Sheep News In Brief

Sheep News in Brief

Legislative Support for H-2A Concerns

Congressional delegates once again demonstrated their support for the sheep industry by signing on to a letter penned by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) to the leadership of the Department of Labor regarding opposition to the temporary agricultural employment of H-2A workers in herding or production of livestock on the open range in the United States.

The letter requests that the DOL significantly revise the proposed rule that was issued in April regarding the H-2A “special procedures” program for sheepherding, goat herding and open range livestock. Not only have sheep ranching families used this crucially important program to produce agricultural products, they also help the U.S. government manage more that 250 million acres of public land.

Senators joining Lummis on the letter were Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Steve Daines (Mont.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Dean Heller (Nev.) and James Risch (Idaho). Signators from the House included Reps. Mark Amodei (Nev.), Rob Bishop (Utah), Kenneth Buck (Colo.), Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Mike Coffman (Colo.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), John Garamendi (Calif.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Andy Harris (Md.), Raul Labrador, (Idaho), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), Doug Lamborn (Colo.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Cathy McMorris Rogers (Wash.), Daniel Newhouse (Wash.), Kristi Noem (S.D.), Devin Nunes (Calif.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Mike Simpson (Idaho), Adrian Smith (Neb.), Chris Stewart (Utah), Scott Tipton (Colo.), David Valadao (Calif.), Greg Walden (Ore.) and Ryan Zinke (Mont.).

The letter in its entirety is available in the Legislative Center at

Western Range Association Relocates to Idaho

Western Range Association hired a new executive director and will move its office from Salt Lake City to Twin Falls, Idaho. The changes were announced at a WRA membership meeting in June. The new director, Greg Heidemann, joined Western Range at the end of April, and has been focused on responding to the Department of Labor’s proposed rules affecting H-2A visas for livestock herders.

One of Heidemann’s recent responsibilities was to evaluate the location of the Western Range office. He said they considered many factors, and the board determined they could best serve their members by relocating the office to Twin Falls. The new office is expected to be fully functional and staffed by Oct. 1. – Utah Wool Grower

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