ASI Hosts Major Fundraiser
On Aug. 1, former Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner headlined an event with Rep. Jason Smith (Mo.) for Rep. David Rouzer (N.C.) in Deadwood, S.D. The event – hosted by the American Sheep Industry Association – provided an opportunity to highlight the industry’s efforts with current members of the House.
“This was a great event giving us time to discuss with these members of Congress the issues our industry faces, and our priority issues,” said ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick. “These members of Congress both come from an ag background and understand the challenges of agriculture. Being able to host them in the Black Hills of South Dakota allowed us to not only raise issues that sheep producers across the nation are facing – like predation and trade – but also issues specific to certain parts of the country like public lands use, guest herders and increasing wages.”
Rep. Rouzer currently sits on the House Agriculture and Transportation and Infrastructure committees and represents North Carolina’s 7th congressional district. Rep. Smith is an active sheep producer representing Missouri’s 8th congressional district and is on the House Ways and Means and Budget committees. Boehner also served on the ag committee during his time in the House and has continued to stay engaged supporting current members of Congress and candidates.
“Building and maintaining relationships with members of Congress that support the sheep and livestock industry is a critical part of ASI’s mission on behalf of our members nationwide,” said Orwick. “Through ASI, members can financially support the RAMS-PAC political action committee, and we as an industry can in turn support those members and political candidates that support us.”
Hess Returns Home to Lead UNR Sheep Research
With more than four years of experience working for AgResearch – a division of New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes – Andrew Hess, Ph.D., knows a thing or two about turning scientific efforts into practical tools that can be implemented at the ranch level.
In his new position as an assistant professor in the University of Nevada-Reno’s Department of Agriculture, Veterinary and Rangeland Sciences, he will be tasked with exactly that. While he will work with both sheep and beef cattle in his new role, he was hired as part of the university’s investment in the Great Basin Research and Extension Center. Announced in fall of 2020, the center is now home to the Rafter 7 sheep flock that was developed by the university some 30 years ago.
“It’s great that the university has the Rafter 7 flock back,” said Hess, who got his undergraduate degree from UNR in 2011. “They sold the flock around the time I graduated from UNR. I’m really excited to have that flock available as a resource to conduct some of these studies.”
UNR hired Hess in the summer of 2020, but his arrival was delayed by the global COVID-19 pandemic. He returned to the United States in late June of this year and has been on the job just about a month now. Despite that, Hess has some clear ideas about where his research is headed in the months to come, and it will involve genetic research that lends itself to practical application for the ranchers of Northern Nevada.
“I’ve got a few projects that I’m trying to get underway. One of them is focused on improved health in sheep,” Hess said. “Mostly what I’m focusing on right now are polymicrobial diseases that cause pneumonia in sheep. I’m looking at the microbial profile to see if we can better use that to characterize the disease and select on those to improve the health of our sheep flocks.”
Click Here for the complete story in the August issue of the Sheep Industry News.
ALB Participates in Local Events
In-person events are making a comeback and the American Lamb Board is taking advantage of the opportunity to increase the demand for American lamb. The willingness of consumers to gather safely is key for providing live experiences and interaction in a safe setting. ALB is finding ways to adapt and participate in local events to accomplish a core strategy of growing awareness and increasing usage of American lamb among chefs and consumers.
ALB partnered with Eat Denver for this year’s Big Eat event. The 2021 Big Eat occurred throughout Denver and allowed sponsors to work directly with participating restaurants to create unique and intimate dining experiences. ALB worked alongside Chef Linda Hampsten at Fox of The Bindery to host a group of 20 consumers for a four-course meal featuring American lamb. Tickets for the event sold out within minutes, and all attendees were gifted a pound of ground lamb and a collection of recipe brochures and spices.
In San Antonio, ALB partnered with the Texas Food & Wine Alliance to team up with Chef Jaime Hernandez of La Fonda De Jamie at the inaugural Taco Rumble. Hernandez created a lamb shoulder taco. The event brought 800 guests to the Rumble, where they visited dozens of booths serving tacos, sweets and beverages.
ALB also sponsored the 2021 Secret Supper Series. This year’s lineup of featured chefs brought live fire cooking and a scrumptious feast to the table in six locations across the country from Boston to Seattle. Most recently, Lambassador Chef and cookbook author Ashley Rodriguez created an amazing experience for Seattle diners with her braised lamb with roasted apricot achar on fresh corn polenta with feta and wild mushroom powder.
Sheep Center Accepting Grant Applications
The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center’s Board of Directors is accepting grant proposals through Sept. 15. The grants must be designed to improve the American sheep industry.
The sheep center has budgeted about $300,000 to support projects consistent with the grant program. The average grant amount during the last four years has been about $29,000. Financial assistance provided by the sheep center must accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
- Strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through the improvement of infrastructure, business, resource development and the development of innovative approaches to solve long term problems.
- Provide leadership training and education to industry stakeholders.
- Enhance sheep and sheep products in the United States through assistance to all segments of the industry to address sustainable production and marketing of sheep and sheep products.
- Promote marketing of sheep and sheep products through an organized method that can measure tangible results.
- Enhance the sheep industry by coordinating information exchange and by seeking mutual understanding and marketing within the industry community.
For more information about applying for a grant, contact NSIIC Program Manager Steve Lee at 207-236-6567 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or send mail to National Sheep Industry Improvement Center; 1578 Spring Water Way, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129. Additional information about the sheep center is available on the NSIIC website.
New Premier 1 Microgrant Available for Fencing
The new Premier 1 Microgrant from The Livestock Conservancy will provide funding for residents and organizations of the United States working with livestock and poultry breeds listed on The Livestock Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List.
Support will be provided for fencing products available through Premier 1 Supplies. Awards typically range from $500 to $2,000, at the discretion of The Livestock Conservancy.
“Premier 1 and its customers have long valued raising livestock and poultry. We also know how hard it is to get started. That’s why we’ve partnered with The Livestock Conservancy to encourage and help future farmers – via microgrants – preserve traditional breeds and promote biodiversity on our farms,” said Premier 1 Chief Executive Officer Ben Rothe.
Need new or improved fencing for your rare breed project? Apply for a Premier 1 Microgrant by Aug. 31. The deadline for other microgrants from The Livestock Conservancy is also Aug. 31.
Click Here for more information.
Source: The Livestock Conservancy
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