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.

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.

 

Texas A&M Looking for Wool Lab Manager

Texas A&M AgriLife Research in San Angelo, Texas, has an opening for a wool and mohair lab manager. The person in this position will assist with the planning, organization, direction and management of day-to-day activities of the lab. They will also be responsible for developing and implementing procedures for the successful administration of the program.

Essential duties and responsibilities of the position include:

  • Plans, organizes, directs and manages day-to-day activities, developing and implementing procedures for the operation of a commercial wool testing laboratory.
  • Assists in developing strategic plans and goals to support the laboratory.
  • Assists with the development and production of materials and testing procedures designed for the program.
  • Develops and conducts programs including technician training, conferences, seminars and workshops.
  • Supervises program support staff and student assistants.
  • Assists with yearly budgetary and contract processes. Prepares vouchers, purchase orders and requisitions, and coordinates with accounting personnel and other support staff.
  • Maintains and develops communications with partners and customers by participating in meetings and conference calls.
  • Monitors all laboratory procedures to ensure adherence to IWTO and ASTM test methods.

Click Here for more information.

 

N.D./Minn. Convention Postponed

The North Dakota/Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers Association Joint Convention will be hosted virtually tomorrow, beginning at 9 a.m. central time. The educational webinar is free and open to all interested people with updates and speakers representing the North Dakota Livestock Alliance, American Sheep Industry Association, American Lamb Board, Dakota Fiber Mill and Superior Farms.

The two states’ producer associations will meet via Zoom webinar at 11 a.m. central time for their annual business meetings. Members and those interested in joining are welcome to attend and be active participants in the organization.

Click Here to register. Following registration, a Zoom webinar link will be sent to your email to attend the event.  At 11 a.m. central time, attendees will break out to either the North Dakota or Minnesota annual meetings (Zoom links below). More information is available at www.ndsheep.org and www.mlwp.org.

To participate via phone, call 312-626-6799 and you will be prompted to enter your meeting ID (shown below) followed by #, then press # again and you will be entered into the meeting.

 

Topic: ND/MN Joint Convention Educational Webinar

Time: Dec 5 at 9 a.m. central time

Call-in number: 312-626-6799

Webinar Meeting ID: 920 6418 5048

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Topic: North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association Annual Meeting

Time: Dec 5 at 11 a.m. central time

Join Zoom Meeting: https://ndsu.zoom.us/j/91395686527

Call-in number: 312-626-6799

ND Meeting ID: 913 9568 6527

—————-

Topic: Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association Annual Meeting

Time: Dec 5 at 11 a.m. central time

Join Zoom Meeting: https://ndsu.zoom.us/j/92795579171

Call-in number: 312-626-6799

MN Meeting ID: 927 9557 9171

 

DSANA Plans Online Symposium for Jan. 13-14

In place of the Dairy Sheep Association of North America’s annual, in-person Dairy Sheep Symposium, there will be a virtual gathering on Jan. 13-14.

A variety of speakers from California to Croatia to New Zealand will speak on:

  • Udder conformation in dairy ewes.
  • Understanding mastitis and its impact on production.
  • On-farm mastitis culture for dairy sheep, and its on-farm use.
  • Dairy sheep farming in New Zealand and producing for the international powdered milk market.
  • Screening out Staph Aureus from a dairy flock.
  • A history of the sheep cheese-making tradition in Croatia, and what makes sheep milk and sheep cheese unique compared to other dairy-milk cheeses in the Croatian culture.
  • Lessons learned from marketing sheep dairy products in a pandemic.

More information will be announced at DSANA.org as it becomes available.

 

Livestock Groups File USFS Grazing Comments

The American Sheep Industry Association joined the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council this week in taking the opportunity to provide comment on the U.S. Forest Service’s proposal to amend the regulations related to nonmonetary settlement when unauthorized or excess grazing is determined to be non-willful.

“The livestock groups appreciate the agency’s efforts to respond to recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in their 2016 report to Congress entitled “Unauthorized Grazing: Actions Needed to Improve Tracking and Deterrence Efforts” (GAO-16-559). Among the recommendations in that report is a recognition that the USFS authority and policy for identifying, documenting, and remedying incidents of unauthorized and excess grazing lacked the nuance applied by other agencies, including those employed by the Bureau of Land Management in similar situations.

“Efforts to bring USFS policy into conformance with BLM policy will, in this situation, provide a great deal of clarity and reduce uncertainty for permittees who hold permits from both agencies. Further, federal agencies have sought to employ similar, complementary policies across agencies to facilitate ease of federal implementation. The livestock groups appreciate the efforts to do the same here.

“In the case of non-willful excess or unauthorized use, personal interaction should be the first step to allow a remedy to occur. The notice of proposed rulemaking provided that: ‘Informal resolution involves the permittee or non-permittee removing the livestock following a phone call from or face-to-face conversation with the authorized officer.’ The livestock groups wish to emphasize that in cases of informal resolution, livestock should not be removed by anyone other than the permittee responsible for the livestock, or an authorized officer. While the livestock groups do not believe the intent of the proposal is to provide for a non-permittee to remove livestock that do not belong to them or livestock for which they are not responsible, the groups believe clarification is warranted.

The letter also addressed the definition of “non-willful” unauthorized or excess use and addressed forage consumption.

The Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming wool growers associations also signed on to the letter to USFS.

 

Australian Market Posts Mixed Results

The Australian Merino fleece wool market had another down and up week, for a net result of very little change. The national offering was similar to the previous week as 36,507 bales were available to the trade – only 28 fewer bales than last week.

The first day of selling, the individual Micron Price Guides across the country fell between 1 and 44 cents. The only exception was the 18.0-micron MPG in the West, which managed a 1-cent increase. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator dropped by 17 cents for the day. The final hour of selling in the West (selling last) showed signs of improvement, boosting buyer confidence. This increased buyer sentiment carried into the second day, pushing prices higher.

The MPGs across all microns in all centers recorded positive movements of between 2 and 48 cents. These increases helped to push the EMI up 11 cents for the day. The EMI recorded an overall loss of 6 cents for the series, which equated to a marginal 0.5 percent reduction. Due to the further strengthening of the Australian dollar, when viewed in US dollar terms, the loss was even more marginal, a 2 USc fall or a 0.2 percent drop.

The crossbred sector again did not perform as well as the Merinos. Substantial losses in the 26.0-micron MPG in the North (-45 cents for a 6-percent fall) and the 32.0-micron MPG in the South (-22 cents for an 8-percent fall), were a contributing factor to the overall drop of the EMI. After the relaxing of some COVID restrictions this week, daily auction room lot limits have reverted to pre-COVID levels. This has meant that more wool can be offered each day. As a result, the national offering for the following sale has increased. In the second to last sale before the annual Christmas recess, there are currently 41,827 bales on offer nationally.

Source: AWEX

 

Deal of the Week

Show off your American sheep industry pride with a set of five American Wool-branded bumper stickers. Perfect for cars, trucks, trailers, computers, water bottles and so much more, the complete set is available for just $9 in the shop at SheepUSA.org.

The stickers include a round American Wool logo sticker, as well as traditional 10 inch by 3 inch horizontal bumper stickers with the following slogans:

  • I brake for sheep.
  • What wool be, wool be.
  • Only ewes can prevent forest fires.
  • Honk if you look good in wool.

You’ll also find the 2021 ASI Calendar in the shop. A single copy of the calendar was included with the December issue of the Sheep Industry News, but additional calendars are available online for $6 each.

Click Here to start your holiday shopping.

 

Trade Groups Call for PPP Correction

The American Sheep Industry Association joined a large group of trade associations this week in petitioning Congress to enact legislation before the end of the year that includes a technical correction addressing the tax treatment of loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program.

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress responded with speed, cooperation and an eye to preventing the worst potential economic outcomes. We ask that you bring that same spirit of urgency and cooperation before the end of this session to prevent an avoidable catastrophe for millions of small businesses that, without congressional action, will face a surprising, and, in many cases, insurmountable tax bill next year,” read the letter to leaders of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

“Included in the CARES Act was a provision stating that any portion of a PPP loan that qualified for loan forgiveness “shall be excluded from gross income” for tax purposes. This tax-free treatment of any forgiven loan amount was a key provision in the law and featured prominently in the debate leading up to and following the legislation’s enactment.

“Despite Congress’s clear intent, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2020-32, which specified that ‘no deduction is allowed under the Internal Revenue Code…if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a covered loan pursuant to section 1106(b) of the [CARES Act].’ The effect of this ruling is to transform tax-free loan forgiveness into taxable income, raising the specter of a surprise tax increase of up to 37 percent on small businesses when they file their taxes for 2020.

“Additionally, the IRS recently issued Revenue Ruling 2020-27, stating that expenses funded through a PPP loan are not deductible for 2020 if ‘the taxpayer reasonably expects to receive forgiveness of the covered loan on the basis of the expenses it paid or accrued during the covered period, even if the taxpayer has not submitted an application for forgiveness of the covered loan by the end of such taxable year.’

“Since the IRS issued Notice 2020-32, Congress has signaled that it intends to reverse the ruling. The Democratic and Republican chairs of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees issued public statements saying that the IRS Notice, and, more recently, the IRS Revenue Ruling, is flawed and contrary to Congressional intent. In addition, a provision to overturn Notice 2020-32 was included in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act that passed the House of Representatives in May. The most recent IRS Revenue Ruling creates a renewed sense of urgency for Congress to address this pivotal issue before the end of the year.”

 

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