June 2014

Sheep Industry Files Payette Appeal

The sheep industry on May 22 filed a Notice of Appeal of the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to reduce domestic sheep grazing in the Payette Forest. The action came after a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March denied a motion by the sheep industry to overturn the original U.S. Forest Service plan to reduce grazing in the Payette by 70 percent. ASI projections indicate that the loss of sheep grazing threatens up to 23 percent of the industry. With that in mind, ASI called for state sheep associations to join in opposition to Forest Service plans.
During a conference call meeting on May 16, the executive board of ASI moved to utilize Guard Dog funds to support the appeal by cost sharing the litigation expenses up to $75,000, with the option to re-discuss additional funding at a later date.

Lamb Board, SIC Nominations Made

ASI’s Executive Board completed a slate of nominations to the American Lamb Board (LAB) and the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (SIC). ASI is certified to nominate sheep producer directors to each board.
Nominations approved to the LAB were Joanne Nissan (Calf.), Jim Mansfield (Ky.) and Marsha Spykerman (Iowa).
Cody Hiemke (Wisc.), Laurie Hubbard (Pa.) and Larry Becker (Wisc.) were nominated for the open producer seats on the SIC board. Wes Limes and (N.D.) and Elizabeth Dressler (Colo.) were put forward for the open marketing seat.

Ebert Presents Research During IWTO

Monica Ebert, who grew up on her family’s sheep farm in St. George, Kansas, presented a poster on Texas A&M research during the Congress of International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) in Cape Town, South Africa. It was the first time IWTO held a poster session and seven of the posters were displayed in the Congress hotel lobby. On the second day of the event, Ebert and other authors presented their posters during the coffee break and answered the attendees’ questions. Ebert’s poster detailed research by her and others titled “Comparison of Texas Rambouillet with Australian Merino F1 Crosses.” Ebert, a graduate student at A&M, earned undergraduate degrees from Kansas State University.

Dorper Breeders Society Backs NSIP

After a unanimous vote by its Board of Directors, the American Dorper Sheep Breeder’s Society has pledged its support toward the National Sheep Improvement Program’s efforts to utilize data in making breeding decisions. Along with the endorsement, the ADSBS has pledged an education initiative to reach American Dorper breeders across the country.
NSIP President Reid Redden said that, unlike the cattle industry, sheep breed associations do not have the resources to produce EBVs themselves, adding, “Together we can be much more efficient at improving the genetics of the U.S. sheep flock.”
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