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Pope, Pfeiffer Win Wool Excellence Awards

Veteran wool industry researchers Dr. Ronald Pope and Faron Pfeiffer of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo, Texas, have been announced as recipients of the Wool Excellence Award. The two will be honored at the Wool Recognition Lunch during the 2023 American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 19.

Tickets are separate from ASI Annual Convention registration fees, so those wishing to celebrate the accomplishments of Pope and Pfeiffer should plan on adding tickets to the lunch when registering for the convention. Winners of the Wool Excellence Award are chosen by the Wool Roundtable.

Pope was raised on a sheep and angora ranch near Cross Plains, Texas, and graduated from Tarleton State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science before pursuing his doctorate in wool science at the University of Wyoming. After graduation, he owned sheep and alfalfa operations of the family ranch for a decade. He served as ASI’s director of raw wool services for four years before joining Producer’s Marketing Cooperative Inc. In 2013, he took on the role of running the Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory in San Angelo.

“Ron is everything wool,” said ASI Deputy Director Rita Kourlis Samuelson. “He was the first raw wool specialist at ASI, manages a warehouse, and used all his experience and education while employed at Texas A&M AgriLife. His expertise, cut-to-the-chase candor, honesty and dry sense of humor all mixed together have made it a pleasure and honor to work with him.”

Pfeiffer earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from Angelo State University and joined Texas A&M’s San Angelo research station shortly after graduation. He remained there until retirement earlier this year, a 43-year service to the industry.

“Faron Pfeiffer has been a central figure at the Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory since it was founded,” said Dr. Reid Redden, director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center. “His steadfast efforts kept the laboratory serving the sheep industry though research and grower testing for decades.”

For more information, see the January 2023 issue of the Sheep Industry News.

Click Here to register for the ASI Annual Convention. The discounted, early bird registration deadline is just one week away. Any registrations after Dec. 16 will be at the full rate. Any registrations after Dec. 30 must be done onsite in Fort Worth.

Shearing Schools Added to Calendar

A few shearing schools have been added to the calendar of events since the list of 2022-23 schools was first published earlier this year.

If you’re interested in attending a shearing school, see if one of these might fit your schedule:

  • The South Dakota State University Shearing School is scheduled for Dec. 10-12 at the SDSU Sheep Unit in Brookings, S.D. Contact Kelly Froehlich at or 605-688-5433 for more information.
  • The Wisconsin Shearing School is set for Dec. 15-16. Contact Todd Taylor at for more information.
  • The Utah State University Sheep Shearing School is scheduled for Jan. 19-21, 2023, at the USU Animal Science Farm in Wellsville, Utah. For more information, visit
  • The Maryland Sheep Shearing School will be Feb. 3-4, 2023, at Dale Lehman’s Farm in Fairplay, Md. Visit for more information.
  • The Indiana Shearing School is set for Feb. 18, 2023, at the Purdue University Animal Sciences Center. Visit for more information.
  • Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., will host a shearing school on March 1-2, 2023. Contact Extension Associate Amy Bax at to register.
  • The Moffat County Sheep Shearing School in Craig, Colo., is set for March 31-April 2, 2023. Email Megan Stetson at for more information.
  • The Tennessee Sheep Producers Association Sheep Shearing School is scheduled for April 7-8, 2023, at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Contact Mark Powell at 615-519-7796 or for more information.
  • Shepherd’s Cross in Claremore, Okla., will host a shearing school on April 13-15, 2023. Visit to register.


Research Update Podcast: Foot Health

Foot issues can be a drag on your flock’s health and performance. They can also lead to regular hoof trimming, which is rarely a shepherd’s favorite chore. As we enter the season of wet and mud in many parts of the United States, now’s a good time to think about foot health management within your flock.

Professor Laura Green of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom is no stranger to foot rot in the country’s constantly wet conditions. She joins host Jake Thorne to discuss foot health and management in this month’s ASI Research Update podcast.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


Australian Wool Prices Rise at Year’s Largest Sale

With only two sales left for the 2022 calendar year, the national offered quantity rose to 40,616 bales this week. It was the largest sale (and the first three-day sale) in four months. The market performed well all week, driven by widespread competition across most sectors and all microns.

It was initially a cautious start on Tuesday at the East Coast markets, but as the day progressed prices continued to climb, accelerating further at a late selling Fremantle market. Values in the Western Australian market closed higher than the Eastern auctions, which later proved to be a significant barometer to the direction of the market in the coming days. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator added 12 cents for the day. The strong buyer sentiment and firming pattern continued into the following day, resulting in MPG increases ranging from 18 to 85 cents and pushing the EMI to a 32-cent increase – its largest daily rise in 14 months.

Thursday continued the theme at a Melbourne-only rostering. A New Zealand catalogue reduced the availability of Australian wool, assisting with additional price increases of 5 to 54 cents. The EMI finished the week 54 cents higher at 1,278 Australian cents, its largest weekly rise in 18 months.

The market passed the billion-dollar turnover milestone in this series, taking one week longer than in the previous season. Next week will be the final sale before the annual three-week Christmas recess, and 49,693 bales are expected to be offered in three centers – the largest sale for this season. Melbourne will again sell over three days to accommodate its large catalogue.

Click Here for the Full Australian Wool Market Report.

Source: AWEX


ALB Offers Timely Tools & Resources

The American Lamb Board provides an assortment of tools and resources to producers, including market reports, quarterly index reports and a menu trend study to implement in their operations and stay informed about the industry.

Market Reports

ALB works with American Sheep Industry Association to develop market reports that monitor conditions and trends. Reports are released on both a monthly and annual basis. They include data related to lamb imports, sheep and lamb prices and a market forecast for producers to prepare for the future. Monthly and annual reports can be found on ALB’s industry website at

Index Reports

Quarterly retail sales reports are compiled using data from Information Resources, Inc., which provides consumer, shopper and retail market intelligence. These reports examine retail sales broken down by cuts and by regions and markets to present a detailed analysis of lamb sales at grocery stores. These insights can help the industry monitor market conditions and trends and can help ALB and suppliers shape promotional programs or improve the targeting of promotional activities. The latest report – with data through September 2022 – is now available by emailing

Menu Trend Study

The menu trend study delivers analysis of lamb on restaurant menus including quick service, fast casual, midscale, casual and fine dining sectors. The study documents lamb use on menus by segment and includes menu descriptors such as dish type (entrée, appetizer, soup, salad), flavors and sauces and country of origin descriptions. This information presents the industry with trends data to develop supply strategies and opportunities. The latest menu study report – done in 2021 – reflects the significant impact of Covid on menus – especially fine dining. The report is available by emailing

“Information drives innovation and the American lamb checkoff continues to invest in resources to positively influence American lamb’s value and help producers respond to consumer market signals,” said ALB Chairman Peter Camino.

Additional resources are available for producers at

Source: ALB


Legislative Update from Washington, D.C.

The American Sheep Industry Association’s lobbying firm – Cornerstone Government Affairs – offered an update this week on legislative issues in our nation’s capital.

Rep. Thompson elected House Ag Chair

During a meeting on Wednesday, the House Republican Steering Committee elected Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (Penn.) to be chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture for the 118th Congress.

With Rep. Thompson as chairman, expect farm bill discussions to be pro-farmer and pro-traditional agriculture. Republican control of the gavel will also likely lead to more oversight of the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, amongst other federal agencies. The 118th Congress will convene on Jan. 3, 2023.


ASI Joins Call for Senate to Address Ag Labor

Hundreds of agricultural organizations are pressing Senate leaders to make time for legislation that would address farm labor before adjourning for the year. The American Sheep Industry Association joined a letter with other agricultural groups – including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association – that signaled public support for a compromised version of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.

The act would expand the H-2A visa program and provide a path to legal status for domestic workers. In a message to Senate Democratic and Republican leadership, the letter says the country “cannot afford for the Senate to miss this opportunity to provide stability to both farmers and farmworkers.”

Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.) and Mike Crapo (Idaho) have been working for months on a compromise with the FWMA, to which agriculture groups are urging action before the end of the year. During an interview this past week, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), stated that although she hasn’t seen the latest revisions to the bill, she believes the legislation will be able to make it to the president’s desk.

Source: Cornerstone Government Affairs

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