U.S. Sheep Industry’s Economic Contributions
The U.S. sheep industry plays an important role in supporting the economic viability and vitality of rural America and beyond. A U.S. Sheep Industry Economic Contribution Analysis was recently conducted on behalf of the American Sheep Industry Association.
The Production sector of the U.S. sheep industry is itself backlinked to the Processing and Manufacturing sector of the industry – supplying slaughter lambs and sheep, wool and fluid milk as inputs for further processed and manufactured outputs (carcasses, case-ready cuts of meat, sheep milk cheese, dog food, leather and shearling products, wool textiles and apparel, military dress uniforms, etc.).
Contributions to the U.S. Economy
Production Sector – The total contribution of the Production Sector of the U.S. sheep industry was estimated at $1.4 billion in total output (sales), supporting:
- 8,492 total jobs.
- $494 million in total labor income.
- $833.2 million in total value-added.
- $151.4 million in total local, state and federal taxes.
Processing and Manufacturing Sector – The total contribution of the Processing and Manufacturing Sector of the U.S. sheep industry was estimated at $3.7 billion in total output (sales), supporting:
- 14,153 jobs.
- $854.3 million in labor income.
- $1.4 billion in value added.
- $273.4 million in local, state and federal taxes.
Total contribution results for the Production and the Processing and Manufacturing sectors of the U.S. sheep industry are not additive due to the linkage structure of the analysis. Analysis based on 2021 data.
Click Here for more information.
Source: U.S. Sheep Industry Economic Contribution Analysis. Knob Economics. November 2023.
Former President Frischknecht Passes Away
Former American Sheep Industry Association President Paul Randy Frischknecht, 76, was relieved of his physical suffering from cancer in the early morning hours of Feb. 2, 2024, at his home, surrounded by his family.
Affectionately known as “Dinger,” he was born in Gunnison, Utah, on Nov. 8, 1947, to Kay and Jean Frischknecht of Manti, Utah. Paul grew up with a passion for sheep, cattle, ranching, hard work and mischief along with his brothers and sisters. He was the third of nine children.
Paul graduated from Manti High School in 1966, where he played basketball. His Templar team won the state championship his senior year. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Rochester, N.Y. He married Rebecca Mortensen from Ephraim, Utah, in 1972. Together they had four children: Kamie F. (Greg) Brown, Preston (Holly) Frischknecht, Julie F. (Trace) Larsen and Rachelle Frischknecht. They later divorced.
Paul graduated from Snow College and obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science at Utah State University. He graduated with a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Utah Law School in 1975. He returned to Manti and pursued his legal career. He served as Sanpete County Prosecutor, Sanpete County Public Defender, and city attorney for Manti and other local towns during his legal career.
He married Marla Mickelsen Hansen from Redmond, Utah, in 1998, and with that marriage came four stepchildren: Kimberly (Mark) Christenson, Marty (Keriann) Hansen, Brandon (Tressa) Hansen and Kade (Maghan) Hansen.
Paul was proud of his involvement with the Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Board, Utah State Board of Big Game Control, National Animal Damage Control Advisory Committee, and Bureau of Land Management District Advisory Board. He served as president of the Utah Wool Growers Association, the American Sheep Industry Association, and the National Public Lands Council, as well as many other local and national positions. He also shared ownership of Iowa Lamb Corporation.
Paul is survived by his wife; children; stepchildren; siblings: John (Susan) Frischknecht, Steve (Kathy) Frischknecht, Kent (Jenny) Frischknecht, Joe (Barbara) Frischknecht, Kristine (Cordell) Frischknecht-Christensen, Mary (Rod) Anderson and Ann (Val) Anderson; 33 grandchildren, and (almost) 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother Fred Frischknecht.
Funeral services were Wednesday in the Mayfield Ward Chapel.
Australian Wool Market Continues to Slide
The Australian wool market continued its gradual decline, recording another overall decrease for the fourth consecutive series. However, positive signs were shown late in the selling pattern. The sale did increase in size from the previous week, but not by the forecasted amount. After 8.1 percent of the offering was withdrawn prior to sale, there were a total of 38,811 bales available to the trade – 5,912 more than last week.
Buyer demand was still strong, but in a similar pattern to the previous series. The prices on offer were again below those available in the previous series. Wool possessing favorable additional measurement results – particularly those with low CVH readings (a measurement of how even in length the wool is) – held up best in the softer market. The movements in individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece across the country ranged between +1 and -34 cents. The skirtings tracked the fleece, while the crossbred and oddment sectors again defied the overall trend and recorded small increases.
The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 8 cents, closing the week at 1,163 Australian cents. The EMI has not recorded a positive movement in 11 consecutive selling days. This run further surpasses the eight sales that the EMI dropped in May 2023, although the losses sustained this time around have not been as severe. In the previous 11 selling days, the EMI has lost a total of 57 cents. During the eight consecutive negative selling days in 2023, the EMI dropped by 103 cents. The last time the EMI has had a longer run without a positive result was back between August and October 2022, when the EMI fell for 12 consecutive selling days.
Next week the quantity is expected to rise. There are currently 43,624 bales rostered for sale nationally with Melbourne requiring three selling days to accommodate the offering.
Click Here for the Australian Wool Report Prices in US Dollars Per Pound.
Deadline Approaching for NLFA Leadership School
The deadline to apply for the 2024 Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School is Thursday, Feb. 15. The annual school is produced by the National Lamb Feeders Association and will visit Brownsville, Ore., on March 24-27.
Click Here to apply.
ALB Announces Lamb Summit 2025
The American Lamb Summit is now scheduled for July 2025 at the University of Idaho. This biennial industry event addresses critical strategies to improve the sheep industry’s competitiveness and profitability.
The change was made to allow industry representatives to attend LambEx2024, another biennial event attracting sheep producers from Australia and around the globe. This event provides an opportunity to draw together sheep producers and representatives from the sheep, lamb and wool production supply chain in a two-day global event.
“As a board, we determined that offsetting these two industry events would provide an opportunity to bring key global findings back to U.S. producers attending the American Lamb Summit in 2025,” said ALB Chairman Jeff Ebert.
The American Lamb Summit aims to inspire the next level of change and collaboration among all segments of the American lamb industry to improve competitiveness, product quality and productivity through increased use of the most efficient, progressive management tools.
More information about the 2025 Lamb Summit in Moscow, Idaho, will be available early next year.
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.
ERS Projects Farm Sector Profits to Fall
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service released its annual farm income forecast for 2024. The latest outlook projects 2024 net farm income to fall to $116 billion, capturing a decrease of $39.8 billion – 25.5 percent – relative to 2023 in nominal dollars (not accounting for inflation).
This follows a forecasted decrease of $29.7 billion – 16 percent – from 2022 to $155.9 billion in 2023. After accounting for inflation, the 2024 net farm income is projected to decrease $43.1 billion – 27.1 percent – relative to 2023. This puts the forecasted 2024 net farm income about 1.7 percent below the 20-year average and nearly 41 percent below the 2022 record. Net cash farm income – which more closely tracks producer’s cash flow – is expected to face a similar decline of $42.2 billion or 25.8 percent in inflation-adjusted terms for 2024.
The report also projected 2024 Direct Government Payments to fall by $1.9 billion – a 15.9 percent – from 2023 to $10.2 billion. This decrease is to be expected due to the lower supplemental and ad hoc disaster assistance being made available in 2024 relative to 2023. Meanwhile, 2024 total production expenses are forecasted to increase for producers by $16.7 billion – 3.8 percent – to $455.1 billion, with the livestock sector purchases and labor expenses expected to see the largest increases in 2024 relative to 2023. The full summary and breakdown of the ERS report can be found here.
Sec. Vilsack to Testify Before Ag Committees
Last week, it was announced that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is scheduled to appear in front of both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. Sec. Vilsack is likely to face questions over hot button issues, such as concern over the department’s distribution of funds provided through the Inflation Reduction Act, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and pandemic recovery and disaster assistance and the overall use of the Commodity Credit Corporation. Both parties are critical of Vilsack’s implementation of programs and allocations of funds. Vilsack will testify before the House Agriculture Committee on Feb. 14 and before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Feb. 28.
House Passes Bipartisan Tax Package
On Jan. 31, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7024 – the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 by a 357-70 vote margin. This bipartisan tax package included key expensing provisions beneficial to farmers and an expansion of the child tax credit.
Despite criticism from some GOP conservatives about the expanded child tax credit potential to discourage workforce participation and concerns about benefits to illegal immigrants, the bill garnered substantial Republican support in the House. The legislation aims to extend certain provisions from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, such as restoring 100 percent bonus depreciation through 2025 and increasing the Section 179 expensing allowance. The bill also proposes to raise the child tax credit retroactively, with adjustments for inflation in coming years.
While some Republicans criticized the bill as business welfare and an expansion of the welfare state, its passage in the House by a significant margin might influence the Senate’s reception. Now, H.R. 7024 heads over to the Senate, where a floor date to consider the legislation has yet to be set.
USDA Grants Build Food Supply Chain Resiliency
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to date, has awarded over $270 million through cooperative agreements with state departments of agriculture to build resilience across the middle of the food supply chain and strengthen local and regional food systems.
The funding is being awarded through the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program which is administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. Through a competitive grant process, states and territories will issue subawards of Infrastructure Grants to agricultural producers or processors, nonprofit organizations, local government entities, tribal governments, and institutions such as schools, universities, or hospitals. In addition to Infrastructure Grants, some states will use funding to support supply chain coordination and technical assistance to increase resiliency within the food system.
At the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s 2024 Winter Policy Conference, Secretary Vilsack announced Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Utah, and West Virginia have now opened their Request for Applications for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program, joining the 28 states that are already offering grant funding for projects that support supply chain infrastructure. Currently, there is $230 million available in Infrastructure Grant funding across the country.
“These unprecedented investments into our nation’s supply chain infrastructure will not only benefit consumers by ensuring they have dependable access to fresh and locally produced food, the investments will benefit producers and rural communities by providing more options and creating more, new and better markets for small and mid-size producers,” Secretary Vilsack said. “USDA also recognizes that the work through the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program is made possible by the strong partnerships we maintains with state agricultural agencies.”
In May 2023, USDA announced the availability of up to $420 million through the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program, to create food systems infrastructure to support competitive and profitable market access for domestic farm products and create more economic opportunities for communities, allowing them to retain more of the value chain dollar. The program is also supporting the creation of new, safe job opportunities with fair wages that keep profits within rural communities. The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program is authorized by the American Rescue Plan.
Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through their respective state department of agriculture. Updates for each state’s Request for Applications for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program are available on the AMS website.
Through the program and in addition to the Infrastructure Grant funding, the states will support supply chain coordination and technical assistance to farmers and food businesses operating in processing, aggregation and distribution.
For more information, visit the AMS Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure webpage.