Young Producers, Researchers Examine Genetic Future
Sheep Genetics USA brought 15 young producers, researchers, university staff and industry personnel to Colorado State University for two days of brainstorming on industry issues and possible solutions this week as the group considers topics it should attempt to tackle in the months and years to come.
The Sheep Genetics Research Summit in Fort Collins, Colo., was moderated by veteran cattle producer Lee Leachman – who was featured in the August issue of the Sheep Industry News for genetic work in his industry. The two-day session generated seven priorities that the group is passing along to the Sheep Genetics USA Board of Directors. Chief among them is how genetic data is entered into the National Sheep Improvement Program and developing a software platform to streamline the entering and analysis of that data.
“There’s a lot of software investigation in the industry right now among the sectors and the breed associations,” said Superior Farms Director of Producer Resources Karissa Isaacs, who recently joined the board of SGUSA. “We just need to come together on those and be collaborative. One, to bring the cost down, and two, so that everyone is on the same platform for ease of data transfer and usage.”
Additional goals included finding ways to streamline the collection of genetic data – which is essential to allow for implementation among large commercial operations – and the addition of paid staff to achieve strategic goals in the next two years.
“One of main topics was how to move sheep genetics in all breeds forward in a progressive manner,” said Isaac Matchett, a commercial producer from Michigan. “I agree with data being a priority. Most would agree that there’s value in data and in being able to understand what parts of your enterprise make money and what parts don’t. Collection of that data hasn’t been adopted widely within the industry because it’s cumbersome to collect. It takes time at the farm level to collect, so we discussed a lot of avenues to make that a more streamlined process, to improve the technology that is available and the software we have available to get that data from raw data points to a utilizable management tool.”
Matchett said he was somewhat familiar with the initial work of Sheep Genetics USA – which began back in 2021 – and was excited to be invited to the summit in Fort Collins.
“Genetic progress is a limitation to sheep producers everywhere,” he said. “If we can expedite the genetic progress we make in all of these breeds, that’s a huge benefit to a commercial producer and a huge benefit to our production potential. I think it’s good to be a part of that conversation.”
Participants in the summit included:
- Sheep Producers: Gavin Blonquist (Utah), Ryan Boner (Wyo.), Kyle Hurley (Iowa), Cameron Krebs (Ore.), Isaac Matchett (Mich.) and Shane Mickel (Utah).
- University and Extension Personnel: Brady Campbell (Ohio), Kelly Froehlich (S.D.), Ryan Knuth (Minn.), Chad Page (Ariz.), Christian Posbergh (Mont.) and Andrew Weaver (N.C.).
- Sheep Genetics USA Board Members: Rusty Burgett (Iowa) and Karissa Isaacs (Colo.).
- Agricultural Research Service Personnel: Tom Murphy (Neb.).
Look for more on the meeting in the October issue of the Sheep Industry News.
ASI Research Update: Combating Blue Tongue
Veterinarians Christie Mayo, Ph.D., and Molly Carpenter join this month’s ASI Research Update podcast to talk about How to Combat Blue Tongue.
“Late summer, early fall is also a time of concern for many shepherds as Blue Tongue season tends to peak as the weather cools,” said podcast guest host Rosie Busch, DVM. “Blue Tongue virus affects sheep everywhere on the planet.”
Click Here to listen to the podcast.
Australian Wool Market Continues Slide
The Australian wool market continued to decline, falling for the third consecutive series. With the Western region not holding a sale this week, the national offering reduced to 38,774 bales – 7,593 bales less than the previous week. The total amount offered for the season is now trending lower than the previous season. There have been 27,624 fewer bales offered for an 11.4-percent reduction.
The overall drop in the market was driven by falls in Merino fleece prices. As the market opened, prices on offer for these types were noticeably lower than the previous week. What followed was a steady decrease as the sale progressed. By the end of the first day, the individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece had dropped by between 14 and 75 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator fell by 24 cents for the day. Relatively small movements in the other sectors prevented a larger fall.
The falls continued on the second day, but to a lesser extent. The pattern was similar with a soft opening followed by a slow but continual decline. The Merino fleece MPGs lost between 11 and 35 cents for the day, while the EMI dropped another 12 cents. Again, the movement was softened by small movements in the skirtings, crossbreds and oddments. The EMI closed the week 36 cents lower at 1,127 Australian cents.
The EMI is now at its lowest point since June and 215 cents below the same time last year. That is a reduction of 16 percent. One positive for the week was the broader crossbred types, which defied the overall trend posting gains of between 7 and 13 cents.
Fremantle resumes selling next week. All three centers will now be in weekly operation until the Christmas recess. With the return of the West, the national offering has been bolstered with 48,653 bales expected on offer.
Click Here for Australian Wool Report Prices in USc Per Pound.
APHIS Implements Update on Canadian Sheep Imports
Effective immediately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Plant Health Inspection Service is implementing updated import and health certification requirements for live sheep and goats imported from Canada for restricted feeding for slaughter.
Updates reflect new requirements put in place with the publication of the Final Rule for the Importation of Sheep, Goats and Certain Other Ruminants and subsequent codification in 9 CFR 93.400. Restricted feeder sheep and goats may only be imported to an APHIS-approved designated feedlot*, where they must remain until they are moved under official seal to an APHIS-approved immediate slaughter facility eligible to receive Canadian origin sheep and goats for slaughter.
Importers must obtain a USDA import permit, and provide required supporting documentation as outlined on the Live Animal Imports webpage when submitting the permit application, and before the permit can be approved. Post-entry requirements pertaining to animal traceback, restricted movement of imported animals and record keeping will apply and must be met by the designated feedlot operator. The import requirements and post-entry requirements can be found on the Live Animal Imports website.
*There are currently no APHIS-approved designated feedlots. Imports of restricted feeder sheep and goats will not be allowed unless and until there is an APHIS-approved designated feedlot to receive them. The initial point of contact for a facility interested in becoming an approved designated feedlot to receive Canadian sheep and goats for restricted feeding for slaughter is the local VS Field Operations District Office.
For any questions, please contact Dr. Mary Kate Anderson at 301-851-3300, Option 2 or email: LAIE@usda.gov.
‘Meating’ American Lamb at Events
The American Lamb Board continues to participate at multiple events to build awareness and make connections with chefs, consumers and other influencers.
“These events are exciting, because they directly connect consumers and influencers with American lamb,” says ALB Chairman Peter Camino, of Buffalo, Wyo. “When people share their excellent experiences with American lamb with their friends, it’s the best advertising we could ask for.”
The Big Eat
On July 20, ALB helped sponsor Denver’s The Big Eat, a grand food event consisting of bites and sips from more than 70 local restaurants and beverage brands. ALB partnered with local restaurants Lucina Eatery and Blackbelly to serve Stewed Lamb Meatballs in Tomatillo Jalapeno Salsa and Grilled Cactus, and rotisserie lamb accompanied by housemade focaccia and spuma di gota.
During the Telluride Reserve consumer event on Aug. 17, ALB showcased American lamb on three occasions. The Baja & Bordeaux luncheon featured boneless lamb loin enjoyed with mole and roasted parsnips. Attendees of the Farm to Gallery Dinner hosted in the Telluride Art Gallery were treated to Baharat rubbed lamb roast. The Saturday grand tasting in Mountain Village highlighted lamb neck Barbacoa tacos, prepared in partnership with a local chef.
Secret Supper Series
In September, ALB will participate at two more farm-to-table dinner parties in partnership with Secret Supper in Charlottesville, Va., and Cape Code, Mass. ALB developed a partnership with Secret Supper in 2022 and is building on the success of four dinner parties held last fall in Austin, Boston, Denver and Seattle. Secret Supper has a desire to bring people together around great food and wine in stunning and unique locations, so highlighting American lamb in a farm or ranch setting perfectly aligns with its goals.
ALB will participate in Tacolado, hosted by La Cocina in San Francisco. Tacolado is a taco-centric event where ALB will partner with three chefs to create a Mediterranean taco on a pita, a smoked lamb rib Barbacoa taco and a lamb shoulder Barbacoa taco. La Cocina is a non-profit working to solve problems of equity in business ownership for women, immigrants and people of color.
After reading about all these fun events centered around American lamb, are you hungry yet? ALB has more event plans for October.
WRLC Welcomes New Executive Director
The Western Resources Legal Center welcomed esteemed Attorney Jessie Barrington (née Young), as its new executive director this week. With her formidable experience in federal litigation, federal agency operation and representation, legal research and writing, along with a diverse career encompassing public service, private practice, and academia, she is well equipped to lead WRLC into its next era of student development and achievement representing natural resource users.
Jessie demonstrated extraordinary leadership during her tenure as an assistant United States attorney and financial litigation coordinator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland, Ore., and as an attorney at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Jessie brings to the helm of WRLC a robust litigation background that spans across civil and criminal law procedures, administrative law and policy, federal land use issues including leasing, FOIA and FOIA litigation, and tribal treaty rights.
Beyond Oregon, Jessie contributed to federal policy issues and regulations at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. As the senior counselor to the assistant secretary-Indian affairs, Jessie cultivated crucial government-to-government relationships, reinforced interdepartmental collaborations, and provided expert analysis on broad policy matters. Jessie previously practiced as an associate attorney at Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP, and as an attorney advisor at the Office of the Regional Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior.
An enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, Jessie is a respected adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Law School, and an inspiring mentor. Her instruction in Federal Indian Law and oversight of the Native American Law Student Association Moot Court program have influenced numerous legal professionals.
WRLC Board Chair, Dustin Van Liew, highlighted the tremendous legacy of WRLC-founding Executive Director Caroline Lobdell, who led WRLC for the past 16 years. He expressed the board’s appreciation for Caroline’s tireless leadership and excitement for the next stage of WRLC’s evolution with the addition of Jessie.
“This transition offers an exciting opportunity for WRLC,” said Van Liew. “We are incredibly grateful to Caroline for her many years of service to the program and look forward to continuing WRLC’s mission with Jessie at the helm.”
Video of the Week
The Texas A&M AgriLife Livestock Guardian Dog Program released a video this week about a National Sheep Industry Improvement Center-funded project it completed in June.
Click Here to watch the video.
Source: Texas A&M AgriLife