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ASI Young Entrepreneurs Plan Summer Tour

The American Sheep Industry Association Young Entrepreneurs are happy to announce their summer tour this year is around the Idaho Falls and Dubois, Idaho, area. The tour will be July 31-Aug. 2.

Participants will have an opportunity to spend some time with the ASI Executive Board and also the National Livestock Producers Association Board. The main tour attraction will be the United States Sheep Experiment Station.

Everyone will arrive in Idaho Falls on July 31. The tour will be on Aug. 1-2, and participants can depart on Aug. 3.

To apply, send an email with the following information to Cody Chambliss at or to Brady Evans at Please put the subject as (Your Name) – Idaho Tour Application. Applications must be received by June 30.

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Phone Number
  • State
  • Email Address
  • Tell us about your background
  • Tell us about your operation/business or how you are tied to the sheep industry
  • Please provide a statement about why you would like to attend this tour and how you think it would benefit you, your business or your operation.

Participants will be notified of acceptance by July 7 (the tour is limited to 10 participants). Cost for the tour is $300. If accepted, payment must be received by July 17 to secure your spot. The $300 fee covers motel rooms shared with one individual, complimentary breakfast provided by the hotel, tour fees, travel to tour locations from motel and evening meals on tour days.


Research Update Podcast Looks at Antibiotics

Rosie Busch, DVM, is back for part two of Sheep Disease Prevention and Treatment Strategies on this month’s American Sheep Industry Association Research Update podcast.

She’ll discuss antibiotics as she joins Host Jake Thorne of Texas A&M University.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.

Click Here for part one of the podcast from last month.


ASI Receives Foreign Ag Service Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service recently announced the American Sheep Industry Association is among recipients of Fiscal Year 2023 Quality Samples Program funding.

QSP is instrumental helping foreign customers learn about and try American wool. The program has helped develop long-term customers who have purchased millions of pounds of American wool. But QSP is just one of several FAS programs through which ASI receives annual funding. The Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program also contribute funds to ASI’s wool marketing efforts each year.

“This is extremely important funding for the American wool industry as it continues to explore and develop export markets. The programs are key to advance purchases with existing overseas customers and vital when investigating markets that are either high-risk or developing,” said ASI Director of Wool Marketing Rita Samuelson.

The MAP program shares the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities that help build commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural products and commodities. ASI uses this funding for projects such as branding programs, promotion, trade missions, reverse-trade missions, first-stage processing trials and trade show participation. The FMD program focuses on trade servicing and trade capacity building by helping to create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for U.S. products.

These programs are open to all. ASI does not discriminate based on race, religion, national origin, age, sex (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, disability, marital or familial status, political beliefs, parental status, receipt of public assistance, or protected genetic information.


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.

USTR Ambassador Meets with ASI on Lamb Trade

On Thursday, various members of ASI’s leadership joined a virtual meeting with United States Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator Doug McKalip to discuss the implications of international lamb trade.

McKalip shared with the group USTR’s and the administration’s goals and outlook, as well as current projects with respect to global trade in the agriculture sector. ASI membership raised questions related to the status of American/United Kingdom meat trade negotiations and concerns over various market barriers to entry for lamb products. McKalip commended the group’s feedback and discussions and stated he was looking forward to continuing conversations with ASI on trade related issues into the future.

House Appropriations Advances Agriculture-FDA Bill

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration held a full committee markup for Fiscal Year 2024 spending levels. The rather contentious markup lasted nearly eight hours and was ultimately approved, as amended, by the House Appropriations Committee on a party line, 34-27 vote.

The partisan House bill will now travel to the Senate, where divisive provisions will struggle to stay intact in the Democrat-controlled chamber. The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to hold its own markups in the coming weeks. The full FY24 agriculture appropriation report text can be found here and amendments to the bill can be found here.


BLM Extends Comment Period on Proposed Rule

According to the Public Lands Council – of which the American Sheep Industry Association is a member – the Bureau of Land Management has extended the comment period on its proposed rule that would undermine multiple use of public lands across the West.

This rule would set the stage for reduction or elimination of grazing and other multiple uses across BLM lands – and would undermine long-term efforts to improve landscape health. Stakeholders now have until July 5 to submit comments.

Click Here to comment.

Source: PLC


Australian Wool Market Continues to Fall

The Australian wool market continued to trend lower, recording it sixth consecutive loss this week. With the Western region returning to the selling program, the national offering climbed to 39,766 bales.

After this week, there are only two more sales remaining in the current season, and the total amount offered continues to be just above that of the previous season. There have been 1,804,810 bales offered so far this season – 16,000 more bales than the last.

The largest losses in the market were felt on the first day. From the opening lot, it was apparent that buyer sentiment was weak and the prices on offer were well below those of the previous series. Prices opened lower, then slowly but continually reduced as the day progressed. By the end of the first day, the Individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece had fallen by between 19 and 90 cents. In the East, the skirting markets generally fell by between 15 and 30 cents, while the other sectors recorded minimal change. The result was a 21-cent reduction in the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator.

The second day, further losses were recorded as the market was unable to find a firm level. The Merino fleece MPGs dropped by between 3 and 64 cents, except for a few scattered MPGs which remained unchanged. The EMI lost another 13 cents for the day as minimal movements in the other sectors prevented a larger fall. The EMI dropped by a total of 34 cents for the series, closing at 1,174 Australian cents. The EMI is now 293 cents lower than at the same time last year – a 20-percent reduction.

Fremantle heads into another non-sale week, reducing next week’s national quantity. Currently, there are expected to be 33,463 bales on offer, with only Sydney and Melbourne in operation.

Click Here for the Full Australian Wool Market Report.

Source: AWEX


Mountain Meadow Opens Industrial Dyeing Facility

At Mountain Meadow Wool in Buffalo, Wyo., the raw material comes in the back, before it’s scoured in huge machines, then graded and sorted, spun, knit and finished. But starting this month, some of that wool might make one extra stop – an industrial dyeing facility that will allow Mountain Meadow to dye up to 300 pounds of wool a day.

“Keeping American manufacturing going is challenging at the very least, but it’s very rewarding,” said Ben Hostetler, operations manager at Mountain Meadow Wool, who spoke while surrounded by rumbling machines, pallets stacked high with incoming fibers and exposed piping for the new dyeing facility.

For decades, Mountain Meadow has been dyeing wool using a by-hand artisanal process that only enabled the company to dye 25 pounds of wool each day. The new industrial dyeing facility – complete with an elaborate boiler, plumbing system and three massive dye vats – will increase Mountain Meadow’s capacity to 300 pounds of wool per day.

“We innovate out of necessity,” Hostetler said about the value of acquiring an industrial dyeing facility. “We are small scale, and we do everything from start to finish, and to compete nationally or even on a global level, the more we can do in-house and consolidate those margins that would normally be separated, the better.”

Mountain Meadow bought the dyeing operation from Ultimate Textiles in Rutherfordton, N.C. Hostetler traveled to the facility in January and helped load three semitrailers full of equipment that was then transported to Buffalo. Aside from the dyeing vats themselves, the new equipment also includes an industrial-sized radio wave dryer for the wet wool and other yarn finishing equipment.

After the new dyeing facility is up and running, Mountain Meadow Wool will be one of only three contract dyeing facilities in the country. Ninety percent of the initial orders for dyeing wool are coming from other facilities, such as in Maine and South Carolina.

Click Here to read the full story.

Source: Peder Schaefer, Buffalo Bulletin


Idaho Board Hiring Executive Secretary

The Idaho Sheep and Goat Health Board is currently recruiting an executive secretary/treasurer. This position reports to the chairman of the Idaho Sheep and Goat Health Board, which is a politically appointed board that oversees many aspects of the sheep and goat industries in the state of Idaho.The office location is at the Livestock Center Building, 2118 West Airport Way, Boise, Idaho. The office is co-located with both the Idaho Cattle Association and the Idaho Wool Growers Association and coordinated efforts and projects will be common, including the Sheep Shoppe, joint meetings and conventions, and providing information to callers and walk in visitors.

Click Here for a full job description and to apply.


ALB Focuses on Building Relationships with Butchers

The continued trend toward local food sourcing has put hometown butchers and specialty meat shops on the radar of likely lamb consumers. In June, the American Lamb Board connected with 50 of these United States businesses through its new Butcher Box direct mail kit. The goal is to re-engage with this audience for long-lasting relationships that lead to increased sales of domestic lamb.

ALB research done by Midan Marketing in 2021 found that 24 percent of consumers made retail lamb purchases at independent markets and/or butcher shops. Of those consumers, 30 percent were heavy lamb users and 35 percent were light lamb users.

ALB identified the 50 businesses to receive the Butcher Box of American lamb promotional and educational tools by looking at trade information, online activity and input from chefs, suppliers and food influencers. Some of the shops already carry lamb (American, imported or both), while some do not routinely offer lamb.

The initial 50 butchers will have the chance to be selected as one of 25 American Lambassadors to advocate for American lamb, similar to the successful ALB food blogger and chef Lambassadors program. Be sure to check Where to Buy American Lamb | American Lamb Board in coming months to see the list of the new 25 American Lambassadors.

Source: ALB


USDA Looks at Animal-Raising Claims

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that it is implementing a multi-step effort aimed at strengthening the substantiation of animal-raising claims. This action builds on the significant work USDA has already undertaken to protect consumers from false and misleading labels and to implement President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American economy.

“Consumers should be able to trust that the label claims they see on products bearing the USDA mark of inspection are truthful and accurate,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA is taking action today to ensure the integrity of animal-raising claims and level the playing field for producers who are truthfully using these claims, which we know consumers value and rely on to guide their meat and poultry purchasing decisions.”

Animal-raising claims, such as “grass-fed” and “free-range,” are voluntary marketing claims that highlight certain aspects of how the source animals for meat and poultry products are raised. These claims must be approved by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service before they can be included on the labels of meat and poultry products sold to consumers. FSIS most recently updated its guideline on these claims in 2019.

FSIS has received several petitions, comments, and letters from a wide range of stakeholders asking the agency to reevaluate its oversight of animal-raising claims, specifically, how they are substantiated. In addition, the veracity of “negative” antibiotics claims (e.g., “raised without antibiotics” or “no antibiotics ever”) has come into question.

FSIS, in partnership with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, will be conducting a sampling project to assess antibiotic residues in cattle destined for the “raised without antibiotics” market. The results of this project will help inform whether FSIS should require that laboratory testing results be submitted for the “raised without antibiotics” claim or start a new verification sampling program.

FSIS will also be issuing a revised industry guideline to recommend that companies strengthen the documentation they submit to the agency to substantiate animal-raising claims. The agency plans to strongly encourage use of third-party certification to verify these claims.

Together these actions will be used to guide potential rulemaking on animal-raising claims. USDA looks forward to continued engagement with stakeholders as it works to ensure these claims meet consumer expectations.

Source: USDA

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