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Editor’s Note: Due to the holidays, there will be no ASI Weekly next week. The newsletter will return on Jan. 5, 2024.


Hotel Registration Deadline Extended

If you’re planning to attend the American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention but haven’t reserved a room at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, you’re in luck. The discounted block rate for room reservations has been extended to Friday, DEC. 22.

Click Here to book your room directly with the hotel.


Shearing Grant Applications Due Jan. 1

Continuing a program that has proven successful in recent years, the American Sheep Industry Association will once again offer grants to developing shearers. Experienced shearers are also eligible to apply for mentoring grants. But time is running out to apply, as applications are due Jan. 1.

Due to the growing demand for shearers in the United States, the ASI Wool Council has chosen to continue offering the grant program to develop new shearers. The program will help support developing shearers with a $1,500 grant – $500 up front and $1,000 when they’ve completed program requirements – as they increase the quality of their shearing and their ability to shear additional sheep per day, thus working to build their income and longevity in the industry.

Mentor shearers can apply for a $1,500 grant – payable once program requirements have been met – to incentivize their ability to assist up-and-coming shearers involved in the grant.

Applications are due by Jan. 1, 2024.

Click Here for an application and more information. Click Here for the same information in Spanish.


One Graded LDP Payment Peaks at $1.50 Per Pound Clean, Reaching Annual High Point

Attention wool growers with 23.6 to 25.9 micron wool who haven’t taken a Loan Deficiency Payment in 2023 – now is the time. For the second consecutive week, growers with this micron wool can currently receive a payment of $1.50 per lb. clean.

Talk to your local U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency office to apply and to learn more. LDP rates change weekly, so check often.

Click Here for more information.


USDA Conducts Sheep Health Study

Now through July 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s National Animal Health Monitoring System are partnering to conduct a national study focusing on sheep and lamb health and management in the United States.

This study – conducted approximately every 10 years – consists of two phases and includes biological sampling and two questionnaires.

“The data collected during this comprehensive survey will be instrumental for informing policy using real and accurate data, identifying economic impacts of sheep diseases, updating extension programs to target the issues that sheep producers are facing, and prioritizing research to tackle the health and disease issues in the U.S. sheep industry,” said Dr. Natalie Urie, NAHMS sheep 2024 study lead. “Our goal is to identify impacts of common diseases, management and biosecurity practices associated with those diseases, antimicrobial use and resistance patterns, management practices producers use to control internal parasites, and more.”

Producers, industry stakeholders and policymakers will benefit from the benchmark data produced by this survey. Survey results will provide a greater understanding of sheep health status throughout the United States and provide valuable insight into management practices and disease preparedness and identify educational needs and opportunities related to sheep health.

“Producers participating in the study will also have opportunities for free and confidential biological sampling of their sheep. This includes sampling fecal egg counts to identify internal parasite issues and swabs to detect pathogens that cause lameness,” said Dr. Alyson Wiedenheft, NAHMS biologics coordinator.

NASS has made survey response more convenient and accessible through its online Respondent Portal at On the website, producers can complete their NASS survey, view historical reports and access other resources.

NASS and NAHMS are required by law to keep all information confidential, use the data for statistical purposes only and publish in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation. The results will be announced and published at the conclusion of the sheep study.

Click Here to learn more about the NAHMS sheep study or to see past results.



KSU Hiring Small Ruminant Professor

Kansas State University is looking to hire an assistant or associate professor in sustainable small ruminant production to work in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry in Manhattan, Kan.

The successful individual is expected to develop an innovative and impactful extension program addressing issues facing the Kansas and United States small ruminant industry. The research focus will be consistent with the successful individual’s expertise in small ruminants, and may include nutrition, physiology, meat science, genetics or other related disciplines. Teaching efforts will primarily focus on direct leadership for the Sheep and Meat Goat Science undergraduate class, with the potential for development of other relevant courses of interest.

Click Here for more information.

Source: KSU


ALB Promotes Holiday Roasts for Celebrations

Holiday gatherings offer the perfect opportunity to savor the rich taste of American lamb with loved ones. Throughout November and December, the American Lamb Board hosted the Season’s Greeting Giveaway, inviting consumers to sign up for the newsletter for a chance to win a lamb leg roast and a Caraway roasting pan.

The campaign was a resounding success, witnessing record-high traffic on the ALB website and welcoming more than 3,000 new subscribers to the newsletter distribution list.

The dedicated campaign page featured roasting guides and inspirational holiday recipes, empowering consumers to infuse the exceptional flavor of American lamb into their holiday party plans. To enhance the culinary experience, ALB collaborated with two esteemed food bloggers who shared their creativity on social media.

Need more inspiration for your holiday parties? Explore the latest blog post where ALB staff and board members share their favorite, tried-and-true holiday lamb dishes. These remarkable picks are guaranteed to elevate your holiday recipe collection.

Source: ALB


NASS Seeks Public Input

Upon the completion of the Census of Agriculture every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts a thorough review of its estimating programs. The goal of the review is to ensure that the annual estimating programs target the commodities and states most relevant to United States agriculture.

In addition to ag census data, NASS will consider all available information – including public input – when determining whether to add or remove specific programs and when selecting the individual states included in each commodity program.

With data collection for the 2022 Census of Agriculture now complete, NASS is beginning the program review process and is now seeking public feedback. Please send comments or other information for consideration about a specific NASS program, along with contact information, to with NASS Program Review in the subject line by Jan. 5, 2024.



Regulations Would Revise Standards for Meat Processors

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed regulation that would revise wastewater discharge standards for facilities that process meat and poultry products. Many of these facilities are located near communities with environmental justice concerns that have bodies of water impaired by nutrient pollution.

The agency’s proposal would leverage the latest pollution control technologies to cut the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and other pollutants discharged to the nation’s waters by approximately 100 million pounds of pollutants per year, improving water quality for downstream communities and ecosystems.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to following law and the best available science to safeguard communities from pollution,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA’s proposal to reduce water pollution from meat and poultry processing facilities will prevent millions of pounds of pollutants from entering our nation’s waters.”

The Clean Water Act requires EPA to revise industry-wide wastewater treatment limits – called effluent limitation guidelines – to keep pace with innovations in pollution control technology. The first ELGs for facilities that process meat and poultry products were issued in 1974 and the last revision was in 2004. ELGs are based on the performance of demonstrated wastewater treatment technologies, and they are intended to represent the greatest pollutant reductions that are economically achievable for an entire industry.

As EPA announced in its September 2021 Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15, the agency completed a detailed study of facilities that process meat and poultry products, leading to its decision to revise the existing effluent regulation for these facilities.

EPA’s proposed regulation would establish updated technology-based pollution limits that are affordable and achievable using existing demonstrated technologies. Additionally, implementation of these ELGs includes flexibilities to achieve the established limits using different technologies or operational strategies. This flexibility serves as an incentive for facilities and control technology vendors to develop even lower-cost compliance options.

The agency’s proposal also seeks comment on more stringent ELGs for these facilities. EPA will be accepting public comment on the proposed regulation for 60 days upon its publication in the Federal Register. Learn more about EPA’s proposed Meat and Poultry Products Effluent Guidelines.

Click Here for draft text of the proposal.

Source: EPA


USDA Launches LRM Workshops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is hosting more than a dozen in-person and virtual workshops this winter for producers to learn about new and expanded livestock risk management products. The Livestock Roadshow, hosted by USDA’s Risk Management Agency, will highlight policy improvements based on feedback from America’s livestock producers as part of the agency’s broader outreach and education efforts.

“Listening to farmers and ranchers, learning about their needs, and using feedback to make improvements to risk management options is a top priority for Risk Management Agency,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “We are committed to expanding the reach of crop insurance, especially to producers who haven’t previously participated. The Livestock Roadshow is one of our many efforts to provide outreach and education to America’s agricultural producers.”

Improvements to livestock insurance options have led to tremendous growth. For example, Livestock Risk Protection grew by 250 percent in two years, with about 27 million head of cattle insured in 2023. Meanwhile, Livestock Gross Margin grew by 600 percent in two years, with about 14.5 million head of cattle insured in 2023.

To ensure livestock producers across the country can attend a livestock roadshow event, two virtual livestock roadshows are scheduled for January.

Click Here to learn more about the virtual roadshows, and to see the full listing of upcoming in-person roadshow events.

Source: USDA/RMA


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