Round 4 -- Funded Projects, 2016

AWARDED TO:
Optimal Ag Consulting, Inc.


SCOPE:
Nationwide


SUMMARY:
Since the fall of 2012, we have offered a total of 19 webinars in cooperation with the American Sheep Industry (ASI) Association and the Let’s Grow Committee. The presently proposed project will fund four additional educational webinars for sheep producers and aspiring sheep producers during 2017. As a result of this project, we expect over 400 sheep producers across the U.S. will benefit from attending live educational webinars on timely and important topics that can help them be successful in today’s challenging world. In addition, recordings of the webinars are expected to provide over 4,000 more participants access to these educational events by the end of the project.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

Webinars from all funding cycles can be accessed through the Resouces tab of the Let's Grow Website. Educational Webinars.

April 25, 2017
Meat Quality
Dr. Travis Hoffman
Registrants: 485 / Attendees: 217
Recording of Event: Lamb Meat Quality
Copy of Slides: PowerPoint Presentation

March 14, 2017
Is Sheep Milk Production in Your Future?
Dr. David L. Thomas
Registrants: 302 / Attendees: 135
Recording of Event: Sheep Milk Production
Copy of Slides: PowerPoint Presentation

AWARDED TO:
ASI's Young Sheep Entrepreneur Committee


SCOPE:
Nationwide


SUMMARY:
Members of the ASI Young Sheep Entrepreneur group requested that the leadership present a session on the probability of increasing production without increasing numbers while decreasing production costs, making them more able to compete with foreign products. Our plan is to expose the young entrepreneurs to examples of possibilities to achieve this goal during the 2017 ASI Convention and then take them to existing operations to experience firsthand some of the options they can utilize in their own operations. Since some operations have maintained very traditional set-in-stone practices that have been handed down from previous generations and have not accepted the changes facing the industry today, we hope this proposal would provide assistance to help young producers evaluate options available to them and succeed in their industry and achieve their goals in their future.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
California Wool Growers Association


SCOPE:
California


SUMMARY:
This project will develop four interactive/hands-on producer and industry stakeholder workshops that focus on applying advanced and current management practices that, when combined with California’s lamb production system and resources, will help mitigate the inconsistent U.S. seasonal supply (and subsequent lamb quality) issues resulting in a more steady supply of quality lambs throughout the year. Innovative practices that will be presented include aseasonal lambing systems, improving ewe productivity through genetic selection, adopting best management practices (such as electronic identification), utilizing ultrasound technology to pregnancy check ewes or employing teaser rams to increase ewe efficiency, and adopting specialized feeding programs designed to shorten or extend marketing periods based on market supply and demand conditions. If California producers are successful in implementing these practices to better manage quality lamb supplies, it will help California producer profitability and sustainability and provide other regions of the U.S. with a production model that can be adopted and adapted, depending on production and market factors, to further advance the industry’s efforts in mitigating the domestic seasonal lamb supply issues.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
Fine Wool Consortium


SCOPE:
Nationwide


SUMMARY:
The Fine Wool Consortium has identified the need to both strengthen the NSIP database with genetic linkages among breeders and to develop an NSIP index that is more specific to the goals/needs of US wool producers, ultimately resulting in a more rapid genetic advancement for US wool breeders. The consortium looks to build upon its initial focus of increasing NSIP membership and data submission for Rambouillet, Merino, and other fine wool breeds by better utilizing the resulting dataset.

The Fine Wool NSIP Data Genetic Linkage Project is currently underway in Dillon, MT and is primarily funded and supported by the individual members of the consortium. We, as a consortium are requesting funding from the Let’s Grow Committee for funding to initiate a US Wool NSIP Index Development Project, which will allow better use of the existing EBV data within Lambplan.

Fine wool breeders supply genetics to a sizable percentage of US sheep flocks. We see the results of this effort adding value to seedstock producers and their customers that take pride in producing not only clean, fine wool fiber, but also offering replacement fine-wool ewe lambs, ewes, and rams to the marketplace throughout the US. These projects will be focused on adding value to all wool producers in the US and not just the diverse group of producers in the Fine Wool Consortium.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:
January 2017 Update
View the presentation provided during the 2017 ASI Convention at: Fine Wool Consortium

AWARDED TO:
Iowa Sheep Industry Association


SCOPE:
Iowa


SUMMARY:
The Midwest Commercial Sheep Production Workshops addresses the profitable management of sheep production in the Upper Midwest via three main points of emphasis: accelerated lambing; determining market readiness of lambs; integrating sheep production with row crop production. The goal of these workshops is to use this as a building block to develop a core group of commercial sheep producers in the Upper Midwest to continue sustainable growth of the sheep and wool industry. We believe that the early adoption of new production systems and technologies is vital to the growth of the sheep industry as a whole, but especially the Upper Midwest. value to all wool producers in the US and not just the diverse group of producers in the Fine Wool Consortium.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP)


SCOPE:
Nationwide


SUMMARY:
In order to engage the commercial producers, feeders and packers in the U.S. sheep industry, NSIP will develop a new certification program for marketing genetics and demonstrating the value of quantitative genetic selection throughout the industry. Ample evidence has been presented demonstrating the value of using Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) in genetic selection decisions. However, thus far, there has only been limited buy-in to utilizing this valuable technology from the feeding and packing sectors of the industry. This program will use that information to educate those sectors and develop a certification program for genetics that will support confidence in purchasing of feeder and market animals. the Upper Midwest. value to all wool producers in the US and not just the diverse group of producers in the Fine Wool Consortium.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
Leading Edge Sheep Producers


SCOPE:
Nationwide


SUMMARY:
This field study will identify which traits of terminal sires have the most impact on productivity and profitability and demonstrate the value of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) in the selection process. NSIP Suffolk rams selected for growth will be evaluated against rams selected for muscle, rams selected for both and industry rams without EBVs from NSIP to determine which has the largest impact on profitability in a commercial range setting, in the feedlot and at the packer. These results will be used to demonstrate the value of EBVs and encourage the use of the technology to the commercial, feeder and packer sectors of the U.S. sheep industry.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
Montana State University – Department of Animal and Ranges Sciences


SCOPE:
Nationwide


SUMMARY:
In 2011 the USDA reported that mastitis was responsible for 21% of all ewes culled, the fifth most common reason for culling. Increased culling rates decrease profit in a sheep operation by spreading the fixed cost of rearing ewes to reproductive age over fewer years of productive life and through decreased income by retaining more ewe lambs as replacements rather than selling them as market lambs or breeding stock. The research proposed herein will help determine the prevalence, financial impact, and economical treatment of mastitis in Western sheep flocks.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
New Horizon Lamb Corporation


SCOPE:
Nationwide


SUMMARY:
Induced multiple ovulations, large offspring populations, and shortening generation intervals to expedite preferred genetic traits for genetic advancement for the Sheep Industry. By learning, implementing, and perfecting proven advanced reproduction technologies, two month old females with superior genetic qualities can be synchronized to capture their oocytes (eggs), fertilized them InVitro, and implant into aged commercial ewes to carry the multiple pregnancies for the prepuberal donor. This can allow for mass genetic infiltration of desired genetic traits or genomes from an animal before it obtains natural puberty.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
RightRisk, LLC


SCOPE:
Nationwide


SUMMARY:
This project will develop and offer two 2-week online modules in 2017, along with two RightRisk newsletter articles targeted toward helping sheep producers analyze their business with better financial tools. These modules will be constructed following the recommendations of the ASI/RightRisk Financial Needs Assessment Survey (2016) on the foundation of the 2016 module Foundations for Better Business Management. One module will focus on organizing financial information for the purpose of assessing the financial health of the business. The second module will focus on evaluating the financial health and financial performance of the business. As a result of this project, sheep producers throughout the country will be better equipped to use business tools to make decisions, communicate with lending officers, and implement good business management practices.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
Oregon Sheep Growers Association


SCOPE:
Oregon, Western Washington and Northern California


SUMMARY:
A lack of trained, quality shearers is inhibiting growth of current flocks and the starting of new flocks in Oregon. Oregon Sheep Growers Association is requesting funds to purchase a shearing trailer, upgrade it and donated shearing equipment to provide a mobile shearing school for the state of Oregon, Western Washington and Northern California.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
Sheep and Goat Producers of Arkansas


SCOPE:
South Central United States


SUMMARY:
The goal of this program is to further increase and improve the sheep industry in the South Central United States. This will be achieved by providing an educational forum for producers, focusing on how they can successfully raise and market their sheep. The mission of this educational program is to support, promote and ensure that the U.S. sheep industry has a future through the development of innovations, profit and growth, which will further enhance lamb production.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:
June 9-10, 2017
Let's Grow the Sheep Industry in the South Central United States - Hope Arkansas Fairgrounds

AWARDED TO:
Texas Sheep and Goat Expo Committee - Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service


SCOPE:
Texas


SUMMARY:
The Sheep and Goat Expo is a unique event that focuses on the educational needs of sheep and goat producers. The first expo was conducted in 2015 and has been very successful the past two years in educating sheep producers on management strategies and new technology that address productivity and profitability. To build on the success of this venture, funding from 'Let's Grow' will be used to bring in presentations from across the US to offer new ideas and techniques that can be used for program resources and facility cost. Program resources will include speakers to address targeted management strategies along with new technologies. Educational publications and materials will also be needed to support presentations. Presentations on 'out of season lambing', use of quantitative genetics, wool marketing initiatives, and integrated management systems aimed at maximizing lamb production will encourage and motivate Texas wool sheep producers to adopt practices that will improve productivity, profitability, and increase breeding sheep inventory in the short term and into the future.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT:

AWARDED TO:
Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association - TROT Committee


SCOPE:
Texas


SUMMARY:
This project is to expose a group of next generation Texas sheep ranchers to: 1) ASI leadership, major lamb slaughter facilities, and Colorado lamb feeding, and 2) wool breeding sheep sales that focus on EBVs. Texas is a major sheep producing state in the nation; however, Texas has only a couple of commercial lamb feeders, no major lamb slaughter facilities, and very few seedstock sheep breeders using NSIP to market wool sheep with EBVs. Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association has a new committee called Texas Ranchers of Tomorrow that is for commercial sheep and goat ranchers under 40 to network and learn from one another. We feel strongly that this group would benefit greatly with exposure to where and how traditional lambs are fed and harvested. Plus, this group of young ranchers will benefit by seeing how EBVs have had an impact on the Western sheep industry and how to bring this technology and genetic gains to Texas.


STATUS:
In Process.


PROGRESS REPORT: