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Jan. 6 is the Deadline for Early ASI Convention Registration

Now that the holiday season is behind us, it’s time for America’s sheep and wool producers to turn their attention to the 155th ASI Annual Convention – Jan. 22-25 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Reverence for the Past, Innovation for the Future is the theme of this year’s convention at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, and Monday, Jan. 6, is the final day to sign up at early registration rates. After Monday, registration rates increase significantly.

Producers won’t want to miss the Opening Session on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. as ASI brings together a panel of industry innovators on both the lamb and wool sides of the industry to discuss the ways in which they’ve worked to push the industry into the new decade. U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Mindy Brashears will be on hand for the Board of Directors Informational Session on Friday afternoon.

Attendees will also want to make plans to attend the Industry Awards Luncheon (included in convention registration) on Friday, Jan. 24, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Honorees this year include:

  • McClure Silver Ram Award: Frank Moore of Wyoming
  • Distinguished Producer Award: Bill Sparrow of North Carolina
  • Industry Innovation Award: Reed Anderson of Oregon
  • Camptender Award: Mike Caskey of Minnesota
  • Shepherd’s Voice (Broadcast) Award: Lane Nordlund of Montana
  • Shepherd’s Voice (Print): Susan Crowell of Ohio

The Wool Excellence Award will be presented at a special luncheon (additional ticket required) on Thursday, Jan. 23, and will honor Joe and Aggie Helle of Montana.

This year’s industry tour will include a visit to Rovey Dairy in Glendale, Ariz. Additional tours spotlight the Desert Botanical Garden and Butterfly Wonderland.

Click Here to register and for more information.


ASI Files Antimicrobials Comments With FDA

The American Sheep Industry Association filed comments on Dec. 24, 2019, concerning the Food and Drug Administration’s Draft Guidance #263 for Industry providing Recommendations for Sponsors of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs Approved Use in Animals to Voluntarily Bring Under Veterinary Oversight All Products that Continue to be Available Over-the-Counter.

On Sept. 14, 2018, FDA unveiled a five-year action plan for supporting antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings. This plan builds upon the important steps the Center for Veterinary Medicine has already taken to support the judicious use of antimicrobials in animals, and is driven by the concept that medically important antimicrobial drugs should only be used in animals when necessary for the treatment, control or prevention of specific diseases. One action item included in this plan is to ensure that any medically important antimicrobial new animal drugs that continue to remain available as OTC products are brought under the oversight of licensed veterinarians. The purpose of this guidance is to provide sponsors with specific recommendations on how to facilitate voluntary changes to the approved conditions of use of these drugs to prescription marketing status. The voluntary process outlined in this guidance will help to ensure new animal drugs containing antimicrobials of human importance are administered only under veterinary oversight and only for therapeutic uses.

While ASI appreciates the public health concern that is presented with the development of resistance to antimicrobial drugs of importance to human medicine and the resulting loss of their effectiveness as antimicrobial therapies, it also appreciates that FDA is seeking a balance between this concern and the judicious use of medically important antimicrobial drugs necessary for assuring animal health.

Among ASI’s concerns is a shortage of large animal veterinarians, limited availability of products for use in sheep and extra-label use of products.

“The current situation regarding veterinary care for livestock in rural areas poses an animal welfare concern and is a major food supply concern,” read the conclusion to ASI’s comments. “Before finalizing the guidance document, we would like FDA to seek feedback from sponsors of antimicrobial new animal drugs that are considered medically important with approval for OTC marketing that are used in minor species, such as sheep, to see if any of these products may be in jeopardy of being removed from the market if changed to prescription only.

“If so, would the product’s loss be significant for the livestock industry? We would ask the FDA to consider that information and help develop a practical solution to ensure that this action will not pose a risk to the well-being of livestock or the viability of the nation’s food supply.

“Lastly, we would ask FDA to clarify two things. The first, will a prescription for antimicrobial new animal drugs with current approval as an OTC be per animal or per flock? And, the second, will extra-label use of antimicrobial new animal drugs be permitted?”

Click Here to read the full comments.


Save the Date for ASI Spring Trip

The American Sheep Industry Association Spring Trip to Washington, D.C., is scheduled for March 10-11, and the Courtyard by Marriott Washington Capitol Hill/Navy Yard will once again serve as the host hotel.

The ASI Executive Board will meet on March 9 as part of the trip to determine council and committee assignments for the coming year. Tuesday, March 10, will include an ASI briefing for all participants and meetings with several government agencies, while Wednesday, March 11, will be devoted to visiting congressional delegations on Capitol Hill.

More information will be released as it becomes available.


SDSU Hiring Sheep Extension Field Specialist

South Dakota State University Extension is looking to fill an opening for a sheep extension field specialist at the Regional Extension Center in Rapid City, S.D. The position is open until filled, but the first consideration date will be Jan. 21.

This position requires strong knowledge and ability to conduct impactful programming based on needs assessments; commitment to development of emerging technology materials for program development and delivery; commitment to developing or leading learning communities; ability to collaborate on emerging issues; and developing relationships with pertinent stakeholders. This position also has a responsibility to secure programmatic funding, conduct evaluation, and successfully engage with the public by bridging research to practice. This position is accountable to the Animal Science Department head and serves under the programmatic direction of the Agriculture and Natural Resources program director and will work collaboratively with other livestock field specialists, state specialists and other faculty members in their respective department.

Required qualifications include: a master’s degree in animal science or other closely related field; experience with sheep production systems; ability to communicate with diverse audiences; strong interpersonal skills; demonstrated use of technology in managing educational systems; demonstrated ability to plan, implement and evaluate educational materials and direct effective programs; effective written and verbal communication skills; and a valid driver’s license.

Click Here for more information.


Deadline Extended for Wool Press Grants

The deadline to apply for the American Sheep Industry Association’s $5,000 Wool Press Grant Program – now in its second year – has been extended until Jan. 15. Applications already submitted will be reviewed and awarded this month. Applications submitted during the extended application period will be reviewed and awarded in late January.

ASI is looking to assist five shearers, warehouses or individuals with the purchase of a wool press in 2020. The grant recipients will cover the bulk of the costs associated with their purchase, but ASI seeks to assist as much as possible with the grant.

As freight costs are a significant expense to the American wool industry, the ASI Wool Council developed the program to incentivize the domestic production and purchase of wool presses. This project aims to encourage the use of presses that can be maintained and repaired in the United States, produce bales that are a standard size and emphasize the importance of proper wool bale weights to producers, shearers, warehouseman, pools and co-ops.

While assisting shearers and others directly, the program supports American sheep producers by allowing them to generate better returns on their wool clips. Producers will also benefit as the new presses will replace older presses that are prone to delay-causing breakdowns.

Recipients of the baler grants in the program’s first year ranged from small to large operations, and applications are once again encouraged from anyone within the American wool industry.

Grant recipients will be required to submit a final report – including photos or videos – and documentation that the baler meets all program requirements. Requirements include: the baler must be made in the United States, it must produce an average bale weight of between 400 and 500 pounds, produce a uniform bale size of 32 inches by 52 inches, and come equipped with all necessary safety features.

Click Here for more information.


USDA Report Affirms Feasibility of Dealer Trust

A Dealer Statutory Trust would improve the recovery of livestock sellers in a dealer payment default while also allowing commerce to continue as usual, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Dec. 20.

In the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress instructed USDA to examine the feasibility of establishing a livestock Dealer Statutory Trust and provide a report within one year. Based on its analysis of industry data, public input, and experience with the livestock industry, USDA finds that it would be feasible to implement a livestock Dealer Statutory Trust.

Under current law, farmers, ranchers and livestock auctions have been devastated when livestock dealers default on payment. The sellers often do not have the ability to get the livestock back for which they were not paid and recover little from the dealer’s bond. While the Eastern Livestock default, which cost livestock sellers tens of millions of dollars, is the best-known example of this, the USDA report analyzes 82 additional dealer defaults occurring from Oct. 1, 2013 – June 30, 2019.

A Dealer Statutory Trust would give unpaid sellers of livestock the legal right to reclaim livestock or, if they have been resold, proceeds from livestock in the unfortunate event of a livestock dealer payment default. The USDA report finds existing statutory trusts in other segments of agriculture (sales of livestock to packers as well as poultry, fruit and vegetables sales) are effective in improving financial recoveries and similar results could be expected under a livestock Dealer Statutory Trust.

“We appreciate the in-depth analysis of USDA on this important issue,” said Livestock Marketing Association President Tom Frey. “These findings will be helpful as we work with Congress in 2020 to get livestock auctions and producers the increased certainty and predictability of payment they deserve.”

Click Here for more information.

Source: Livestock Marketing Association


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