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Convention Registration Deadlines Approaching

The deadline for the early bird registration discount for the 2022 American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention is Dec. 31. Attendees also need to book hotel rooms at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina by Dec. 29 to receive the guaranteed room rates.

Online registration for the convention will close at 5 p.m. mountain time on Jan. 7, 2022, and all registrations after that point must be done onsite in San Diego.

Don’t delay, register today.

Click Here to register.


ASI Wool Council Offers Shearer-Mentor Grants

The American Sheep Industry Association Wool Council has developed a new grant totaling $15,000 with the goal of helping develop beginner and intermediate shearers and keeping them in the industry.

The grant is open to developing shearers and their mentors (those who are helping train them). Developing shearers will receive $500 at the beginning of the program to help them with equipment and/or to supplement their work when they are shearing a low number of head each day.

Developing shearers will then receive $1,000 upon completion of the program, which includes sending videos of their progress and a written summary. Mentors will receive $1,500 upon completion, which includes a written summary and documentation of how they assisted the developing shearer.

Applications must be submitted by Jan. 15, 2022.

Click Here for the application.



The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is providing more than $200,000 dollars in Farm Bill funding to support the American Sheep Industry Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in developing movement decision criteria for sheep and cattle grazing public land allotments during a potential foreign animal disease outbreak.

There are several agencies involved in issuing public land grazing permits in 14 states for 22,000 ranchers. These are not the same agencies responsible for FAD response. This funding will allow collaboration among the agencies, states and industry partners, like the Public Lands Council. Guidance documents created through group discussion will be exercised. The project is expected to take two years to complete.

This effort will better prepare sheep and cattle producers – whose livestock graze public lands – to voluntarily prepare before an FAD outbreak. It will provide information and actions needed during an FAD outbreak to protect their flocks and herds and meet movement criteria. It will provide state and federal decision makers with a better understanding of the management practices, capabilities and limitations of grazing sheep and cattle on public lands.

“The preparedness and response activities we are funding today will enhance our ability to address the animal disease issues of tomorrow. They arm us with the best science available to retain international markets and feed both our own families and the world,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs.

The information developed from the grant will improve the guidance in the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply and Secure Beef Supply plans for sheep and cattle producers with livestock grazing on public lands. ASI and USDA provided funding to develop both plans and associated resources for producers.

ASI and NCBA look forward to collaborating on this project with the stakeholders and Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle, a consultant with Preventalytics. ASI and NCBA each provide unique resources for sheep and cattle producers to prepare for, respond to and enhance their resiliency for an FAD event.

The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan and Secure Beef Supply Plan for continuity of business provide opportunities to voluntarily prepare before a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. The United States is free of the FMD virus. If FMD were found in U.S., livestock, regulatory officials will limit the movement of animals and animal products to try and control the spread of this very contagious animal disease. During this time, control areas will be established around infected premises and movement restrictions will be implemented. When the control areas encompass part or all of a public land allotment, in one or more states, there are unique challenges for sheep and cattle producers to mitigate disease exposure risks. FMD is not a threat to public health.


USDA/NASS Surveying Sheep & Goat Inventory

Starting in late December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will measure sheep and goat inventories and wool and mohair production through a nationwide survey.

“Interest in sheep and goat data continues to grow with increased diversification in agriculture and consumer demands,” said Mountain Regional Field Office Director William Meyer. “The Sheep and Goat Survey gives producers the opportunity to report the latest information on conditions and trends in the industry.”

Operators surveyed will be asked to provide information about their sheep and goat inventories, counts of lambs and kids born during 2021, and production and prices received for wool and mohair.

“Accurate data on sheep and goat inventory and production is a significant decision-making tool for USDA and the industry to be more responsive to domestic and international markets and consumer needs. The information can also help create public appreciation for the many benefits of U.S. sheep and goats and their needed products,” added Meyer.

To make it as easy as possible for producers to participate in the survey, NASS offers the option of responding online, by telephone or by mail. The results of this survey will be available in aggregate form only, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by federal law.

NASS will publish the survey results on Jan. 31, 2022, in the Sheep and Goats report.

Click Here to respond online or for more information.


Research Update Podcast: Copper 101

Dr. Dan Morrical of Premier 1 Sheep Supplies joins this month’s ASI Research Update Podcast to provide a look at the benefits and dangers associated with copper and sheep.

“It’s obviously something that is needed, but can cause a lot of problems,” Morrical said. “For some reason as sheep have developed and evolved over centuries, they have gotten really good at absorbing copper. When you feed sheep excess copper, it gets stored in the liver and it accumulates and accumulates and accumulates and then we put a stress on the sheep – like we shear them, we sell a ram for breeding stock, we go to a sheep show – and then they explode with copper poisoning, copper toxicity.”

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


Australian Market Up 15.9 Percent in 2021

The Australian wool market held the final sale of the 2021 calendar year this week. After four consecutive overall rises, the market was unable to maintain its upward trajectory, recording a small overall loss.

On the first selling day in the Eastern centers, there were minimal price movements. This was reflected in the individual Merino fleece Micron Price Guides in Melbourne and Sydney, which ranged between -11 and +1 cents for the day. These fluctuations combined with minimal movements in the other sectors, pushed the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator down by 3 cents for the day. In the West – selling last – the losses were larger. The fleece MPGs in Fremantle dropped by between 19 and 25 cents.

The second selling day was more positive, with many MPGs recording positive movements. Across the country, the MPGs moved between -10 and +21 with the West bouncing back from the previous day’s losses and recording the strongest overall gains. The EMI managed a one-cent increase for the day. The EMI closed the series at 1,358 Australian cents – a drop of only 2 cents when compared to the previous series.

Worth noting – although the market recorded general overall losses – selected lots and microns recorded positive movements when compared to the previous series. This was due in part to strong buyer competition on selected lots as buyers chased specific wools to complete orders.

The EMI began the 2021 calendar year at 1,172 Australian cents, then proceeded to gain 186 cents during the course of the year for an increase of 15.9 percent. The total dollar amount sold for this year was $1.132 billion. Due to the larger amount offered and the higher prices achieved this year, this was $332 million more than last year.

The market now heads into the annual three-week Christmas recess. Sales will resume in the week beginning Jan. 10, 2022.

Source: AWEX


MIWW Needs One Producer Judge

Make It With Wool is looking for one more wool producer (male or female) to serve as a judge for the National Make It With Wool Finals during the American Sheep Industry Association’s 2022 Annual Convention in San Diego next month. Volunteers will help determine which fashions best represent the American wool industry.

Judging is an all-day event scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Jan. 21. There will be a break for lunch, and judges receive a complimentary meal at the hotel restaurant. Please consider volunteering. For more information, contact Arizona Make It With Wool Director Rali Burleson at or 480-948-6258.

Source: Make It With Wool


DLA Reviewing Previous Contracts

In the past few months, members of the National Council of Textile Organizations have noted that huge increases in freight, transportation, regulatory and labor costs have led to federal contracts that were awarded two to three years ago that are no longer competitive at the original bids. Labor shortages are also contributing to problem.

NCTO is working closely with several agencies – including the Department of Defense, which is a huge purchaser of American wool – to develop needed solutions on this issue. The Defense Logistics Agency is interested in learning how widespread the problem is, so that it can assess possible solutions and timetables for resolution.

Companies operating under any contract that needs attention should reach out to their DLA contracting officers immediately.

The American Sheep Industry Association joined a contingent of manufacturing associations this week in asking the Biden Administration to take a look at such contracts and how the federal government might assist American companies struggling to meet their outdated contract requirements, especially when it comes to Berry Amendment products for the United States military.

“Many companies are now operating on Firm Fixed Price contracts that were awarded before the current COVID economic and health crises were realized,” read the letter to President Joe Biden. “Fixed price contracts make it impossible for companies to react to changing business conditions – such as those that have whipsawed our industry over the past two years. Labor, health care, freight, energy and materials costs have all increased by double digits – suddenly and unexpectedly – over the past 18 months and show no sign of abatement. Many manufacturers are unable to offer competitive wages, further exacerbating acute labor shortages. These higher costs without any economic price adjustment mechanisms mean companies are often forced to perform on contracts at a financial loss (simply to retain business and keep the workers employed in the hopes that a future contract will make up for current losses). Even if they can eke out a slim profit, these companies rarely have enough to reinvest in their business for training or equipment. Many companies with long track records of supporting the warfighter have already left the industrial base.

“Now, in this time of extraordinary and unprecedented threat, we need your immediate help to make sure the Department of Defense has the authority and the funding so that Berry-compliant C&T contracts in distress can be adjusted to give U.S. companies and their workers the wherewithal to survive. Without urgent action, many of these companies will be forced to exit the business or close outright, leading to factory closures, layoffs and drastic economic dislocation in the communities they support. Not only would such a calamity harm military preparedness, but it would undermine our ability to stand up domestic PPE capabilities as many of these companies are also engaged in the production of life saving masks and gowns and the materials from which they are domestically produced.”


Congress Votes to Ban Imports from Xinjiang, China

The U.S. Senate approved legislation on Thursday to ban all imports from China’s Xinjiang region, where Beijing is holding more than 1 million Uyghurs in internment camps, over forced labor concerns. The measure is now headed to the White House, where President Joe Biden has said he’ll sign it into law.

The move complements a series of actions by the Biden administration aimed at holding the Chinese regime accountable over its repression in Xinjiang, which Washington has labeled as a genocide. The Senate approved the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act by unanimous consent two days after the House approved it with a unanimous voice vote.

The legislation creates a “rebuttable presumption” that all goods from Xinjiang are made with forced labor, which in effect bars all such imports. Products from the region will only be allowed into the United States if the government determines that there’s “clear and convincing evidence” that they weren’t made with forced labor.

According to a New York Times article, roughly one in five cotton garments sold globally contains cotton or yarn from Xinjiang, and the region produces a significant portion of the world’s polysilicon, which is used to make solar panels and smartphones. Some administration officials worried that the standard at the heart of the bill would cripple already disrupted supply chains and create additional roadblocks to meeting the nation’s climate goals, according to congressional aides familiar with the discussions.

Click Here to read the full article.

Source: The Epoch Times


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