Sheep Industry Calls to Action  

ASI activated its Legislative Action Center (www.sheepusa.org/IssuesPrograms_LegislativeActionCenter) to help streamline the process for sheep producers to contact their congressional delegates with issues of importance to the sheep industry.  Two issues require the immediate action of the industry: 

• Prior to April 15, the Department of Labor (DOL) must issue a rule in regard to H-2A sheepherders. It is critical that producers contact congressional leaders to have them emphasize to the DOL the importance of maintaining the special procedures of the H-2A sheepherder program. 

• Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are submitting funding, program and policy requests to the appropriations subcommittees for consideration in the 2016 appropriations cycle. The sheep industry needs to press for the funding of its top priorities, which include language on bighorn sheep and federal grazing, funding for scrapie eradication and wildlife services and a continued budget for the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station.

Let’s Grow Grant Deadline is May 1  

The application deadline for funding through the Let’s Grow Committee to improve production efficiencies has been extended from April 15 to May 1. Let’s Grow was initiated by ASI to ensure that the U.S. sheep industry is sustainable for future producers of lamb and wool. 

The funds are designed to remove current barriers that have historically prevented sheep producers from adopting productivity technologies. Barriers may be financial, technical, facilitative or a combination of such. 

Funds are expected to be used to make long-term changes in sheep production that will live into the future – past the funding opportunities of this program. Funds are not intended to subsidize normal operating expenses of sheep producers or sheep producer groups. 

The application is available from the homepage of www.sheepusa.org. Questions about the program can be directed to Alan Culham, Grow Our Flock coordinator, at alan@sheepusa.org or 517-896-7378. 

Sheep Heritage Scholarship Boosted 

The 2015 Sheep Heritage Foundation Memorial Scholarship has been augmented by $1,000 this year bringing its value up to $2,500. 

The scholarship will be awarded to a graduate-level (MS or Ph.D.) student involved in sheep, lamb or wool research in areas such as animal science, agriculture economics or veterinary medicine. Applicants must complete an application, present two letters of reference and show proof of acceptance into graduate school. 

The application can be downloaded from the home page of www.sheepusa.org or can be obtained by contacting ASI at 303-771-3500 or by emailing Mary@sheepusa.org. 

The deadline for applications to be received at the ASI office is June 1 with the final selection being made in July. 
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