Reverse Trade Mission Brings Wool Buyers to U.S.
Wool buyers from India were in the United States this week as part of a reverse trade mission organized by the American Sheep Industry Association. In the last 20 years, India has played an important role in the American wool export market. However, exports had waned during COVID, and ASI has worked to rejuvenate the country’s interest in American wool.
ASI helps identify customers around the world and informs them about American wool and its selling process. Understanding the needs of international customers helps to match potential suppliers.
The first stop on the tour was Groenewold Fur and Wool Company in Illinois. Keese International led the tour the next day in New Mexico. The group finished up in Texas looking at wool from all across the United States.
The wool buyers were escorted on the trip by ASI Wool Production Programs Manager Heather Pearce and ASI Wool Consultant Barry Savage. ASI uses funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service to support reverse trade missions and other projects that promote the use of American wool in processing hubs all around the world.
Wool buyers from Japan are scheduled to visit the United States this month, as well.
Last Chance to Enter ASI Photo Contest
Entries for the 2023 American Sheep Industry Association Photo Contest are due into the ASI office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Winning entries will be featured in the October issue of the Sheep Industry News.
More than $1,000 will be awarded, with prizes of $125 going to the first-place photographer in each of the five categories; $75 for the runner-up in each category; and a $50 prize for third place in each of the five categories: Shepherd/Shepherdess; Scenic East; Scenic West; Working Dogs and Protection Animals; and Open.
Click Here for full contest rules and information.
PLC Plans Annual Meeting in Pendleton
The Public Lands Council’s 55th Annual Meeting is scheduled for Sept. 5-7 in Pendleton, Ore., and there’s just a week left to reserve a room under the PLC block at the two host hotels: the Best Western Pendleton and the Holiday Inn Express.
While the meeting will cover a variety of issues that affect all ranchers grazing on public lands, a highlight on the schedule for sheep producers will be discussion of the National Animal Disease Preparedness Grant awarded to the American Sheep Industry Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The grant working group is developing recommendations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture on protocols for an animal disease outbreak on public lands.
While the meeting wraps up on Thursday evening of that week, PLC has organized two tours on Friday morning for attendees who aren’t in a rush to leave the historic Western town. Those tours include the Pendleton Wool Mill and Pendleton Underground. The meeting will take place the week before the annual Pendleton Round-Up, one of America’s largest and oldest rodeos.
Click Here for more information on the annual meeting.
Savor American Lamb at Idaho Festival
The best in American lamb will be featured at various culinary events during the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Oct. 4-8, in the picturesque Wood River Valley of Idaho.
Foodies will delight in the many special culinary lamb events, including the For the Love of Lamb Dine-Around, Cooking with Lamb Classes, Farm to Table dinners featuring Idaho lamb, Lamb Fest at the Folklife Fair and lamb lunch at the Happy Trails Closing Party. These culinary events are a part of the internationally recognized festival, which provides attendees the opportunity to experience a unique extended weekend of history and culture and a literal taste of the American West.
Celebrating its 27th anniversary year, the Trailing of the Sheep Festival honors the 150-plus year tradition of moving sheep from high-mountain, summer pastures down through the valley to traditional winter grazing and lambing areas in the south. The five-day festival includes nonstop activities in multiple venues.
Here’s a closer look at the lamb culinary events:
- Cooking with Lamb Classes will feature great culinary techniques from eight Idaho chefs. Learn from the best how to prepare creative lamb dishes. Classes include Roasted Rack of Lamb, Fasah – Yemeni Lamb Stew, Spiced Lamb Top Sirloin, Japanese Lamb Meatballs and Confit of Lamb. There is also a class on Cheese Making using cow’s and sheep’s milk.
- Farm to Table Lamb Dinners on Oct. 3-5 at Mountain Humane near Hailey, Idaho, will be prepared by local Chef Al McCord. The four-course dinners will feature local Idaho lamb from Darby Northcott’s 3/D Ranch on Tuesday, from Kathleen and Brian Bean’s Lava Lake Ranch on Wednesday and Diane, John and Tom Peavey’s Flat Top Ranch on Thursday. The ranchers will attend the dinners to discuss sheep ranching in Idaho as well as answer questions.
- For the Love of Lamb Dine-Around will take place in association with top local restaurants and chefs in Ketchum, Idaho, on Oct. 6. A variety of creative and tasty American lamb ‘baaa-ites’ will be offered starting at 4:30 p.m. and will end when all the bites are gone (usually within an hour.)
- A Lamb Fest will take place on Oct. 7 during the Sheep Folklife Fair. Enjoy delicious and creative American lamb dishes prepared by regional chefs and restaurants.
- The Happy Trails Festival Closing Party will be held on Oct. 8 at the Ketchum Town Square. It is the perfect spot to gather to enjoy delicious lamb prepared and served by the Wood River Sustainability Center and live music by Gary and Cindy Braun and The Pisten Bullys.
Click Here for information, tickets and a detailed schedule of events.
Source: Trailing of the Sheep Festival
Livestock Groups Oppose H.R. 3475
The American Sheep Industry Association was one of six national organizations to sign on to a letter this week opposing passage of the Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act (H.R. 3475).
“After trying for several years to advance this legislation out of committee, animal activist groups are seizing the opportunity presented by this year’s farm bill,” read the letter to leaders of the House Committee on Agriculture. “The SAFE Act furthers their goal of enacting future restrictions and bans on the American livestock industry. The goal of many so-called animal rights activists is a world where beef, chicken, pork, lamb and turkey are absent from the American dinner table – attaching the SAFE Act to the Farm Bill and enacting it into law would bring that goal much closer within reach, to the detriment of our nation’s food security, economy, and responsible stewardship of animals and resources. Our organizations oppose the SAFE Act because it:
- Is duplicative of existing prohibitions on horse processing.
- Establishes a precedent in the Farm Bill for banning the processing of a livestock species – an umbrella that covers not just horses but cattle, hogs, chicken, etc. – for human consumption.
- Creates an inappropriate limitation on commerce by attempting to prohibit a specific use for an exported product within the borders of our sovereign trading partners.
- Exacerbates the suffering of horses through increased abandonment and neglect.
- Continued degradation of rangelands due to the overpopulation of feral horses.
“Proponents of the SAFE Act claim that its primary goal is to ban the processing of horses for human consumption. That is the first signal that this legislation is disingenuous and unnecessary; horse processing for human consumption has been banned in this country since 2007. An appropriations rider pushed by animal rights activists and adopted in FY 2006 (and renewed each year since) defunds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inspection of any facility processing horse meat and illogically defunded inspection of any horses in transit to processing. Consequently, there is no at-scale processing of horses for human consumption in this country.
The other stated goal of the SAFE Act is to ban anyone from ‘knowingly ship[ping], transport[ing], mov[ing], deliver[ing], receiv[ing], possess[ing], purchas[ing], sell[ing] or donat[ing]’ horses for processing for human consumption. This legislation is a test balloon; animal activist groups that want to see the livestock industry minimized and ultimately eliminated in the United States are testing to see whether they can enshrine a ban on consuming a livestock species in law.
“Furthermore, our organizations are skeptical of this legislation’s attempt to control what happens beyond our borders. By banning the knowing shipment, transportation, delivery, etc. of horses for processing for human consumption, the bill targets the marginal number of livestock haulers and other individuals that transport horses across our borders for processing in another country. There is no other instance, with perhaps the exception of military equipment and arms, in which the United States places conditions on the future use of an exported good once it leaves our jurisdiction. This would be a very confusing place to start, and very difficult to enforce consistently.”
ASI was joined on the letter by the American Farm Bureau, American Quarter Horse Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Public Lands Council.
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.
House Ag Appropriations Stalled in Rules
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Rules held a meeting to discuss the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024 as the last step before moving to the House floor.
Most of the discussion featured exchange of partisan priorities with regards to the agriculture spending bill. Five members offered testimony and took questions on their individual filed amendments. Most notably, Rep. Victoria Spartz (Ind.) spoke in favor of her amendment that would halt funding from this bill to be used to carry out checkoff programs. This amendment is one that ASI does not support and has signed onto a joint coalition letter addressed to Congress in opposition.
The House adjourned for the August recess on Thursday afternoon before the bill could make it out of Rules and onto the House floor for a vote, postponing any additional Rules meetings until further notice.
CBO Addresses Farm Bill Analysis Criticism
On July 20, Congressional Budget Office Director Philip Swagel sent a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture in response to concerns raised in a July 10 letter over CBO’s Farm Bill scoring estimates.
Swagel said CBO would not hire new staff as training times for new staff would lead to more delays in scoring, but other staff in the Budget Analysis Division are being devoted to Farm Bill titles. Some have pointed to the retirement of long time CBO analyst Jim Langley as leaving a Farm Bill “experience gap” at CBO, contributing to delays.
Critical Farm Bill conversations amongst lawmakers are stalled without up-to-date numbers from CBO, likely leading to a longer overall timeline in passing the bill.
WSJ: TikTok’s Plan for U.S. Dominance
The National Council of Textile Organizations – of which the American Sheep Industry Association is a member – shared a Wall Street Journal article this week on TikTok’s plan to sell made-in-China goods in the United States.
“TikTok is launching an e-commerce business in the United States to sell made-in-China goods to consumers, stepping up its rivalry with popular shopping platforms Shein and Temu. The video-sharing platform will make the program available in its biggest market in early August, people familiar with the plan said, as it seeks to replicate the American success of the two China-founded rivals.
“Similar to Amazon.com’s ‘Sold by Amazon’ program, TikTok will store and ship items – including clothes, electronics and kitchen gadgets – on behalf of manufacturers and merchants in China. It will also handle marketing, transactions, logistics and after-sale services.
“The move broadens the e-commerce strategy of TikTok, which has struggled with its initial plans to develop a third-party sellers’ platform in the U.S. It delayed a wider launch of that service because American merchants were reluctant to join amid political uncertainty over the app’s future. TikTok faces rising scrutiny in Washington, where officials and lawmakers have branded it a national security risk.”
Click Here for the full article.
Contribute to Lamb Sustainability Survey
The American Lamb Checkoff is urging producers and feeders to complete its sustainability practices survey so that the American Lamb Board has current and accurate data.
“We’ve all seen the data that came out a few years ago, which the industry must correct with what’s really happening on U.S. sheep farms and ranches,” said Peter Camino, ALB chair from Buffalo, Wyo.
The survey covers environmental stewardship and animal care practices. Complete it now at https://bit.ly/USLambSurvey. It should take about 30 minutes to complete. All producers and feeders who complete the survey will receive an American lamb cap and be entered to win a paid trip (registration, airfare and hotel) to the 2024 American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention in Denver.
Findings will be compared to those from a similar survey conducted in 2011, giving the American sheep industry the ability to identify areas of improvement and those needing attention. The 2023 American Lamb Sustainability Survey will help ALB communicate with retailers, chefs and consumers. People most likely to buy American lamb care about these issues, said Camino. In addition, ALB will use the information to guide its industry education and research efforts so that checkoff funds are invested where they will make the most difference.
Strict privacy standards are in place. Responses will not be identified with specific individuals.