Image of sheep

Registration Open for ASI Annual Convention

Now is the time to begin making plans for the 2020 ASI Annual Convention: Reverence for the Past, Innovation for the Future. The Scottsdale (Ariz.) Plaza Resort will play host to the convention on Jan. 22-25. Online registration for the convention opened this week.

In addition to the usual slate of council and committee meetings, 2020 ASI Annual Convention attendees won’t want to miss a tour of Rovey Dairy on Jan. 22. The dairy began in 1943 when Emil Rovey purchased a farm in Glendale, Ariz. His son, Paul, now operates the dairy with his wife, Deborah, and their five children. While the dairy is best known for its Jersey cows and Watusi cattle, sheep are the fastest growing livestock population on the farm. Paul plans to use his increasing sheep milk inventory to make cheese and ice cream. In addition to touring the farm and milking operations, you’ll hear more about the history of the dairy and the decision to expand beyond cows as sheep are added to the ever-growing operation. In addition, the dairy has played a significant role in restoring the area’s condor population, which Paul will explain on the tour. Following the tour, participants will enjoy a lamb burger lunch at the nearby Desert Rose restaurant. Additional tours during the week include a visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens and to Butterfly Wonderland.

An Industry Innovators Panel Discussion will serve as the ASI Opening Session on Jan. 23. Other highlights will include the presentation of ASI’s annual awards, as well as comedian/musician Gary Mule Deer performing during the Saturday luncheon on Jan. 25. The Make It With Wool National Finals and Banquet will round out the convention that evening.

Attendees can also now make reservations with the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, which will offer a room rate of $175 plus tax. The hotel will waive its standard resort fee for those booking through the ASI block online or by calling 800-832-2025 (mention the ASI Annual Convention special room rate). The resort fee – usually $25 per day/per room – covers onsite parking and high-speed internet, as well as use of resort amenities.

Discounted registration rates for the ASI Annual Convention are available for those who register before Jan. 6, 2020. So, register now to join all facets of the American sheep industry as it comes together in Scottsdale. Other industry groups meeting with ASI during the Annual Convention include: the American Lamb Board, American Goat Federation, ASI Women, Food and Fiber Risk Managers, Make It With Wool, National Lamb Feeders Association, National Livestock Producers Association, National Sheep Improvement Program, National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, Sheep Heritage Foundation, Sheep Venture Company and Western Range Association.

Click Here to register.


Wool LDP Page Added to ASI Website

As the American Sheep Industry Association works to expand benefits available to producers through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency’s Loan Deficiency Payment Program, a page devoted to the program has been added to the ASI website.

The new page includes details on the program, current LDP rates and links to additional resources from USDA.

Click Here for more information.


One Week Left to Submit ASI Award Nominations

Once again, it’s time to submit nominations for ASI Awards, which will be presented during the 2020 ASI Annual Convention on Jan. 22-25 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

 The deadline for all award nominations is next Friday, Nov. 15.

There are five awards open for nominations: The McClure Silver Ram Award, the Camptender Award, the Distinguished Producer Award, the Industry Innovation Award and the Shepherd’s Voice Award.

Nominations must be submitted to ASI by Nov. 15, and past recipients of these awards are not eligible. To receive an application, call 303-771-3500 or email

Click Here for the nomination form.


Wool Markets Can’t Sustain Recent Gains

The Australian wool market continued its rollercoaster ride this week. After rising for two consecutive weeks, the market returned to moderate falls.

Selling last on the final day of the previous series, the Fremantle region recorded losses as a noticeably softer tone became evident. That tone continued into this week, resulting in price reductions from the opening hammer in the Eastern markets. The medium microns were the hardest hit. By day’s end, the individual Micron Price Guides for 19.0 micron and coarser fell by 28 to 45 cents across all three centers. On the back of these losses, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator fell by 24 cents for the day.

The market continued to track downward on the second day of selling. The individual MPGs generally fell by a further 12 to 17 cents in the South and 20 to 50 cents in the North, pushing the EMI lower another 15 cents. The EMI lost a total of 39 cents for the week, closing at 1,555 Australian cents. In an inverse pattern to the previous sale, the Fremantle region sold last and managed small price increases for the final day – generally between 5 and 10 cents, setting a positive tone for the following week.

The price reductions have again been met with seller resistance. The national passed in rate was 17.6 percent, an increase of 10.8 percent when compared to the previous series.

The crossbred sector also lost ground this series. The lack of buyer support for the poorly prepared lines, contributed to the MPGs for 26.0 through to 30.0 micron falling by 27 to 49 cents. The three Merino Carding indicators fell by an average of 29 cents. These losses were mainly driven by the 40- to 50-cent reduction in the price of locks.

Source: AWEX


Shearing Schools Announce 2019-2020 Dates

Several shearing schools have announced dates for the coming season.

In addition to learning to shear in a hands-on manner, the schools offer teaching on equipment, animal welfare and staying in shape for the physically demanding task. Equipment is usually supplied, but students are encouraged to bring any equipment they have, as well.

These schools offer training for a wide variety of students – from hobby farmers looking to shear their own flocks to those with aspirations of shearing professionally. For more information, contact organizers of the school directly.

More schools will be added to this list as information becomes available.

North Dakota Shearing School and North Dakota Wool Classing School – Nov. 23-25 in Hettinger, N.D. Contact Dr. Christopher Schauer at or 701-567-4323.

Montana State University Wool Harvesting School – Dec. 12-14 in Rockport Colony. Email Brent Roeder at or visit the website here.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center Shearing School – Jan. 6-9, 2020, in San Angelo, Texas. Email Reid Redden at or visit the website here.

Utah State University Shearing School – Jan. 16-18, 2020, at the USU Animal Science Farm in Wellsville, Utah. Visit the website here.

Missouri Shearing School – March 4-5, 2020, at Lincoln University’s Carver Farm in Jefferson City, Mo. Email Erin Brindisi at or call 573-681-5859.

Indiana Sheep Association Shearing School – March 7, 2020, at Purdue University. Visit the website here.

Maryland Shearing School – March 13-14, 2020, in Fairplay, Md. Email Aaron Geiman at or visit the website here.

Doug Rathke Shearing School – March 14-15, 2020, at the Stone and Thistle Farm in Meredith, N.Y. Call Doug Rathke at 320-587-6094.

Moffat County Shearing School – March 20-22, 2020, at the Moffat County Fairgrounds in Craig, Colo. Visit the website here.

Washington State Shearing School – April 6-10, 2020, at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake, Wash. Email Sarah Smith at or visit the website here.

Washington State Advanced Shearing School – April 11, 2020, at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake, Wash. Email Sarah Smith at or visit the website here.

Tennessee Shearing School – Mid-April, 2020, at the Tennessee Livestock Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Email Mark Powell at or call 615-519-7796.

Oregon Shearing School – May 14-17, 2020, in Roseburg, Ore. Email John Fine at or visit the website here.

Skip to content