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ASI Requests Support for Guard Dog Fund

Predators come in many forms for America’s sheep flock. While coyotes and wolves stalk lambs under the cover of night, the daylight hours present sheep producers with their own set of challenges – ones that often pit men in suits battling before judges and juries.

Just as producers put faith in livestock guardian dogs to protect their flocks, the American sheep industry has for two decades counted on ASI’s Guard Dog Fund to assist those fighting legal battles on behalf of the entire sheep industry. Such predators to the industry in recent years include an attempt to close one of the industry’s oldest and most important lamb processing plants, challenges to public lands grazing, restrictions on predator control and unregulated lamb imports.

“Dues to ASI are 100 percent spent lobbying in Washington, D.C., so there would be no opportunity to fight for the sheep industry through the court system if we did not have the Guard Dog Fund,” said ASI President Brad Boner. “While we all face challenges as producers, feeders, and lamb and wool processors, we need to come together to support our industry. State sheep producer organizations recognize this opportunity and are the primary requests of ASI Guard Dog Funds. All funding requests are reviewed by the Executive Board or, when possible, the full Board of Directors.”

ASI generally solicits donations for the Guard Dog Fund in the fall. Checks from producers, state sheep associations and industry advocates arrive at the ASI office through the ASI Annual Convention each January. But there is significant need in 2024. Here are just some of the issues requesting Guard Dog Funds:

  • A referendum in the city of Denver is threatening the lamb industry with a ban on the slaughter of livestock within the city limits. The Denver lamb facility is the second largest plant in the country and is the target of animal activists sponsoring this November vote. Organizers have admitted a successful ban in Denver could lead to similar efforts in cities throughout the country – which would affect lamb, beef, pork and poultry processors nationwide.
  • Sheep ranches in Washington, Montana and Colorado can graze sheep on their U.S. Forest Service allotments today largely due to Guard Dog support of litigation to fend off shutdowns due to challenges over wild sheep. A huge share of sheep production could be threatened if the litigation angle is not met head on by the sheep industry. Fund support every year of the Western Resources Legal Center has been a game changer in the wild sheep fight.
  • Guard Dog support is allowing ASI to intervene in the Western Watersheds legal effort to shut down grazing over environmental analysis of grazing permits on Department of Interior lands. The sheep industry is carrying its share alongside cattlemen in the fight only because of the Guard Dog program.
  • The Guard Dog Fund is the sole source of funds in the legal intervention to secure delisting of wolves through the Endangered Species Act across most the United States.
  • At the May meeting of the ASI Executive Board, requests were analyzed to tackle the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management Conservation and Landscape Health Rule and prohibition of coyote traps and snares for 11 months of the year in grizzly bear habitat. The board agreed to tap the Guard Dog Fund for both legal actions to the commitment of $47,500. Both legal issues will impact multiple states and an outsized share of lamb and wool production if not successfully challenged.
  • The Guard Dog Fund also contributed significantly to labor fights in California and Nevada in recent years. Wage hikes in those states have shown a tendency to affect sheepherder wages in other states, as well as through the federal H-2A program. At the request of several state sheep associations, ASI spent more than $110,000 the past four years investigating trade violations by lamb importers. ASI has a law firm monitoring trade conditions for another investigation.

The Guard Dog Fund has spent $129,178 this fiscal year and the commitment has grown to nearly $200,000. Income from contributors is $75,350, so the goal of this solicitation is clear.

“We thank the contributing members of the Guard Dog Fund for the opportunity to fight for this industry and we believe the effort is compelling for all of us that receive this membership newsletter to join the program,” said Boner. “We believe it’s an investment that will pay off for the American flock as a whole.”

Click Here to contribute online to the Guard Dog Fund.


Australian Wool Market Falters After Strong Run

After six selling days with consecutive rises – across which the benchmark AWEX Eastern Market Indicator added 40 cents – the Australian wool market recorded an overall fall this series driven by losses in the Merino fleece sector.

With Fremantle again holding no sale this week due to limited quantity, the national offering dropped to 27,490 bales. With only one sale left in the 2023-24 selling season, the total amount offered is set to finish lower than the previous season. Season to date there have been 1,789,762 total bales offered. This is 43,528 bales – 2.4 percent – lower than last season.

The individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece dropped by between 2 and 38 cents. The only exception was the 20-micron MPG in the North. A limited offering of this type attracted strong competition and the MPG closed 3 cents higher as result. Skirtings were well supported throughout the week, finishing the series generally unchanged. The oddments had a mixed week – with the North rising and the South falling – for an overall small average loss. It was a solid week for the finer crossbred sector in the Southern region, where the MPGs for 25 to 28 microns gained between 5 and 17 cents and prevented the EMI from recording a larger fall.

The EMI finished the series 10 cents lower, closing the week at 1,160 Australian cents. The softer market contributed to the passed-in rate of 7.9 percent, the largest in six weeks.

Fremantle returns to the selling roster next week, pushing the national offering higher for the final sale of the season. As this will also be the last sale of the current financial year, many sellers wishing to sell this year take this final opportunity. There are currently 40,203 bales expected to be offered in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.

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

Source: AWEX


Trailing of the Sheep Honors Peavey

It is with great sadness that Trailing of the Sheep shares the passing of its beloved festival founder, local rancher, former Idaho State Senator and family man John Peavey on June 16, 2024. He was 90 years old.

With his wife Diane, John was an icon of the Sun Valley community, loved his sheep and his ranch and educated so many about the animals and the land. All this while sharing moving, funny and inspirational stories with all who listened.
He will be dearly missed by his Trailing of the Sheep Festival family, and the festival will plan a way to honor his legacy with the community and festival-goers later this year.

Source: Trailing of the Sheep


American Wool Included in USA Olympic Uniforms

Ralph Lauren unveiled Team USA’s Opening and Closing Ceremony Parade uniforms this week for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, returning for the ninth time as an official outfitter of Team USA to dress the nation’s best and brightest athletes. Bringing the heritage of sporting elegance into the modern era, Ralph Lauren’s Team USA uniforms celebrate classic styles that are made to be loved and endure for generations while showcasing iconic American style on the unparalleled global stage.

All Ralph Lauren apparel worn by U.S. athletes during official Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies is made in the USA. Ralph Lauren partnered with many manufacturers in the United States to produce Team USA’s uniform, including Shaniko Wool Company (located in Maupin, Ore.), which provided the wool for Ralph Lauren’s Opening Ceremony Blazer.

Click Here for all of Ralph Lauren’s official Team USA merchandise.

Source: Ralph Lauren


Summer Events are Better with ALB SWAG

As summer heats up and summertime vibes are in full swing, it’s the perfect time to share American lamb at fairs, festivals and farmer’s markets. ALB is thrilled to introduce new summertime SWAG items in the Shop on the Lamb Board website.

These items are not just for display, but a way for you to proudly promote American lamb at all the hot summer events on your calendar. The brand new Ewe are my Sunshine T-shirts are on sale two for $30. The design is perfect for everyday events, and the new apron is a must-have for your local grilling and cook-off competitions.

In addition to the great low-cost SWAG items, the shop features a new version of the Homegrown Flavor brochure in quantities up to 200 for fairs and festivals. ALB also offers recipe booklets perfect for sharing with new customers at all your sizzling summer events. Each booklet has a theme to help your local customers cook delicious cuts of American lamb at home. The Outdoor Cooking Adventures is the perfect choice for the summer grilling season. You can order these recipe booklets, along with a time and temp chart and a lamb cuts guide for free, up to 25 copies.

“As direct marketers, we are always looking for cost-effective ways to promote our product at events and utilizing the professionally curated marketing pieces on the Lamb Board site is a great way to amplify your local marketing efforts,” says ALB Chairman Jeff Ebert.

Your contribution as a direct marketer is not just a legal requirement, but a crucial part of the program. Your contributions help fund research, education and promotions, all of which are designed to build awareness and demand for American lamb. Your contributions also fund the development and distribution of complementary promotional materials on the Lamb Board website.

For more information about ALB (lamb checkoff), including annual reports, a list of board members, industry events, funding opportunities and other resources for direct marketers, visit

Source: ALB


USDA Issuing Survey to Study Grazing

This summer, the Conservation Practice Adoption Motivations Survey – a joint project between USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service – will be mailed to 43,000 forest and grazing landowners and managers across the nation. The CPAMS gathers information to understand why people choose to use different conservation practices, and whether they continue to use practices over time.

The data will help improve voluntary conservation programs. NASS will mail an invitation to respond early online at starting June 24. NASS will mail questionnaires on July 8 with the option for survey recipients to respond online, by mail or fax. If NASS does not receive completed questionnaires by July 28, it may reach out to schedule interviews. A data highlights publication is scheduled for October 2024 and will be published at

Four different conservation categories are researched through CPAMS overall: crop practices, confined livestock practices, grazing practices and forestry practices. This year, NASS will survey grazing practices and forestry practices. Crop practices and confined livestock practices were surveyed in 2022. The grazing sample respondents are randomly selected from NASS records of operations that meet the grazing land criteria. The forestry sample respondents are determined by the USDA Forest Service area frame determination of wood or forest landowners.

“By responding to CPAMS, you can help shape the future of conservation, agriculture and forestry,” said NASS Administrator Joseph L. Parsons. “With better data to help us understand how conservation fits into existing agriculture and forest management operations, program resources can be focused on where they will be most effective. I encourage everyone who receives a CPAMS questionnaire to respond.”

Protected by federal law, responses are confidential and used for statistical purposes only. No single respondent can be identified from the published data.

“Your input will help improve our voluntary conservation programs, including technical and financial assistance,” said NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. “By responding to CPAMS, you also help document and give credit to your ongoing stewardship of America’s agricultural forest land resources.”

Previous CPAMS data is available on the Highlights page of the NASS website. For more information, visit For help with the CPAMS questionnaire, call 888-424-7828.



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.

CBO Releases Baseline for Federal Budget

This week, the Congressional Budget Office released its June 2024 report that presents baseline projections for what the federal budget and the economy would look like in Fiscal Year 2024 through FY 2034.

Highlighted in the report is an outlook of projected deficits, debt, and outlays and revenues for federal programs relative to if laws governing taxes and spending generally remain unchanged. This report includes baseline outlays and estimates for Farm Bill related programs, to which the Senate and House Agriculture Committees use as a base for budgeting out Farm Bill costs and savings. One of the main takeaways was the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation spending authority cost estimate scored at $12 billion over the 10-year fiscal year period, whereas the February 2024 report estimated the CCC would spend $15 billion over that same FY 2024-34 window.

This updated report could present challenges to the upcoming Farm Bill budgeting process, as the House version of the Farm Bill that passed out of committee in late May uses CBO scoring from a May 2023 report, in which the proposal accounts for the CCC bringing in $50 billion in savings to be put toward various stakeholder priorities throughout the bill.

Other report takeaways include a lowered projected cost of the Supplemental Nutrition Program by $7 billion and $59 billion during FY 2024-34. While the House is the only chamber to put out actual bill text, it is worth noting that Senate Republican and Democratic Farm Bill proposals also include additional priorities that will require “pay-fors” beyond a cost-neutral baseline.

As the Farm Bill process continues, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees will have to work closely with CBO and House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (Texas) to evaluate and settle Farm Bill estimated costs and savings.

Click Here for the June 2024 executive summary and report.

Click Here for the baseline breakdown for USDA farm programs.


Video of the Week

South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s Dakota Life takes a look at the state’s sheep industry, visiting the annual All American Sheep Day at the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo, Center of the Nation Wool Warehouse, Meridian Corner (famous for its lamb Chislic) and several sheep producers.

Click Here to watch the video.

Source: SDPB

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