Sheep News In Brief

Sheep News In Brief

Sheep Improvement Center Nominations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program is requesting nominations to the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center’s (NSIIC) board of directors. As a certified nominating organization, the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) will accept nominations until Monday, June 15.

With the recent death of long-time producer-member Clark Willis (Utah), the 2016 board now has three vacancies to fill. Other members whose appointments will expire are Janet Mawhinney (Penn.), representing producers, and Glen Fisher (Texas), representing expertise in finance and management. Mawhinney and Fisher are eligible to be re-nominated to their current position. USDA requires a minimum of two nominees for each vacancy. The diversity of nominees is a very important consideration in board appointments.

The ASI executive board will meet via a conference call at the end of June to select nominees; therefore, anyone interested in having their name put forward as a NSIIC board member should contact Peter Orwick at or 303-771-3500 before June 15.

USDA Agrees to Purchase U.S. Lamb

The American Sheep Industry Association commended the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) that up to $10 million has been committed to purchase lamb for the nation’s food banks, ASI President Burton Pfliger (N.D.) said.

ASI requested a Section 32 lamb purchase for sheep producers in an effort to strengthen a market that has faltered all winter. Huge volumes of imported lamb, record levels of inventory in the coolers and a major swing in currency-exchange rates to the advantage of the importer have all pressured American lamb movement and price.

“Lackluster market-lamb prices and the inability to stay current with fed-lambs has plagued the market since late 2014 so the Section 32 assistance from AMS is very welcome,” concluded Pfliger. According to AMS, the Invitation for Bid will be issued in the near future.

Big Response to Let’s Grow Grants

On a budget of approximately $325,000, ASI’s Let’s Grow Committee received requests for 43 grants totaling more than $1.4 million.

“There is great industry awareness of the importance of growing the industry as is evident by the number of grant requests received,” said Mike Corn, chair of the Let’s Grow Committee. “The committee received applications from all areas of the country representing a variety of thoughts on how to accomplish industry growth.”

The Let’s Grow Committee met May 11-12 in Denver to discuss and come to a consensus on which grants to sponsor in this round of funding.

Watch for the complete list of funded grants, which will appear in the July issue of the Sheep Industry News.

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