Image of sheep

NSIP Hires New Executive Director

The National Sheep Improvement Program Executive Committee announced this week that David Scales has accepted the role as NSIP executive director. He will begin his duties full-time in early July.

Scales grew up with sheep and cattle on his home farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is interested in draft horses. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2017 with a bachelors degree in animal science and a minor in crop and soil sciences, with an emphasis in agribusiness management.

His first experience with NSIP was in a genetics course where the students played Cyber Sheep. Scales worked at the MSU sheep barn and was active in the day-to-day operation, which included data collection for NSIP. While at MSU, he was treasurer of Block and Bridle, served as a teaching assistant for Intro to Dairy Management, and coauthored two articles on neonatal pig supplements published in the Journal of Animal Science.

Post-graduation, Scales was the assistant farm manager at Reproduction Specialty Group, working on the cutting edge of reproductive technologies in sheep and managing 200 donor and 1,200 recipient ewes. For the past six years, he has been the flock manager at Wheaton Hampshires, a complex operation with 100 purebred Hampshire ewes and 120 recipient ewes.

During the interview process, Scales shared his use of Estimated Breeding Values to develop and select maternal genetics in the recipient ewe flock. His success in making his employer a believer in NSIP as an end user of the technology is a testament to his capabilities.

Scales also has experience working with volunteer boards such as the Michigan Cattleman’s Association and was elected to the Michigan Sheep Producers Association board in January. He has been the sale coordinator for the Michigan Beef Expo Sale, which last year grossed $370,000, so he has some sale management and marketing experience.

All three of his references – who came from very different experiences – praised him as a brilliant communicator with an excellent work ethic and passion for the sheep industry.

The committee was looking for a self-starter with excellent communication skills, a customer service mindset, and an understanding of NSIP and the sheep industry. NSIP wanted someone who can educate and promote, and who has the intellectual capacity to work with abstract concepts and collaborate with research partners. The NSIP Executive Committee feels Scales has all of these attributes and will be a good fit to take NSIP to the next level.

Source: NSIP


Australian Wool Market Surges Ahead

The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator surged 18 cents higher this week to finish at 1,170 Australian cents – its largest weekly rise in six months. Auctions were rostered as a Wednesday/Thursday program to allow for the East Coast public holiday on Monday.

Sentiment was notably positive from the outset with good support pushing the AWEX-EMI 12 cents higher on the first day. Although Thursday was more sedate, there was enough pressure for another 6-cent gain in the EMI.

The rises for the week made it six consecutive daily increases – the longest rally in two years. Total volumes for the week were just below 32,000 bales, which was similar to previous auctions and in line with forecast catalogues for the next few weeks.

Volumes are typically smaller at this time of the year, however January to May this year was almost 11 percent lower than the previous year. The lack of volume contributed to challenging conditions for buyers as they seek out the limited number of lots with desirable traits. Best-style, high yields, low vegetable matter, and high tensile strength were all keenly sought after this week while average and inferior styles attracted larger discounts.

Merino skirtings also found good support with the better types the main beneficiary. Crossbreds were generally 10 cents dearer for the sale, as were Merino Carding types. With no sale rostered in Fremantle next week, the national offering is forecast to dip to 28,226 bales.

Click Here for the ASI Conversion Table – AWEX Prices to USD Per Pound.

Source: AWEX


Trailing of the Sheep Plans Fundraiser

The Trailing of the Sheep Festival will present its annual fundraiser, this year themed STARRY STARRY NIGHT, on Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. at The Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum, Idaho.

Guests will enjoy an evening of entertainment, food, drinks and auctions to support the Trailing of the Sheep Festival’s mission to gather, celebrate, present and preserve the history and cultures of sheepherding in Idaho and the West. The event will bring together community-minded, philanthropic guests to enjoy a feast of lamb as well as local, seasonal foods, and a variety of beverages for a festive evening. Guests will also be invited to participate in silent and live auctions, a mystery raffle and more.

Only 200 seats are available, and tickets are on sale now. VIP tickets are $225 and include an Opari gift, VIP seating and premium wine. General Admission tickets are $150.

Click Here to purchase tickets.

Source: Trailing of the Sheep Festival


Black Vulture Relief Act Gets Marked Up

This week, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee marked up Rep. John Rose’s bipartisan Black Vulture Relief Act, which allows livestock producers and their employees to take black vultures without a permit if it is believed the vulture will harm or threaten to harm their livestock.

A committee markup is the process of reviewing, debating, amending and revising legislation before it is considered on the House floor. It is oftentimes the crucial last step to modify a bill’s language before it is voted on by the entire House of Representatives.

“I applaud the Natural Resources Committee and Chairman (Bruce) Westerman for advancing my bipartisan bill the Black Vulture Relief Act,” said Rep. Rose. “The Black Vulture Relief Act will cut burdensome red tape for farmers struggling to find a solution to the growing problem black vultures pose to livestock operations. Given the common-sense nature and support for this bill, I remain hopeful it will receive a vote on the House floor and continue on its way to being signed into law to provide relief for livestock producers.”

Rose introduced the Black Vulture Relief Act in March of 2023 alongside Rep. Darren Soto (Fla.). The bill is currently co-sponsored by 41 Members of the House. In July of 2023, Rose spoke in support of the Black Vulture Relief Act during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on the bill.

The bill is supported by the American Sheep Industry Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Tennessee Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Source: Rep. Rose


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.

Boozman Releases Senate Republicans Initial Farm Bill

On Tuesday, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition Ranking Member John Boozman (Ark.) released a high-level Farm Bill framework outlining the Senate Agriculture Republican’s key priorities across all 12 titles of the Farm Bill.

In a press release, Boozman touted the framework as putting, “more farm in the farm bill.” This release comes after both the bipartisan passage of the Farm, Food and National Security Act of 2024 in the House Agriculture Committee and Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and her rollout of the Senate Democrats Farm Bill framework just last month.

At this point in time, neither party in the Senate has released bill text nor announced when a potential markup can be expected.

Click Here for Boozman’s key priorities and title summaries.

House Agriculture-FDA Spending Bill Moves Forward

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration held a markup of the Fiscal Year 2025 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Bill, which provides a total discretionary allocation of $25.873 billion – 1.35 percent below the FY24 enacted levels.

Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (Md.) used his opening statement to voice support for the Republican led bill and its included priorities and cost savings, whereas Ranking Member Sanford Bishop (Ga.) criticized the bill in its current form and the partisan cuts to programs such as Food for Peace and SNAP.

The full committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) also gave opening statements and expressed similar partisan rhetoric for and against the bill, respectively. Ultimately, the agriculture spending bill was moved out of the subcommittee to the full committee, where is it expected to be marked up on July 10.

Click Here for a copy of the FY25 bill text.

Click Here for a summary of the bill.


Lambassador Chef Profile: Kareem El-Ghayesh

Lambassador Kareem El-Ghayesh is part of the American Lamb Board’s growing network of Lambassador Chefs cooking up flavorful new dishes and featuring nutritious American lamb at venues and events nationwide.

The owner of KG BBQ in Austin, Kareem has taken his captivating culinary skills on tour, featuring unique American lamb dishes at trendy foodie events. Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, Kareem earned a degree in finance but always knew cooking was his true calling. While visiting a friend in Austin, he discovered his love for BBQ. This pivotal experience led him to move to the city and pursue his culinary career, where he developed a unique mashup of Texas-style barbecue with an Egyptian twist.

“The Lambassador program is a great way to introduce flavorful American lamb to consumers who may have never even considered trying lamb,” says ALB Chair Jeff Ebert. “Kareem’s unique recipes and passion for sharing great food has a positive impact on the American lamb industry as we continue to reach more consumers looking for unique food flavors.”

At recent events, Kareem showcased American lamb by serving delicious dishes and offering ALB swag to help attendees associate the new flavor-packed dishes with American-raised lamb.

Kareem wowed the audience with his live-fire cooking skills as he served ribs with chimichurri and yogurt dipping sauce at Hot Luck in Austin during the Memorial Day weekend. Hot Luck is a live food and music event created in part by James Beard Award-winner Aaron Franklin. The event has been dubbed a huge family get-together and backyard cookout, featuring 70 chefs from around the world gathering for four days of live-fire cooking. Thousands of people attended this year’s event.

KG BBQ hit the road in June for a pop-up event at the renowned Heritage BBQ in Los Angeles, where Kareem showcased his Egyptian-style Lamb Shoulder Rice Bowls. Heritage BBQ knows a thing or two about pop-ups. The restaurant started cooking up Texas-style BBQ at various breweries and events while awaiting construction of its standalone restaurant in San Juan Capistrano, which is now considered one of the best places to eat in Orange County, Calif.

At Eeeeatscon LA, Kareem served delicious Lamb Shoulder Tacos and Lamb Rice Bowls during the two-day event. Eeeeatscon is a food festival built in the spirit of a music festival, but with restaurants as the headliners. The Los Angeles event showcased dozens of unique restaurants from across the country. The event – which will take place in six U.S. cities this year – is designed for people wanting more from a food experience than just tasting-sized portions and cooking demonstrations.

Source: ALB


Skip to content