Electronic ID Webinar Planned for June 23
Sheep producers should make plans now to attend the first of two American Sheep Industry Association-sponsored webinars on electronic identification on Thursday, June 23 at 8 p.m. eastern time. The second webinar in the series – which is made possible with funding support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – is scheduled for July 12.
In this webinar, ASI Animal Health Committee Co-Chairs Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. Cindy Wolf, will host presentations by Dan Persons and Brandon Manning to provide an overview of the electronic identification technology that is available today and how it is adding benefit to the sheep industry. Persons will offer a presentation entitled RFID On-Farm and in Animal Disease Traceability, while Manning will present on Utilizing Low Frequency ID in Flock Management and Official ID.
The webinar will wrap up with a question-and-answer session and information on what’s to come in the second electronic ID webinar on July 12.
Click Here to register for the free webinar.
Sheep Center Now Accepting Grant Proposals
The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center’s Board of Directors recently announced that it is accepting grant proposals from July 1 through Sept. 15. The grants must be designed to improve the American sheep industry.
The sheep center has budgeted about $300,000 to support projects consistent with the grant program. The average grant amount in the last four years has been about $29,000. Financial assistance provided by the sheep center must accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
- Strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through the improvement of infrastructure, business, resource development and the development of innovative approaches to solve long-term problems.
- Provide leadership training and education to industry stakeholders.
- Enhance sheep and sheep products in the United States through assistance to all segments of the industry to address sustainable production and marketing of sheep and sheep products.
- Promote marketing of sheep and sheep products through an organized method that can measure tangible results.
- Enhance the sheep industry by coordinating information exchange and by seeking mutual understanding and marketing within the industry community.
The sheep center will review each proposal, recommend funding and submit final recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service for approval.
For more information about applying for a grant, contact NSIIC Program Manager Steve Lee at 207-236-6567 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or send mail to National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, 1578 Spring Water Way, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129. Additional information about the sheep center is available on the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center website at NSIIC.org.
Fine Wool Prices Push Increases in Australian Market
The Australian wool market recorded another overall increase this series, again driven by strong demand on Merino fleece types. Fremantle returned this week, bolstering the national offering. There were 35,357 bales on offer – 4,260 more than the previous week.
Main buyer interest continued to focus on good-style, low-vegetable matter Merino fleece lots. Strong demand in these types was the catalyst for overall gains in the market. Across the country, all Merino fleece Micron Price Guides recorded increases for the week. As Fremantle did not enjoy the gains felt in the East last week, the largest increases were recorded in the West. The MPGs in Fremantle rose by between 70 and 125 cents. Specialty, non-mulesed types continue to be highly sought after by exporters – who are prepared to pay premiums of up to 250 cents above similar spec mulesed types – in an effort to secure these wools.
By the end of the series the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator had added 29 cents, closing the week at 1,467 Australian cents. Lackluster performances in the other sectors prevented a larger increase in the EMI.
With Merino fleece tracking upward and the crossbred sector losing ground, the gap between the two sectors continues to grow. This is best highlighted looking at the difference between the 17 and 28 micron MPGs in the East. The difference between the two MPGs has now grown to an average 2,361.5 cents. The last time the price differential was larger was back in June 2001 – when the difference was 2,382 cents. To put this into perspective, in 2015 this difference was only 499 cents.
The national offering reduces for the following series, due in part to Fremantle having another non-sale week. Currently, there are expected to be 30,810 bales on offer with only Sydney and Melbourne in operation.
American Lamb Sizzles at Summer Events
The sun isn’t the only thing sizzling this summer. The American Lamb Board is firing up tastebuds at in-person events across the country.
“With summer here and the pandemic subsiding, we’re thrilled to participate in more in-person events to share American lamb,” said Peter Camino, ALB chairman from Buffalo, Wyo.
During the Memorial Day weekend, ALB was present at Hot Luck, the hottest food festival in Austin. The three-day food and music festival consisted of 80+ chefs and 20+ bands and entertained nearly 12,000 food enthusiasts. Visitors came from all across the country to get their hands on delicious bites prepared by some of the best chefs the United States and Texas food scene has to offer. Proceeds from Hot Luck fund the Southern Smoke Foundation, whose mission is to assist the restaurant industry when it needs it most. The foundation has distributed nearly $10 million in the past seven years.
Next, ALB headed to Seattle for a boozy brunch weekend at Lumen Field. ALB sponsored Bacon, Eggs and Kegs, an event for foodies with a heightened interest in brunch. Attendees were offered numerous activity stations including Lamb Bacon Bingo. Participants played a game of bingo for their chance to win a pair of lamb bacon socks and a cup of perfectly crisped lamb bacon. Another highlight was the option to add a slice of American lamb bacon at the DIY brunch cocktail station.
Longtime partner EatDenver hosted an industry happy hour this week with support from ALB. EatDenver is a nonprofit restaurant association aiming to foster a sense of community among independently owned Denver restaurants. The event was held at a local brewery where restaurant industry workers were invited to indulge in a brief happy hour with beers and American lamb tacos. American lamb will also be promoted in July at EatDenver’s The Big Eat, an annual party celebrating the Denver area’s vibrant and dynamic independent restaurant scene. This signature summertime event features bites from more than 60 locally-owned restaurants. Chef Hosea Rosenberg from Blackbelly in Boulder, Colo., will be featuring a rotisserie leg of lamb dish on focaccia.
Looking forward, ALB will be present at Washington, D.C.’s, SAVOR event. SAVOR – organized by the Brewers Association – is an American craft beer and food experience held at the city’s famous music hall, The Anthem. Approximately 110 craft brewers from around the nation will rally for this event to pair their most impressive beer with a perfectly crafted food bite. Between two recipes, American lamb will be paired to compliment eight different beers.
Carcass Competition Planned in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival will play host to a commercial carcass competition on Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Indoor Arena at the Jefferson County Fair Park.
The Pen of Three Carcass Competition is an opportunity for sheep producers – including 4-H and FFA members – to receive both a live evaluation by a commercial lamb buyer and indexing measurements taken after harvest to determine loin eye, back fat and leg score to assist them with genetic, breeding and feeding decisions for their respective flocks.
Lambs should be entered through ShoWorks on the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival website. Click on Education-Pen of Three and follow entry instructions. The competition is open to members of the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Breeders Cooperative and the entry fee is $25 per pen.
During the live evaluation, a lamb buyer will be available to answer questions regarding factors important for placing, purchasing and transport of lambs. At 10:30 a.m., there will be a free presentation A Market Perspective – which will take place in the Indoor Arena.
Sheep producers participating in the event will also be on hand to discuss their sheep, the breed and breeding program, feeding, management and their views regarding this reality-based competition. Participation by the public is also encouraged. Interested festival goers can place pens according to their preference and to estimate the loin eye size of a lamb of their choice. Results of this portion of the event will be posted in the online version of the Wisconsin Shepherd and on the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival website.
Payouts will be based on live and carcass evaluation. The Meat Science & Animal Biologics Discovery Building Meats Lab is buying the lambs.
The Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival is a function of the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative. For information on membership and activities of the co-op, please visit www.wisbc.com or call 608-743-9080.
Source: Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative
Cornerstone Provides Legislative Update
The American Sheep Industry Association’s lobbying firm – Cornerstone Government Affairs – offered an update this week on legislative issues in Washington, D.C.
Reps. McCarthy and Thompson send letter on agricultural production barriers
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member GT Thompson (Penn.) sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling for an end to regulations and policies harming agricultural producers. The letter recommended addressing input costs, halting changes to Waters of the U.S., ensuring the Environmental Protection Agency focuses on sound science, and terminating climate rules. The letter can be found here.
House passes Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act
On Thursday, the House passed the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act, a package of bills addressing food costs and supply chain issues, on a 221-204 vote largely on party-lines. Included within this package are provisions creating a Food System Supply Chain Resilience and Crisis Task Force within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, permitting the year-round sale of E15 blends, and $200 million in grant funding for biodiesel infrastructure installation. The bill will now head to the House floor for a full chamber vote. The bill text can be found here.
USDA investing in pilot program
During the Summit of the Americas, President Joe Biden and leaders from across the Western Hemisphere presented the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. The goal of the Declaration is to bring the migration crisis under control and focuses on three pillars: 1. stabilization; 2. legal pathways and protections; and 3. human migration management.
To combat labor challenges exacerbated by COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture in coordination with other federal agencies plans to develop a pilot program which will utilize up to $65 million in American Rescue Plan funding. The program will provide support for agricultural employers in implementing health and safety standards that ensure a healthy work environment for U.S. workers in addition to H-2A visa program workers hired from Northern Central American countries.
The program aims to improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency and advance administration policies. As the pilot is developed, USDA will provide stakeholder engagement opportunities and the department is partnering with the United Farm Workers of America to inform development of the program.
USDA Announces Drought Recovery Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency announced recently that livestock producers are eligible to apply for financial assistance due to grazing losses during 2022 from a qualifying drought or wildfire.
The FSA is now accepting applications for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program. The deadline to apply for 2022 LFP assistance is Jan. 30, 2023. For LFP, qualifying drought triggers are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor.
LFP provides payments to eligible livestock producers and contract growers who also produce forage crops for grazing and suffered losses due to a qualifying drought or fire during the normal grazing period for the county. Eligible livestock include alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo/bison, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, reindeer or sheep that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland during the normal grazing period.
To expedite the application process, producers are encouraged to gather and submit records documenting 2022 losses. Supporting documents may include information related to grazing leases, contract grower agreements, and more.
LFP is part of a broader suite of disaster assistance available through USDA.
Click Here to learn more.
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