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Editor’s Note: This is the final ASI Weekly of 2020. The newsletter will return on Jan. 8, 2021. The American Sheep Industry Association national office will be closed for the holidays on Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1, 2021.


USMARC Publishes Sheep Trails Newsletter

The U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., has produced the first issue of Sheep Trails, a newsletter designed to update the American sheep industry about ongoing research and programs at the center.

“Our goal is to periodically provide the sheep industry with new research and news of interest,” wrote USMARC Director Mark Boggess. “And, we have a lot of good news to share. To start, please see several outstanding research reports for your review in this edition. We are excited about our growing research program and our ARS (Agricultural Research Service) and external research partners. We are now even more aggressively building collaborative partnerships with sister ARS locations, with academia and with industry stakeholders. We also greatly value the stakeholder support we receive, and we have been relying on our critical producer stakeholders a great deal lately as we move forward on several research and program fronts.

“For example, we developed a Blue Ribbon Panel of industry experts to provide us with a comprehensive program review. Our panel includes producers and industry leaders, scientists, animal care staff and other USMARC stakeholders. The BRP meets periodically on the center, with an eye on improving overall animal husbandry, performance and management. The BRP recommends improvements in all programs and facilities, and monitors progress and implementation. We also contrast USMARC program performance with industry benchmarks to identify areas needing improvement and to monitor progress over time. To say that the BRP program has been successful would be a gross understatement. The panel meetings have provided valuable guidance and we are using them to promote continuous improvements in both sheep management and research programs.

“However, the BRP effort is only one of the core focus areas of our newly implanted Strategic Plan for ‘Sheep Camp.’ Several other focus areas are also included, such as continuing education programs, redefining our research populations, improving overall management, improving the grazing resources, improving parasite management and control, and developing a strategic vision for facilities modernization. All of these efforts are ongoing, including the final design for a state-of-the-art lambing facility to be completed when funding is available.”

Click Here to read the full newsletter.


Registration Open for 2021 ASI Annual Convention

Mountains of Opportunity await at the 2021 American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention, but sheep producers won’t have to leave the comfort of their own farms or ranches to attend the first-ever virtual convention on Jan. 28-29. The deadline to register is Jan. 15.

Attend council and committee meetings, vote for ASI officers and set policy that will guide the American Sheep Industry for years to come simply by registering and logging in for this historic online convention.

While we’ll miss the opportunity to see America’s sheep producers face-to-face in January, a virtual meeting was a necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us online as we give the latest presentations on sheep industry topics, new lamb companies, the American wool testing laboratory and as we conduct the essential business of governing the American Sheep Industry Association.

Click Here to register for the ASI Annual Convention.


Biden Selects Haaland to Lead Interior, Regan for EPA

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to serve as Interior secretary, according to E&E News.

If confirmed by the Senate, the 60-year-old avowedly progressive lawmaker will be the first Native American to head the sprawling department whose responsibilities range from tribal affairs to the management of some 500 million acres of public land.

A member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, Haaland has posted a green record during her single House term representing an Albuquerque-based congressional district.

Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, Haaland served on Biden’s climate engagement advisory council and is a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal and related aspirational legislation. She is an original co-sponsor of the American Public Lands and Waters Climate Solution Act, H.R. 5435, which would direct Interior and the Forest Service to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from public lands and waters by 2040.

Click Here to read the full story.

Biden has also selected Michael Regan, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, as his nominee for EPA administrator, according to E&E News.

Regan, 44, has served at the state environmental agency since 2017 and previously worked at EPA. If confirmed, Regan would be the first Black man to lead the agency.

As head of North Carolina’s state environmental agency, Regan has been in the center of issues he will have to deal with on a national scale if he is confirmed to lead EPA.

He has helped win settlements to clean up GenX chemicals, which are types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, and coal ash storage ponds.

Regan also helped draft a climate change plan to make North Carolina carbon neutral by 2050, making the state the first in the Southeast to set such goals, and created an environmental justice board to advise his department.

Click Here to read the full story.


HOS Exemption Extended for Livestock Carriers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended its Hours-of-Service Emergency Declaration through Feb. 28, 2021, exempting livestock carriers (as well as those carrying grocery and COVID-19 medical supplies) from hours-of-service regulations.

The agency extended the hours-of-service exemption, “because the presidentially declared emergency remains in place and because a continued exemption is needed to support direct emergency assistance for some supply chains.”

Click Here for more information.


Australian Market Down in Final Sale of 2020

The Australian wool market ended the 2020 calendar year with a soft finish. As this was the final auction selling opportunity before the annual three-week Christmas recess, the national offering increased to 44,835 bales – 6,430 more bales than was offered in the previous week.

The larger selection attracted solid demand. The market, however, could not sustain the prices achieved in the previous series. Prices fell across all Merino fleece types and descriptions, generally between 30 and 70 cents. The losses pushed the Merino Price Guides down across the country by between 10 and 70 cents. Due mainly to the falls in the MPGs in the Merino fleece, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator dropped by 41 cents for the series, which equated to a 3.4 percent fall. Worth noting, due to further strengthening of the Australian dollar, when viewed in U.S. dollar terms, the fall was lower. The EMI dropped 18 U.S. cents – a reduction of only 2 percent.

The fall in the market pushed the passed-in rate higher, as many sellers were reluctant to accept the reduced prices on offer. The national passed-in rate climbed to 18.3 percent – 13.3 percent higher than in the previous series.

The oddments were the only sector of the market to record increases for the series. The smallest of losses in the North, combined with solid rises in the South and West, resulted in an average rise of nearly 12 cents in the three Merino Carding Indicators.

Sales will resume the week of Jan. 11, 2021. In the New Year, three-day sales will be allowed to resume. In the likely event that Melbourne requires three selling days, it will sell on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If requiring only two days, Sydney will sell on Tuesday and Wednesday, while Fremantle will sell on Wednesday and Thursday. This is to avoid Melbourne selling in isolation on any day, following an extended recess.

Source: AWEX


Last Call for Entries in ALB’s Lamb Challenge-Holiday Edition

With only two weeks left to enter #TheLambChallenge-Holiday Edition, and one winner yet to be chosen, now is the time to help spread the word on social media channels about this American Lamb Board promotion. ALB is receiving an average of more than 300 entries every week.

ALB crafted this campaign to spark product purchases, give consumers a chance to experiment with lamb cuts and increase their confidence in cooking with American lamb for the holiday season.

Throughout the social media campaign, ALB is pushing out recipes and inspiration through a variety of channels. From replacing typical holiday fare to easy cocktail party appetizers to cozy cold weather comfort foods, American lamb will be showcased as a great holiday choice.

ALB’s food blogger influencer partners are spreading the word. Here are 3 examples:

For those looking to get the word out through their own social media accounts, ALB suggests that they go to the consumer Facebook page and Instagram page to share recent posts. Winners will receive two racks of American lamb and four cookbooks.

To Enter: Follow @fanoflamb on either Instagram or Facebook, “like” the designated contest posts, and comment with an American lamb recipe you plan to enjoy this holiday season. One winner will be selected every two weeks.

Source: ALB


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