Research Unit

Control of Infectious Diseases
Don Knowles, DVM, Ph.D.; USDA-ARS Animal Disease Research Unit

Thursday and Friday Wool Council Meetings

State of Objective Measurement Industry
Angus McColl, Yoco-McColl Testing Laboratories

World Wool Market, 2017
Goetz Giebel, ASI Wool Consultant

Business in China
Kitty Gu, ASI Wool Consultant

Responsible Wool Standard Update
Lisa Surber, Ph.D., ASI Wool Consultant

Agriculture Marketing Service Report
Chris Dias, AMS Market Reporter

Friday Lamb Council and American Lamb Board Meeting

Food Service Trends and American Lamb
Mary Humann, American Lamb Board

Lamb Quality / Flavor Researcj
Karissa Maneotis, Colorado State University

Livestock Mandatory Reporting
Erica Sanko and USDA/AMS

Instrument Augmented Lamb Grading Status of the Industry
Willie Horne, Ph.D., USDA/AMS

Lamb Market: Situation and Outlook
James Robb, Director, Livestock Marketing Information Center

Friday Legislative Action Council Meeting

Best Practices and Federal Overview
Jim Richards, Cornerstone Government Affairs, Washington, D.C.

Friday Let's Grow Committee Meeting

Leading Edge Sheep Producers
Tom Boyer (Utah) and Brandon Bitner (Utah)

Use of Electronic ID to Enhance Lamb Productivity & Value-Based Marketing
Reid Redden, Ph.D. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Brad Anderson, Mountain States Rosen

S.D. Post Weaning Lamb Performance Program
Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension and Jeff Held, Ph.D., SDSU Extension

Fine Wool Consortium
Ben Lehfeldt and Rusty Burgett, NSIP Program Director

Grass Based Pipestone in the Southeast
Shawn Hadley

Friday Board of Directors Informational Session

Veterinary Feed Directives for the Sheep Industry -- How Did We Get Here? And What Do We Do Now?
Meg Oeller, DVM - Director, Office of Minor Use & Minor Species, FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine
Watch the presentation video on ASI's YouTube Channel at SheepUSA1

Farm to Feet
Kelly Nester - Nester Hosiery

Twizel, Inc.
John Fernsell - Twizel, Inc.

What is a brand?
John Bellina - Brand Juice

Political Discussion, or…What the heck happened???
Jim Richards - Cornerstone Government Affairs

Tri-Lamb Young Leaders
Brad Osguthorpe – Utah
Karissa Maneotis – Colorado
Katie Olagaray – Kansas/California
Ryan Mahoney – California

Friday and Saturday ASI Young Entrepreneurs Sessions

Crossbreeding to Improve Productivity
Dave Notter, Ph.D., Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech

Social Networking and Your Flock
Emily Buck, Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Transition Planning is Optional - Well, Kinda!!!
David Specht, Family Dynamics National Development Manager

Tri-lamb Young Leaders
Brad Osguthorpe - Utah
Katie Olagaray - Kansas
Kariss Maneotis - Colorado
Ryan Mahoney - California

Saturday Board of Directors Meeting

Conducting a proof of concept for differentiating the inherent differences in flavor that exists among American lamb using volatile flavor compound analysis.
Karissa Maneotis, Colorado State University

American Sheep Industry Incident Management (ie. Emergency Response)
Linda A. Detwiler, DVM

2017 Face of Farming and Ranching
Emily Buck, Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Responsible Animal Care
Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI Director of Wool Marketing

Responsible Wool Standard
Lisa Surber, Ph.D., ASI Raw Wool Service

National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Update
Steve Lee, NSIIC Executive Director

National Lamb Feeders Association Update
Bob Harlan, NLFA President

National Livestock Producers Association Update
Scott Stuart, NLPA Executive Director

Let's Grow Committee Update
Susan Shultz, Let's Grow Chair

2016 ASI Convention Presentations

Video from the 2016 ASI Annual Meeting is available on the ASI YouTube Channel at SheepUSA1

Executive Board

GIPSA Reform Efforts and Scrapie Rule - Chelsea Good, VP Government and Industry Affairs, Livestock Marketing Association

Genetic Stakeholders Committee

Melding genomics and quantitative genetics in sheep breeding programs: Opportunities and limits -- Dr. Ron Lewis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

How NSIP Has Benefited My Sheep Operation Producer Panel
Fahrmeier Katahdins Wellington, Missouri - Lynn Fahrmeier
Bunkerhill Farm, Ohio - Bill Shultz
Hughes Newford Co. Targhees, Montana - Betty Sampsel

Animal Health Committee

VFD and What it Means to You - Dr. Tim Turner
Scrapie Program Update - Dr. Diane Sutton, USDA / APHIS / VS, Sheep and Goat Health Commodity Team Lead

Production, Education and Research Council

Research, Education and Development Priorities for the U.S. Sheep Industry - Dr. Larry Miller
Mycoplasma ovis Investigating an under - recognized sheep pathogen in the United States (Not to be confused with Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae) - Dr. Maggie Highland, USDA/ARS/ADRU, Washington State University
Productivity Best Practices: It all began with the Roadmap... - Dr. Rodney Kott

Resource Management Council

Introduction to Working Dog Liability Insurance - Burdell Johnson, Food and Fiber Risk Managers and Dave Bossman, AgWin

Wool Council

Make It With Wool Update - Mary Roediger, National MIWW Coordinator
U.S. Sheep Shearer Meeting and Tag Placement - Wade Kopren, Wool Council Vice-Chair and Shearer
The Australian Wool Market, Raw Wool Quality and Wool Prices - Chris Wilcox, Chairman, Market Intelligence Committee IWTO

Montana Wool Lab Update - Whit Stewart, Ph.D., MSU Extension Sheep Specialist
Comparison of AFD Methods -- Fibrelux v OFDA2000 - John Walker, Ph.D., Director of Research, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center
Wool Testing Grant Update - Chris Schauer, Ph.D., Director, Hettinger Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University

Sheep Shearing Trailer - Mike Schuldt, Schuldt Services – Custom Sheep Shearing
Military Wool Program Update - Mitch Driggers, ASI Wool Consultant
Territory Wools, Australian Wools and ASI Wool App - Christopher Dias, Agriculture Market Reporter, AMS/USDA

Short and Long Term Trends and Prospects for Wool - Chris Wilcox, Chairman, Market Intelligence Committee IWTO
Military Wool Update - Mitch Driggers, ASI Wool Consultant

Lamb Council

Livestock Mandatory Reporting for Lamb Update - Erika Sanko, California Wool Growers Association
National Lamb Quality Audit and SSQA Update - Karissa Maneotis, Colorado State University

Market Outlook and Costs and Returns - Dr. David Anderson, Texas A and M
Progress Report: Factors affecting sheep meat flavor - Dr. Macdonald Wick and Jerad Jaborek

Legislative Council

Livestock Theft - Captain Richard Shore, Chief Livestock Officer, Arizona Department of Agriculture

Let's Grow Committee

Opportunities and challenges for year - round lamb production - Dr. Richard Ehrhardt, Michigan State University
Progress Report on Year 1 Let's Grow Grants

Board of Director's Meeting

Lamb Industry Roadmap Update - Wes Patton, ALB Chair
National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Update - Steve Lee, Executive Director
National Livestock Producers Association Sheep and Goat Fund Update - Pierce Miller, Chair

Where to for Wool and Sheepmeat? - Chris Wilcox, Chairman, Market Intelligence Committee IWTO
Duckworth - Evan Helle, Partner

Legislative Action Council Update - Bob Leer, Chair
Production Education and Research Council Update - Susan Shultz, Chair
Let's Grow Committee Update - Mike Corn, Chair

Young Entrepreneurs

Explanation of ASI Committees, Programs and Structure - Clint Krebs, ASI Past President
The Necessity of Community - Ashley Yousling, Woolful Podcast Creator

Sheep Winter Feeding Management - Lisa Surber, Ph.D., WestFeeds Livestock Nutritionist
Duckworth - Evan Helle, Partner