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Coalition Comments on BLM Public Lands Rule

The Public Lands Council submitted grazing coalition comments this week raising concerns with the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule titled Conservation and Landscape Health.

Together with PLC affiliate members the American Sheep Industry Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, as well as partners from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the comments garnered signatures from 55 state organizations and several additional national partners.

“Public lands ranchers lead conservation across the West. Our cattle and sheep are the tools we use to feed this country and protect these landscapes. We are committed to protecting these lands and the legacies we have built on them, especially when it means working to oppose government efforts that will cause more harm than good,” said PLC President Mark Roeber, a Colorado rancher. “If the BLM is serious about lasting conservation, they should have talked to us first, not forge ahead blindly with a universally controversial rule that will cause billions of dollars in harm to western states and our national economy.”

Under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the BLM has a mandate to ensure the multiple use of our nation’s public lands including recreation, energy, mining, timber and grazing. This proposed rule upends multiple use by placing the “conservation” use above other uses of public lands, giving power to third parties to remove grazing and other productive uses of the land in the name of an undefined “conservation” effort. Activities like grazing provide numerous benefits to the ecosystem and removing grazing would harm long-term landscape health across hundreds of millions of acres.

“This proposed rule would serve to undo the tremendous work that has been done for generations by embracing the multiple use mandate and a working partnership between stakeholders and the BLM,” said ASI President Brad Boner of Wyoming. “The proposed rule – written behind closed doors – would fundamentally change the BLM’s multiple use mandate without congressional, state, county or stakeholder input.”

“The BLM’s proposed rule is especially concerning to cattle producers who hold federal grazing permits and utilize public lands across the West, but this rule is a threat to the national industry,” said NCBA President Todd Wilkinson, a South Dakota cattle producer. “Public lands grazing provides valuable conservation and food security benefits, and this proposal opens the door to removing grazing entirely. We strongly urge the BLM to heed our calls to follow the law, withdraw their proposed rule, and work with cattle producers who have conserved these lands for generations.”

In addition to formal comments submitted by PLC and the grazing coalition, more than 700 individual livestock producers signed a grassroots letter to the BLM opposing this proposed rule.

“Livestock producers have overwhelmingly told the BLM that they are committed to conservation and that this rule is a step in the wrong direction in achieving those goals. We are extremely grateful for the hundreds of cattle producers who spoke with a unified voice,” said PLC Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover. “We hope the BLM takes notice of these calls to rethink their process and their methods.”

Click Here to view comments on the proposed rule.

Click Here to view the grassroots letter to BLM.

Source: PLC


Online Survey Looks at Tagging Challenges

The American Sheep Industry Association is surveying producers on the challenges of tagging animals on the farm or ranch premises.

The purpose of the online survey is to identify what the primary issues/concerns are at the farm/ranch level that limit the application of tags prior to animals leaving the premises. This information will help in identifying technology needs to reduce barriers to on-farm/ranch tagging.

Click Here to take the survey.


Animal Health Webinar Set for July 11

The second installment of the American Sheep Industry Association’s animal health webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, beginning at 8 p.m. eastern time. Animal Health Management: How Partnerships Can Solve Big Problems will take a look at the National Scrapie Eradication Program.

Through partnerships and hard work, sheep producers, state and federal governments, and animal health researchers created and implemented the National Scrapie Eradication Program, which has allowed the American sheep industry to nearly eradicate the disease from the United States.

Webinar agenda:

  1. Welcome and Introduction – ASI Animal Health Committee Co-Chairs Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. Cindy Wolf
  2. First Came Scrapie: A Big Problem With Few Tools To Help – Dr. Linda Detwiler, U.S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  3. Then Came BSE: Negotiated Rulemaking and the Accelerated Scrapie Eradication Program – Paul Rodgers and Dr. Jim Logan
  4. Scrapie in Real Life: The Producer Perspective – Erik Mrozinski
  5. Where We are Today – Dr. Stephanie Ringler, USDA (invited)
  6. Question & Answer.

This webinar is made possible with funding support from the American Sheep Industry Association and a cooperative agreement from USDA/APHIS.

Click Here to register for the webinar.


Protection Dog Webinar Set for Wednesday

The U.S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Wildlife Services and the APHIS Sheep and Goat Sector invite you to attend a webinar on Livestock Protection Dogs: Research and Use on Wednesday at 8 p.m. eastern time.

The webinar will highlight the latest research and use of livestock protection dogs. In addition to brief presentations by experts, the webinar includes a panel discussion to answer your specific questions. Experts on the webinar will include Colorado sheep producer Julie Hansmire, Bill Costanzo of Texas A&M AgriLife and Dr. Dustin Ranglack, a research wildlife biologist with Wildlife Services.

Click Here to attend the webinar. Participants can also call in (audio only) at 970-812-0909. The phone conference ID is 324 431 491#.


APHIS Releases NSEP Progress Report

Forty-four of the 50 states have been scrapie free for seven years or more according to the National Scrapie Eradication Program Progress Report released recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services. Every state must be scrapie free for seven years before the United States can claim to be completely scrapie free.

In 2002-2003, one in 379 sheep sampled at slaughter was positive for the disease. But thanks to efforts of the American sheep industry and the NSEP, only one in 50,000 sampled in 2021 was positive for the disease.

Click Here to read the full report.

Click Here to learn more about the NSEP.



Australian Wool Market Off to Strong Start

After recording the longest run of weekly losses – eight consecutive weeks – since 2003, the Australian wool market recorded an overall positive movement to open the 2023-24 selling season. The poor market conditions during the previous two months discouraged many sellers from the market and what is normally one of the larger sales of the season ended up being only 36,175 bales. This was 12,685 bales less than the first week of the previous year.

The market opened with increases across all Merino fleece types and descriptions and continued to slowly strengthen as the sale progressed. The Individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece in Sydney and Melbourne gained between 3 and 44 cents for the first day. In Fremantle – which was selling last – the increases were larger. The Western fleece MPGs added between 21 and 49 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator added 14 cents for the day.

The gains seen late in the day in the West were quickly realized when the markets opened in the East on day two, and from there the market continued to climb. Across the country, the MPGs added between another 1 and 51 cents. The EMI climbed by a further 21 cents. The EMI closed the week 36 cents higher at 1,162 Australian cents. This was the first weekly rise in the EMI since May 3, and the largest weekly rise in the EMI since Feb. 9 – when the EMI gained 44 cents for the week.

All other sectors of the markets recorded positive movements, the only exceptions were an unchanged Southern 30-micron MPG and the carding indicator also in the South.

Next week is the final sale before the annual mid-year, three-week recess. This is the last selling opportunity at auction until August. Currently, there are expected to be 44,452 bales on offer.

Click Here for Australian Wool Report Prices in USc Per Pound.

Source: AWEX


ALB, Superior Farms, Kroger Team Up for Grilling Promotion

Summer is the time for BBQs, and this year American lamb will be part of the line-up at select Kroger locations, thanks to support from Superior Farms and the American Lamb Board.

The summer grilling retail promotion intends to get more American lamb on the menu at the next neighborhood get-together. It focuses on Kroger stores located in the Denver (King Soopers), Atlanta and Cincinnati markets. The goal of the promotion is to lift sales at the store level and to regain excitement for American lamb amongst consumers. The campaign kicked off during Memorial Day weekend and will run through Labor Day.

Superior Farms applied for cost-sharing through the ALB Cooperative Funding Program. The funds will be used for online advertising, using location-based targeting, on the Kroger website and across the internet to entice consumers towards American lamb.

Through its Cooperative Funding Program, ALB allocates funds to assist state/local industry groups and American lamb suppliers, as budget allows. This program is intended for those who are prepared to share costs and resources toward the funded project. ALB is funded by the Mandatory American Lamb Checkoff. No projects which influence local, state or government policy or action will be funded, as required by law. Funds are for activities which align with the ALB 2023-2028 Strategic Plan.

Click Here for more information on the ALB Cooperative Funding Program.

Founded in 1964, employee-owned Superior Farms, is headquartered in California. The prominent American lamb processor and supplier has a long history of supporting ALB projects.

“At Superior Farms, our goals for this summer grilling promotion are to generate excitement for American lamb with consumers as well as Kroger store employees and its buying team, and ultimately increase American lamb consumption,” says Lesa Eidman, vice president of sales at Superior Farms.

Kroger has been a strong proponent of American lamb for decades. The summer promotion includes these Kroger Simple Truth brand of American lamb cuts: butterflied leg, kabobs and ground.

“With the help of Superior Farms, Kroger supports American lamb and U.S. sheep producers,” says Peter Camino, ALB chair from Buffalo, Wyo. “This support, in addition to its outstanding network of stores, makes Kroger an important partner in offering American lamb to more consumers.”

Source: ALB


Video of the Week

On the eve of America’s entry into World War II, the Berry Amendment required that all equipment for the American armed forces be made from American materials. That duty landed upon the shoulders of Carroll and Wylie McDonald of Menard, Texas, who founded what would become Anodyne Wool. Terry Martin married into the McDonald family and is helping the fifth generation carry on the tradition. See more in this video from Texas Country Reporter.

Click Here to watch the video.


Public Lands Grazing Vital to the Rural West

Chances are, when you think of the West, images of cattle and horses and the ranchers that manage them are top of mind. For centuries, grazing livestock have been at the heart of rural economies across what is now the Western United States.

Through these many generations, ranchers have contributed far more than their job titles indicate. They are county commissioners, teachers, bankers, truck drivers, energy workers, hunters, sportsmen and more – contributing directly to the stability and longevity of the communities in which they live. This article reviews the latest available economic metrics evaluating both direct and indirect benefits of livestock grazing on federally owned lands.

The federal government owns roughly 640 million of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States – just over 28 percent of total land. The percentage of federally owned land in each state varies widely, from 0.3 percent in Connecticut and Iowa to nearly 80 percent in Nevada. Federal ownership of land is heavily concentrated in the West, with 61.3 percent of Alaska federally owned, along with 46.5 percent of the 11 next westernmost states. In comparison, the federal government owns 4.2 percent of land in the remaining 38 states.

Five major federal agencies administer 620 million acres of federally owned land, led by the Bureau of Land Management at 248.3 million acres, Forest Service at 193 million acres, Fish and Wildlife Service at over 90 million acres, the National Park Service at 80 million acres, and Department of Defense at just over 11 million acres. Residents of heavily federally owned states that utilize lands for commerce have to abide by these federal agencies’ regulations – a challenge much of the rest of the country does not encounter.

Click Here to read the full story.

Source: Farm Bureau

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