Young Entrepeneur Committee Announces Summer Tour

The ASI Young Entrepreneurs Committee – in conjunction with the American Lamb Board – will be holding a Summer Tour on Aug. 5-7 in northern Colorado.

Following up on the first tour in 2017, this year’s event promises to be a success aiming to provide young sheep and wool producers an open forum to network and gain a better understanding of the industry. According to Burdell Johnson, YE chairman and ASI past president, the overall goal of the tour is to give young and beginning sheep producers an opportunity to see other successful operations and find ways to innovate and add profitability.

“This tour has been tremendously successful in helping connect young producers with experienced industry leaders,” said Johnson. “The end result of the two-day tour is new ideas, new friends and increased profitability. This year, we have a tremendous opportunity in northern Colorado to see a cross section of the industry from the feeding sector to technology and genetics and much more.”

The tour will be based in Loveland, Colo., and stop at some of the most innovative feeding operations in the country, discuss artificial insemination technology and embryo transfer, view the processing sector in Greeley, Colo., and learn about wildlife research and lamb flavor in Fort Collins, Colo.

The full agenda and application are available at Space is limited to the first 20 participants to sign up and applicants must be active sheep producers between 25 and 35 years of age.

ASI Offers NSIIC, ALB Nominations to U.S. Department of Agriculture

The ASI Executive Board met by conference call on May 23 to determine a slate of candidates to nominate for openings on the boards of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center and the American Lamb Board.

Cody Hiemke (Wis.), Burton Pfliger (N.D.), Leo Tammi (Va.) and Tommy Head (Texas) were nominated for openings on the sheep center board of directors.

Gwendolyn Kitzan (S.D.), James Mansfield (Ky.), Tom Colyer (Mass.), Dave McEwen (Mont.) and Debbie Webster (S.C.) were nominated for openings with the American Lamb Board.

The ASI Executive Board also approved the release of Guard Dog funds to assist the Idaho Wool Growers Association legal defense of NEPA for the predator program of Wildlife Services, and to assist with wild sheep research through Washington State University/the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Research Unit.

The executive committee will meet in person in late July in Roswell, N.M. – home of ASI President Mike Corn.

Association REquests APHIS Use Funds to Provide Free Plastic Scrapie Tags

ASI sent a letter in late May to U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach requesting the return of free, plastic scrapie tags for American producers.

“I wanted to draw your attention to the Small Ruminate line item within the APHIS budget,” wrote ASI President Mike Corn of New Mexico. “That line item is the sole source of funding for the National Scrapie Eradication Program, a top priority for the domestic sheep industry. Scrapie has continued to cost our industry more than $20 million per year, and while we are close to our goal of being scrapie free, we must remain diligent in our commitment to the program. A critical component of that program is identifying and ear tagging sheep and goats. Citing funding issues, APHIS decided in the last year to halt provision of plastic tags to producers at no charge.

“For the sheep and goat industries, plastic tags are much preferred, which results in greater overall compliance,” Corn continued. “Metal ear tags if caught in comb and cutter of a shearing clipper, pose a tremendous danger to both the shearer and the sheep. The industry has continued to disseminate educational materials to sheep producers nationwide on these dangers and best practices through the nationally recognized Sheep Care Guide, but the solution is to offer the tags in both a metal and plastic option, or solely plastic.”

Congress appropriated an additional $500,000 for the small ruminant line item in Fiscal Year 2019, and ASI is requesting those funds be used to once again make plastic tags available to producers.

Deadline to Enter 2018 Photo Contest is Set for Aug. 15

As mentioned in the June issue of the Sheep Industry News, the deadline to enter the 2018 ASI Photo Contest is Aug. 15.
Rules and prizes for the 2018 contest haven’t changed. Photographs entered in the contest will be judged on clarity, content, composition and appeal.

More than $1,000 will be awarded, with awards of $125 going to the first-place photographer in each of the five categories listed below; $75 for the runner-up in each category; and a $50 prize for third place in each of the five categories.

The categories include action, scenic (east), scenic (west), fine wool and open. Entries should be emailed to Sheep Industry News Editor Kyle Partain at with the subject line of ASI Photo Contest. Those mailing photos should send them to ASI; Attn: Photo Contest; 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360; Englewood, CO 80112.

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