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ASI Past President Glen Fisher, 1947-2021

American Sheep Industry Association Past President Glen Fisher died suddenly on Feb. 8, 2021, just a few days after celebrating his birthday with his wife and family. He was 74 years old.

He was president of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association in 2001-2002 and ASI president from 2009-2010. He served on many committees in the sheep and goat, wool and mohair industries and was proud to have been a member and chairman of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center.

Among the many awards he received through the years, he was recognized with the ASI Wool Excellence Award, as well as TSGA’s Fred T. Earwood Award. He was also honored by the National Lamb Feeders Association.

Fisher was born Feb. 5, 1947, in Childress, Texas. Most of his childhood was spent on the farm outside Lorenzo, Texas, working with his parents and his sisters. He graduated from Lorenzo High School as valedictorian in 1965 and went to Texas Tech University, where he met Linda Ann McBride and fell in love. They were married on May 21, 1971. After graduating from Texas Tech, the couple moved to Oklahoma State University where Fisher finished his masters degree in agriculture economics.

While he was in Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the couple had a daughter, Tammy, in Uvalde, Texas. The three moved to Sonora, Texas, in May 1977 and lived on the Halbert ranch where Fisher worked for his grandfather-in-law, Robert Halbert. In 1979, he went to work as manager of Sonora Wool and Mohair Company around the same time the couple welcomed a son, David, into the world. Fisher was later the manager of Ozona Wool and Mohair and Del Rio Wool and Mohair for a short time. From the time he married Linda, he worked with her family on the ranch in Sonora.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Linda Fisher; his daughter, Tammy; son, David, and his wife Stacy; and grandchildren, Madalyn and Weston, all of Sonora, Texas. He is also survived by his sisters, Joan Yoakum and husband Pat of Lubbock, Texas, Mary Rauch of San Angelo, Texas, Kay Ardis and husband Bill of Crowley, Texas; brother-in-law Patrick McBride of Guadalajara, Mexico; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leona Pauline Bradshaw Fisher and Lindsay Floyd Grady Fisher; his sister, Burma Niell; brothers-in-law, Aubrey Niell and Walter Rauch; and his wife’s parents, Allie and Vestel Askew.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Sutton County Civic Center on Feb. 22, 2021, at 2 p.m. in Sonora. Memorials may be made to Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Memorial Fund, American Sheep Industry Association Guard Dog Fund, Sutton County Health Foundation or the First United Methodist Church of Sonora.


ALB Nominations Due to ASI by March 26

The American Sheep Industry Association is actively seeking nominations of sheep producers and lamb feeders to serve on the American Lamb Board. ASI is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Certified Nominating Organization to submit nominations for lamb producers and feeders who serve on the board.

ALB will have two producer openings to be appointed later this year and begin serving three-year terms in 2022. One opening is for a producer with between 101 and 500 lambs to fill the position currently held by Tom Colyer of Massachusetts. He is not eligible for reappointment. The second opening is for a producer with more than 500 lambs to fill the position currently held by Gwen Kitzan of South Dakota. She is not eligible for reappointment. To meet regional requirements, one producer must be from Region 1 as recognized by USDA.

There is also an opening for a feeder with 5,000 or more lambs. At least two nominations will be required to fill the slot currently held by Rob Rule of Iowa, who is eligible for reappointment.

ASI is looking to submit two eligible producers and feeders for each position. Anyone interested in applying should first consult with representatives from their state sheep association. Applications are due to ASI by March 26 and can be sent to ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick at

Composed of 13 members representing two geographical regions, the Board administers a research and promotion program authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. USDA encourages board membership that reflects the diversity of the individuals served by its industry.

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 research and promotion boards that are industry-funded and empower agricultural industries with a framework to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.

Click Here for more information.


Sen. Cramer Requests Withdrawal of Scrapie Import Rule

Sen. Kevin Cramer (N.D.) led a letter this week to Robert Fairweather, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, requesting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final rule on the importation of sheep, goats and certain other ruminants be withdrawn until its impact on current market conditions has been fully evaluated.

The rule, finalized on Jan. 14, would remove brain disorder-related import restrictions on sheep, goats and most of their products. The existing import restrictions function as a necessary protection against the introduction of other brain disorders, such as scrapie or mad cow disease.

“The federal government has invested over $200 million into scrapie eradication since the early 2000s. This investment has yielded tremendous results, lowering the percentage of scrapie-positive cull sheep at slaughter by 99 percent since FY2003,” the senators wrote. “By allowing scrapie positive animals and genetic materials into the United States, we risk reintroducing the very disease we have nearly eradicated. If the disease is reintroduced into domestic flocks, opportunities for export will rapidly decline.”

Joining Sen. Cramer on his letter are senators John Cornyn (Texas), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), John Thune (S.D.), John Hoeven (N.D.) and Michael Rounds (S.D.).

Click Here to read the full letter.


Biosecurity Signs Available for Download

As part of the American Sheep Industry Association’s Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan, biosecurity signs are now available for producers to download and print for posting around their operations. The 8.5 by 11 inch, full-color signs are available for download in both English and Spanish.

Click Here for more information.


NAHMS Seeks Input on Focus of Upcoming Sheep Study

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System is seeking stakeholder input to help shape the objectives for an upcoming sheep study that will take an in-depth look at the most pressing health issues facing American sheep producers. Interested stakeholders can provide input through March 31.

Click Here to take the survey.

Stakeholder input is essential to the success of the Sheep 2023 study. NAHMS encourages all stakeholders to identify the focus and objectives they would like analyzed in this national study.

Click Here to view results of the 2011 NAHMS Sheep Study.



ALB Elects New Leadership

The American Lamb Board elected 2021 officers at its annual meeting on Feb. 3. The newly elected officers are Gwendolyn Kitzan of South Dakota as chair, Peter John Camino of Wyoming as vice chair, Sally Scholle of Pennsylvania as secretary and Rob Rule of Iowa as treasurer.

The meeting marked the retirement of directors Greg Deakin of Illinois, Elizabeth Dressler of Colorado and David Quam of Texas. Joining the board – all for their first terms – are Michael Duff (representing seedstock producers) of Idaho, David McEwen (producer greater than 500 head) of Montana and Carlos Barba (first handler) of Illinois.

Source: ALB


Rangeland Management Directives Comment Period Extended

The public comment period for proposed updates to the rangeland management directives has been extended by 60 days. The comment period will now end on April 17. The official notice was published in the Federal Register on Thursday and is currently available on the public inspection page for the Federal Register at:

This effort includes updates to Forest Service Manual 2200, Forest Service Handbook 2209.13 and Forest Service Handbook 2209.16. These directives guide the agency’s grazing permit administration and grazing allotment management and have not been updated since the early 1990s. As a reminder, you can review the proposed rangeland management directives along with supplemental information on the proposed rangeland management directives updates webpage which can be accessed at:

Source: USFS


VS Upgrades Scrapie Information Line

Sheep and goat stakeholders can call 1-866-USDA-TAG to get information about identification requirements, request flock and premises IDs, and new producers who have not gotten official scrapie program ear tags in the past can request up to 100 tags at no cost.

Currently, callers are routed to the appropriate Veterinary Services or state office using the prefix of the phone number from which they are calling. In cases where the caller has moved and has a cell phone prefix from a different region this has resulted in misrouting of their call. To address this problem, APHIS has worked with Verizon to develop a new process using touchpad and voice technology to allow the caller to identify the state in which flock is located. This new system was deployed this week.

Callers can now either key in or say the numbers on their telephone keypad corresponding to the two-letter postal abbreviation of the state or territory where the flock about which they are calling is located.

For example, if they are calling about a flock in Texas, they would key in or say “8, 9” to indicate “T, X.”  If they don’t know the postal abbreviation or have difficulty with the tree, they will be routed to a voicemail box where they can leave a message with their name, phone number and the state or territory where their sheep or goats are located. Veterinary Services will respond to these inquiries within two business days.

Please provide any feedback about the new routing system to



Australian Market Posts Solid Week Despite Small Loss

The Australian wool market performed well this week, with the majority of a large selection of Merino fleece types recording positive movements. There were 49,810 bales available to the trade and this larger than normal offering attracted strong demand from the opening lot to the final hammer.

Main buyer interest continued to be in the finer microns. This was reflected in the individual Micron Price Guides for 19.5 micron and finer, which added between 2 and 45 cents for the week. It was only losses in other sectors of the market that prevented the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator from recording positive movement for the series. The EMI lost 10 cents for the week, closing at 1,275 Australian cents. Worth noting, due to the strengthening of the Australian dollar (the AUD was 1.1 U.S. cents higher than at the close of the market last week), when viewed in U.S. dollar terms the EMI recorded positive movement for the series. The EMI added 6 U.S. cents for the week, closing at 985 U.S. cents.

Also worth noting, the Western region, which does not have any crossbred components in the makeup of its indicator, recorded overall positive movements for the series. The Merino fleece MPGs in the West added between 2 and 10 cents for the week, helping to push the Western Indicator up by 1 cent.

After performing well for the first four sales of the 2021 calendar year, the crossbreds were the worst performing sector (in percentage terms) this series, playing a large part in the overall loss in the EMI. In Melbourne the 26-micron MPG dropped 65 cents (-8.1 percent), the 28-micron MPG dropped 32 cents (-5.8 percent) and the 30-micron MPG lost 31 cents (-7.3 percent).

Next week’s national offering is fairly similar as there are currently 48,977 bales on offer.

Source: AWEX


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