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SSWS Plan Website Offers New Materials

The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan website continues to release new information for American sheep producers. The latest document available is the Premises Identification: What is Needed and How Is It Used? fact sheet.

National Premises Identification Number, Flock Identification Number, a Location Identifier or a scrapie premises ID – so many numbers – which one is needed for a foreign animal disease outbreak? Each identification type serves a different and important purpose, and the latest fact sheet offers a look at each type of identification and the purpose it serves.

For instance, the National Premises Identification Number is a unique national code that is permanently assigned to a single physical location. The PIN identifies the actual location of animals and can be used for tracing in the event of an animal health or food safety emergency. It is required for movement permits in an FMD or similar outbreak.

Even if you already have a scrapie premises ID, FIN or LID, you might still need a PIN. Why, you ask? PINs serve as a method of locating animals in a control area during an animal health emergency such as a foot and mouth disease outbreak. PINs – not scrapie premises IDs, LIDs or FINs – are required to request a movement permit during an FMD outbreak. A PIN is linked to the geospatial location reflecting the actual location of the animals on the premises. This includes a valid 911 address and a set of matching coordinates (latitude and longitude). PINs are an important part of traceability during an FMD outbreak, which is critical to outbreak management as well as regaining trade status for sheep and their products. If an FMD outbreak occurred in the United States and your flock was located in a control area, a PIN would be required for both the premises of origin and the premises of destination in order to request a movement permit for animals or their products.

The SSWS Plan website at – a cooperative effort of the American Sheep Industry Association and Iowa State University’s Center for Food Security and Public Health – is a valuable resource for producers. Just this year, a number of informative fact sheets have been posted on a wide range of topics, including:


ASI SheepCast: Legislation and Appropriations Highlights

With Congress returning next week from the Easter/Passover recess, the ASI SheepCast takes a look at key legislation facing the industry and the prospects ahead.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


PLC Asks Producers to Complete Surveys

The Public Lands Council – of which the American Sheep Industry Association is a member – is asking livestock producers to complete two surveys that will help the council gain important insight and perspective for use in discussions with members of Congress.

The first survey centers on sustainability and what it means to producers. This survey is designed to get long-form feedback from public lands ranchers about terminology commonly used in policy and regulatory conversations about land and resource management. Please provide as much information as possible.

Click Here to complete the survey.

The second survey covers grazing permit renewal. PLC’s grazing permit working group will be collecting stories about permit renewal stories – successful, unsuccessful and in progress. These survey results will be used in developing a permit guide for ranchers and other handy tools for permit administration.

Click Here to complete the survey.


Surge in Lamb Sales Continues into 2021

Lamb sales are surging.

While shoppers used to be wary due to its higher price tag, store sales of lamb jumped 28 percent year-over-year as of last month, according to Nielsen. Meanwhile, beef sales rose 25.6 percent and pork sales increased 20.5 percent during the same period, reported The Seattle Times (April 3).

“Lamb has had a tremendous 2020 and continues to track far ahead of prior year sales levels in 2021,” said 210 Analytics’ Anne-Marie Roerink in an interview with The Food Institute. “When the supply for beef, chicken and pork was tight … out-of-stocks drove people to experiment with other proteins, including lamb.”

Adventurous millennial eaters and home chefs have fueled a good portion of retail demand, but there’s another factor that’s been boosting lamb’s popularity in recent years – growing demand among first-generation Americans from the Middle East and southern Europe, where lamb is a staple.

Click Here to read the full story.

Source: The Food Institute


Ohio State Hiring Small Ruminants Assistant Professor

Ohio State University’s Department of Animal Sciences seeks to employ a 12-month, tenure-track faculty member at the assistant rank in small ruminant production and management to begin in the Autumn 2021 semester or when a suitable candidate is found. All application materials must be received before an application will be considered. The anticipated position split will be 80 percent extension and 20 percent research.

Applicants should possess a sound basis in fundamental science, but preference will be given to applicants with interests in small ruminants including sheep and goats. Duties include, but are not limited to, the following: developing educational materials and programs in conjunction with OSU Extension professionals for educating and training sheep and goat producers and conducting applied research on small ruminant production and management.

In addition, the position will assist with youth livestock program areas as assigned in coordination with animal sciences faculty/staff members and OSU Extension professionals who provide leadership for 4-H programs; assist faculty and staff in undergraduate student recruitment as required; assist with departmental involvement in agricultural and animal industry events; partner with extension specialists, extension educators and program assistants, and other educational organizations, agencies, and volunteers in the state and region in programmatic endeavors.

The application deadline is May 7.

Click Here for more information and refer to job opening R11846.


Coalition Calls for Congress to Reject User Fees

The American Sheep Industry Association joined half a dozen other livestock groups in calling on Congress to reject any attempts to fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Packers and Stockyards Program through user fees.

“Moving PSD to fee funding would be an inequitable shifting of the burden of the program onto the regulated community,” read the letter sent to the U.S. Senate and House ag and appropriations committees. “Beneficiaries of the PSD are the livestock and poultry industry as a whole and livestock producers and poultry growers in particular, not necessarily regulated entities (i.e., livestock market agencies, dealers, stockyards, packers, live poultry dealers and swine contractors). Many of these livestock auction markets and dealers are small, family-owned businesses that would be significantly damaged by this additional financial burden.

“The PSD ‘promotes fair business practices and competitive environments to market livestock, meat, and poultry.’ Indeed, the effect is even broader according to the PSD website: ‘PSD’s work protects consumers and members of the livestock, meat, and poultry industries.’

“Activities carried out by PSD, such as requiring payment protection mechanisms (i.e., bonds, custodial accounts) and prohibiting deceptive practices, are done for the benefit of those who conduct business with the regulated entities, many of whom are not subject to PSD jurisdiction. As such, the cost of the program should continue to fall on the broader beneficiaries through appropriations.

“Additionally, a user fee would encourage the PSD to expand activities for which it could collect user fees, while providing less incentive to manage program costs, improve results, and be efficient.”

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