ASI Seeking Producers to Nominate to ALB
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking nominees for the American Lamb Board to succeed four members with terms that expire in February 2023. Nominations are needed to succeed members that include one producer with 100 or less lambs, one producer with more than 500 lambs, one feeder at-large, and one first handler.
Any American producer, feeder or first handler who owns or purchases lambs may be considered for nomination. To satisfy the requirements of the Lamb Promotion and Research Order, the producers with 100 or less lambs or the producers with more than 500 lambs can be from either of ALB’s two regions: the area east of the Mississippi River or the area west of the Mississippi River. The at-large feeder nominees must be from Region 1: the area east of the Mississippi River.
Producers, feeders, or first handler must be nominated by certified nominating organizations and submit a completed application. The American Sheep Industry Association is one such nominating organization. Applications for those interested are available on the ASI website, and must be submitted to ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick by May 15.
The Secretary of Agriculture will select individuals from the nominations submitted. The 13-member Lamb Board was established to maintain and expand the market for sheep and sheep products.
Click Here for more information and the application and agreement to serve forms.
Sheep Discovery Center Opens in Utah
Superior Farms held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday for the new Sheep Discovery Center in Nephi, Utah. The center will use a combination of technology and innovation to help producers increase domestic sheep production.
The company purchased an existing turkey facility and is retrofitting the onsite barns to house sheep for accelerated lambing. Sheep began arriving from Superior’s producer-partners at the facility in December 2021 and will continue to arrive as the facility’s capacity expands in the coming months. Sheep Discovery Center staff were in the middle of lambing approximately 700 ewes this week, but took time to celebrate the official opening of the facility with the company’s board of directors, staff, producers and other industry professionals.
“From the very beginning, we were interested as a family just because of the benefits this center can provide to the industry as far as information and data. We just had to figure out a way we could participate without having a negative effect on our operation,” said Wyoming producer Vance Broadbent, who served on Superior’s Producer Advisory Board. That board developed the original idea for the center. “So, we ended up buying four truckloads of ewes out of Colorado. Two came directly here to the Sheep Discovery Center and two went to our ranch in Wyoming.”
Superior Farms CEO Rick Stott said the facility will use technologies ranging from the company’s own Flock 54 program to electronic identification tags to specialized barn lighting to achieve its goal to “create a more consistent and sustainable lamb production model that will benefit all American lamb industry stakeholders.”
Despite the official opening, Sheep Discovery Center General Manager Jordan Atkinson said there’s still plenty of work to do in reaching full capacity at the facility.
“As far as our capacity, we’re still trying to really target that number,” he said. “We have an idea, but as we continue to build this facility out, things are changing every day. So, I can’t give you an exact number right now.”
Stott acknowledged there’s still a long way to go in his speech to invited guests.
“What you see here today is just the start,” he said. “We’re going to discover a ton. We still have so much to learn about how to produce these animals.”
Apply Now for NLFA Leadership School
The National Lamb Feeders Association is now accepting applications for this summer’s Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School, which will be conducted June 19-22 in Greeley, Colo.
The school kicks off on Sunday, June 19, with a meet and greet at the hotel in Greeley for school attendees to get acquainted before the busy week of touring and learning starts. Monday morning the school will travel to Brush, Colo., to tour the Colorado Lamb Processors facility followed by multiple feedlot tours including the Rule Feedlot in Brush as well as JJ Lamb Feedlot and Harper Livestock Lamb and Cattle Feedlot both located near Greeley. The day will end with a tour of the Eldon Mars Dairy and a lamb dinner at the Eaton County Country Club.
Tuesday will offer a classroom setting with presentations on marketing options for lambs, American Sheep Industry Association programs and plenty of time for group discussion on issues and challenges pertaining to marketing options. The school will wrap up on Wednesday morning and offer a time to ask questions to sheep industry leaders and school presenters.
The deadline to apply is next Friday, April 29.
Click Here for the application.
Survey Project Looks at Modern-Day Shepherds
University of California Cooperative Extension’s Dan Macon is collaborating with the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho, on a survey project to help identify opportunities and challenges associated with raising sheep on rangelands in the 21st Century.
“Your participation in our survey, and submission of one to three photographs that best reflect your own perspective on the role of sheep and shepherds in the modern world will help rangeland managers, ecologists and the public better understand sheep production and sheep producers,” Macon wrote in The New Foothill Rancher. “In addition, this project will connect members of an international sheep community through photovoice, a participatory method that engages knowledge holders as experts in the creative process of photography. Your stories and photos will be displayed as a scientific or popular poster and/or publication. We will acknowledge and identify photographers who submit material and information for this project.”
Source: The New Foothill Rancher
Spring Sheep Workshop Planned in Minnesota
North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota Extension are teaming up with the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers to host a Spring Sheep Workshop in Stewartville, Minn., on Saturday, April 30.
“We are thrilled to provide a day of interactive discussion of sheep production-related topics for producers,” said Travis Hoffman, NDSU and UMN Extension sheep specialist. “A wide variety of topics will assist sheep enthusiasts with their respective operations for 2022.”
The event begins with registration at 9:30 a.m. at the Stewartville American Legion, 100 2nd Ave. NW in Stewartville and will transition to afternoon farm sessions and a tour at the Daryl and Arvilla Boehm farm, 32418 750th Ave. in Racine, Minn., for an on-site interactive discussion.
“Our organization takes great pride in offering one-day workshops regionally across the state,” said Jacob Wilts, MLWP secretary. “Outreach is a key component for positively impacting regional sheep producers through education.”
Speakers include: Hoffman; Caleb Dressen, Big Gain Feeds; Isaac Brunkow, Brunkow Family Lamb; Cindy Wolf, veterinarian; and hosts Daryl and Arvilla Boehm and Erickson Family Farms.
The workshop will span production topics of lamb nutrition, antibiotic use, local meat production and lamb carcass ultrasound.
No pre-registration is required. The workshop is free for MLWP members and $10 for non-members. Please visit the MLWP website at www.mlwp.org for more information.
Source: NDSU Extension/UMN Extension
Ag Groups Seek to Preserve Tax Provisions
The American Sheep Industry Association recently joined other agriculture groups in calling on Congressional budget leaders to take a closer look at proposals in the Department of Treasury Greenbook, General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2023 Revenue Proposals that would be detrimental to family farming and ranching operations.
“Running a farm or ranch business is challenging under the best of circumstances,” read the letter to leaders of the Senate’s Committee on Finance and the House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means. “Agriculture operates in a world of uncertainty, even in the best of years – from unpredictable markets to fluctuating farm business costs, to weather disasters and disease outbreaks. While many businesses are still struggling to recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s reasonable to assert that the resiliency of American agriculture especially continues to be tested by a multitude of factors – from on-going supply chain disruptions caused by shortfalls in transportation and labor, to trade disputes, rising input prices, to record high inflation.
“Statistics from USDA’s recent Farm Sector Income Forecast are enlightening. While cash receipts from agricultural commodity sales are largely expected to increase in 2022, net farm income is still expected to decrease due to a rise in the cost of production expenses, coupled with dwindling pandemic-related disaster assistance payments. U.S. farm sector debt is projected to increase to a record $467.4 billion. Nearly 67 percent of farm debt is in the form of real estate debt, which can largely be attributed to an increase in land values across the country. The value of the farm assets that are purchased via farm debt, including farmland, animals, machinery and vehicles and crops in inventory, is projected to reach $3.31 trillion, $42.2 billion higher than 2021. As inflation and inflation-related costs push agricultural producers further away from breakeven, many are increasingly concerned with how to make ends meet for the 2022 growing season and into 2023.
“Sound federal tax policy has a tremendous impact on the viability of family-owned businesses, and now more than ever that is true for those in agriculture. To that end, as you consider future legislative initiatives in the 117th Congress, we respectfully request you reject the Greenbook’s proposals and do not alter or eliminate long-standing tax code provisions that are fundamental to the financial health of production agriculture and the businesses that supply its inputs, transport its products, market its commodities, and support the vibrancy of U.S. livestock and crop production.
“As the economic backbone of nearly every county and rural community across the U.S., the importance of American agriculture and related industries cannot be overlooked. Farmers, ranchers, and family-owned agribusiness operators are responsible for producing the safe, affordable, and abundant food, fiber, and fuel supplies Americans enjoy every day. As the stewards of nearly 900 million acres of crop and rangeland, farmers, and ranchers play an important role in terms of natural resource and land conservation. For agricultural producers, carrying on the legacy of our predecessors and setting the next generation up for success is critically important. It is with this in mind that we urge you to preserve the federal tax provisions that have long-supported American agriculture.”
- PRODUCER EDUCATION