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Animal Health Webinar Set for July 11

The second installment of the American Sheep Industry Association’s animal health webinar is scheduled for July 11, 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.

Dr. Linda Detwiler has been involved with the eradication program from the beginning. She will talk about what it was like in the early days when scrapie was starting to become a big problem for the industry, causing significant animal health problems and having major impacts on trade. She will also discuss how the industry had no real tools to identify or address scrapie.

Paul Rodgers – now retired after a long career with ASI – will discuss how BSE and the unknown implications of that disease on the sheep industry catapulted scrapie to the top of the sheep health priority list and compelled the industry, USDA, states and others to enter into a negotiated rulemaking process that ultimately led to the accelerated eradication program. Dr. Jim Logan – retired state veterinarian for the state of Wyoming – will join Rodgers in this discussion.

Erik Mrozinski – an Indiana Shropshire producer – will discuss his family’s experience with scrapie, including the tools they used to eradicate it from their flock (genetics, individual identification, etc.), and how they continue to use those tools (or perhaps improved ones) to maintain a scrapie-free flock today.

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.


Apply Now for Young Entrepreneurs Tour

There is still time to apply for the American Sheep Industry Association Young Entrepreneurs Summer Tour of 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.

  • 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 in early July (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.


ASI Accepting Photo Contest Entries

The deadline to submit entries in the 2023 ASI Photo Contest is just a month away. Winning entries will be featured in the October issue of the Sheep Industry News.

More than $1,000 will be awarded, with prizes of $125 going to the first-place photographer in each of the five categories listed below; $75 for the runner-up in each category; and a $50 prize for third place in each of the five categories.

Entries must be received in the ASI office by 5 p.m. mountain time on Tuesday, Aug. 1, to be considered. Only the top three photographers in each category will be notified of their winnings.

The five categories in this year’s contest are:

  1. Shepherd/Shepherdess – Photographs of producers, shepherds or others working with sheep.
  2. Scenic (East) – Photographs of sheep outdoors located east of the Mississippi River. Photos entered in this category cannot include people.
  3. Scenic (West) – Photographs of sheep outdoors located west of the Mississippi River. Photos entered in this category cannot include people.
  4. Working Dogs and Protection Animals – Photographs in this category should show herding dogs, livestock guardian dogs or other livestock protection animals in their natural environments. Photos must also include sheep in some fashion as proof that these truly are working animals.
  5. Open – Photographs with subject matter that does not fall into the four above-listed categories.

Entries should be emailed to Sheep Industry News Editor Kyle Partain at with the subject line of ASI Photo Contest. Those mailing entries should send photos to ASI, Attn: Photo Contest, 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360, Englewood, CO 80112.

Click Here for full contest rules and information.


ALB Hires Sustainability Director

The American Lamb Board is pleased to introduce its sustainability director, Camren Maierle, Ph.D. He will lead ALB’s research and producer education initiatives in this area and contribute to advancing the sheep industry’s commitment to sustainability, one of the top priorities for the checkoff-funded association.

In this new position – the first one added since ALB began more than 20 years ago – Maierle’s initial focus will be to develop and maintain a nationally recognized solar grazing education program, cultivate other contract grazing opportunities, and work with industry partners to improve American lamb sustainability.

Maierle will also manage many aspects of the Climate Smart Grant, which is being finalized between USDA and ALB. In addition, he will help develop educational tools and mitigation strategies based upon the checkoff-funded Michigan State University project outcomes and implement with the industry.

Maierle is uniquely qualified to fulfill the role of sustainability director for the American Lamb Board. An Ohio native, he has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Ohio State University, and both master’s and doctoral degrees in animal and food science from West Virginia University. Maierle has most recently been a livestock extension educator with Penn State University Extension, leading schools for sheep producers.

Maierle begins with ALB part-time on July 1 as he transitions from his Penn State Extension role, going full-time on Oct. 1. He is in the process of moving back to the family farm in Ohio and will be working remotely from there.

“I’m excited to apply my passion for the sheep industry and dedication to practical, science-based education to this role,” Maierle said. “Opportunities of this magnitude for the sheep industry are rare and I fear, if missed, the industry will not have time to reclaim our seat at the table.”

Source: ALB


Australian Market Closes Disappointing Season

The Australian wool market finished the 2022-23 season weakly, recording overall losses for the last eight consecutive selling series. The total amount offered this season finished marginally higher than the last. There were 1,876,638 bales put through the auction system – 14,716 bales more than the previous season for an increase of 0.8 percent.

Most of this week’s losses were recorded on the first day. In the East, the Individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece 20 micron and finer fell by between 8 and 51 cents. In the West – where the losses of the previous series were still to be realized – the falls were larger. The Fremantle fleece MPGs dropped by between 45 and 86 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 11 cents for the day.

On the second selling day, the market steadied with smaller price movements recorded. In the East, the MPG Merino fleece movements ranged between plus 3 and minus 14 cents. The EMI dropped another 2 cents. Worth noting, Fremantle finished strongly while selling last. The Western Merino fleece MPGs added between 5 and 19 cents.

The EMI closed the season at 1,126 Australian cents. The EMI has fallen by 304 cents for the season – a drop of 21.3 percent. In U.S. dollar terms, the EMI closed at 748 U.S. cents for a seasonal fall of 239 U.S. cents – a 24.2-percent reduction. The total dollar amount of wool sold in the 2022-23 season was $2,417 million, this was $173 million less than the 2021-22 season.

Next week marks the start of the 2023-24 season. It is the first opportunity for those wishing to sell in the new financial year, making it traditionally one of the larger sales of the year. This year’s poor market conditions have discouraged many from the market, pushing the quantity lower than normal. Currently, there are expected to be 42,878 bales on offer.

Click Here for the Full Australian Wool Market Report.

Source: AWEX


Americans Compete at Golden Shears

A contingent of American shearers and wool handlers took part in the Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling World Championships last week in Scotland.

Iowa shearer Alex Moser led the way with a 20th place finish in machine shearing at the competition, which was conducted as part of the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh. Nolen Abel, also of Iowa, finished 29th overall. In the blade shearing competition, Kevin Ford of Massachusetts placed 21st overall, while John O’Connell of Connecticut was 29th.

In the wool handling competition, Leann Brimmer of Montana placed 27th overall, while Colleen McTaggert of South Dakota was just two spots behind in 29th.  Katherine Moser of Iowa served as the team manager.

Click Here for video of each of the American competitors.


Video of the Week

Experience Wool released a new video this week – The Doctor of Wool – featuring Dr. Ronald Pope of Texas.

Click Here to watch the video.


USDA Awards Will Expand Meat Processing

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that USDA is making investments to increase independent meat and poultry processing capacity, expand market opportunities for farmers and support a growing workforce in rural areas. The announcement comes on the heels of President Joe Biden delivering a major address on “Bidenomics” – his vision for growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up by investing in America, increasing competition and empowering workers.

“While American farmers and ranchers have been responding to the demand to produce more, their communities have struggled to see their share of the benefits,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is committed to championing meat and poultry processers, increasing competition and lowering costs for working families. The announcement I’m making today highlights these producers and reflects the goals of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which advances a sustainable vision of agriculture, prioritizes the needs of our producers and small businesses, promotes competition, strengthens our domestic agricultural supply chains and brings prosperity to people and places in rural parts of our country.”

USDA is providing 15 awards totaling $115 million in 17 states. USDA is providing five awards totaling $38 million through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program to help independent processors in five states. USDA is also providing 10 awards totaling $77 million under the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program in 12 states.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is also providing seven awards totaling $4.5 million to community and technical colleges in seven states through the Meat and Poultry Processing–Agricultural Workforce Training Program. These investments will build a pipeline of well-trained meat processing workers and support safe workplaces with fair wages for workers.

Vilsack made the announcement during a roundtable with producers and businesses in Des Moines, Iowa, and highlighted efforts under the Biden-Harris Administration to build more, new and better markets and strengthen farm and food businesses.

Click Here to read the full press release.

Source: USDA

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