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ASI Photo Contest Adds New Category

A new category called Shepherd/Shepherdess has been added to the 2021 ASI Photo Contest to include photos of producers, herders or others working with sheep. The new category replaces the action category in this year’s contest.

“We’ve received some great photos in the past of producers and others working with sheep, but we didn’t always have a great category for these types of photos,” said Sheep Industry News Editor Kyle Partain, who oversees the ASI Photo Contest each year. “The new category was actually a suggestion from an ASI member during the 2020 contest. Our entire staff agreed that it would be a great addition to the contest. We look forward to seeing some wonderful images of our members and the men and women who work with them to keep the American sheep industry moving forward.”

Other than the one category change, rules and prizes for the 2021 contest are the same as last year. Photographs entered in the contest will be judged on clarity, content, composition and appeal.

More than $1,000 will be awarded, with awards 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 Monday, Aug. 2, to be considered. Only the top three photographers in each category will be notified of their winnings.

Photographers are advised to submit photographs in the largest file size possible. Also, judges and ASI staff encourage entrants to provide both horizontal and vertical photos. This will better assure these talented and creative photos can be shared in future issues of the Sheep Industry News, as well as in the 2022 ASI Calendar and other American sheep industry publications.

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 any other livestock protection animal 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 Partain at with the subject line of ASI Photo Contest. Those mailing photos should send them to ASI; Attn: Photo Contest; 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360; Englewood, CO 80112.

Click Here for complete contest rules.


Trailblazers Tour Applications Now Available

Applications for this fall’s National Lamb Feeders Association Trailblazers Tour in Texas are now available on the NLFA website.

The tour is scheduled for Sept. 26-28 in cooperation with the American Sheep Industry Association, the American Lamb Board and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Participants will take in all aspects of the Texas sheep industry while traveling from Austin to San Angelo.

There is no fee to apply. Individuals must be 20 years of age or older to attend. Preference will be given to young entrepreneurs and young producers ages 20 to 40. Participants will be notified of their acceptance after the application deadline. Once accepted, participants must submit a $250 registration fee to secure placement in the program. Meals, lodging, supplies and tour-related expenses will be provided. Each participant is responsible for transportation to and from the tour site.

Completed applications should be sent electronically to NLFA at For questions, please call Strategic Association Services at 605-224-0224.

Source: NLFA


Groups Call for Changes to California Labor Law

The American Sheep Industry Association and the National Lamb Feeders Association joined a coalition of farm organizations and state legislators this week in calling for changes to agricultural labor laws set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022, in California.

“New overtime pay requirements for farms and ranches with 25 or fewer employees will take effect in 2022 with sheepherder compensation increasing by over 50 percent, which is not economically feasible for most sheep and goat family operations,” read the coalition letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom. “California sheepherders are already the highest paid in the United States and this level of compensation will exceed neighboring sheep/goat producing states by 40 to 80 percent.

“For decades, sheepherders have been compensated in accordance with a specific set of regulations designed to reflect the unique, remote nature of their work. The new law failed to consider this and now the industry faces a catastrophic situation.”

A recent survey of sheep and goat producers in the state indicates that one-third of all respondents will completely cease operations if the new law takes effect and three-quarters will most likely reduce their flock sizes. At least 175 employees are expected to lose their jobs under the new regulations. In addition, as much as 50 percent of the state’s sheep and goats could be sold, slaughtered or moved out of state.

“This data means more than lost jobs and severe negative impact on local economies; it also means significant loss of grazing, which has significant environmental benefits by reducing excessive vegetative fuel loads which greatly contribute to devastating wildfires in both urban and rural areas. Never in California’s history have we needed these four-legged firefighters more than we do now.”


Video Series Offers Practical Advice for Producers

The GOT SHEEP? series made its debut on YouTube last week in an effort to assist American sheep producers with management considerations for their flocks.

The videos take an interactive approach and include a panel discussion at the end of each video. Content is provided by Bridger Feuz, Dr. Whit Stewart, Hudson Hill and Barton Stam. Two videos in the last week of May touched on economic tools and essential record keeping for sheep producers. This week’s videos – scheduled to be posted today – include discussions on ewe and ram genetic considerations, as well as pasture, range and forage insurance.

Click Here for the Got Sheep? YouTube channel.


ALB Offers Butchery Webinar for Chefs

Longtime American Lamb Board “Lambassador” and Chef Mark DeNittis, led a webinar on whole animal American lamb butchery for chefs in the American Culinary Federation.

“Growing awareness and increasing usage of American lamb among chefs is one of the core strategies of ALB’s long range plan,” says Gwen Kitzan, ALB chairman. “This webinar was another great opportunity for our lamb checkoff to build relationships that bridge the gap between producers, the foodservice industry and our joint customer, the consumer.”

The webinar covered whole lamb anatomy, breaking a split lamb carcass into primal and familiar cuts, as well as ideas for using economical cuts of lamb on restaurant menus. The partnership provided an opportunity for ALB to showcase the versatility of American lamb beyond rack of lamb and chops for the foodservice industry. DeNittis has worked with ALB on many educational resource materials for chefs such as step-by-step fabrication printed materials and videos.

The ACF ChefsForum webinar series showcases a wide range of topics to educate and inspire culinarians.

Click here for a link to the American lamb butchery webinar.

Source: ALB


Sheep Things Podcast Looks at Katahdin History

The Sheep Things podcast from Robert Walker and Caleb Pirc visited with Laura Fortmeyer on the early beginnings of Katahdin Hair Sheep International.

From central Kansas, Fortmeyer might be one of the few people alive that has been involved with the Katahdin breed before the breed association was established. She shares her story from those times while working with Heifer International through the formation of KHSI and the years that followed.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


Australian Wool Market Continues Strong Run

The Australian wool market continued its steady rise, recording an overall increase for the third consecutive week. Although the largest price improvements were again seen in the finer Merino fleece types, nearly all sectors of the market enjoyed rises in this series. The crossbreds also recorded general overall increases. Main buyer interest focused on the better prepared lines and these wools all sold at higher levels than the previous series.

Strong widespread competition for Merino fleece types helped push the market higher. Prices being achieved continued to improve as the sale progressed, so much so that all the indicators in the Western region (which sold last) closed at or above those in the East. By the end of the series, the individual Micron Price Guides across the country added between 6 and 63 cents. The only exception was 20 and 21 micron in the North, which posted small losses.

The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator added 23 cents for the series. This was the largest weekly rise in the EMI since Week 44. The EMI closed the week at 1,343 Australian cents. This was the highest point of the EMI this season, narrowly beating the previous high of 1,242 cents that was reached in April. The last time the EMI was at a higher point was back in March 2020.

The Merino skirting types also attracted excellent buyer support and followed a similar path to the fleece. Prices generally rose by 40 to 80 cents. Lower vegetable matter wools and those finer than 18 micron were the most affected. The Merino Carding Indicators recorded increases in all three centers for the first time since April. Solid demand for oddment types pushed the MCs up by an average of 11 cents.

The Fremantle region does not sell next week and, as a result, the national offering reduces. There are currently 38,674 bales on offer, with only Sydney and Melbourne in operation.

Source: AWEX


Wrap It Up Shawl Challenge Kicks Off in June

Ready to wrap yourself in a wooly wonder? Do you know the basics of knitting or crochet? Join The Livestock Conservancy for its Wrap It Up Shawl Challenge. Support the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Initiative and The Livestock Conservancy while making a shawl for yourself, friend, loved one or all of the above.

Watch the organization’s Facebook page on Wednesday June 9 for a brief overview from challenge leader, author and fiber artist Margaret Radcliffe. The Wrap It Up Shawl Challenge kicks off on June 16 and ends on July 14.

How does it work? Make a shawl using wool from one or more breeds of rare sheep on the Conservation Priority List. If you don’t have any rare breed yarn, you can buy it from SE2SE fiber providers listed in our Breeders and Products Directory.

Each Wednesday evening, Radcliffe will guide participants through making a shawl. Multiple knitting patterns – including ones for beginners and experts – will be provided. However, you are free to use another pattern if you prefer.

Source: The Livestock Conservancy


Coalition Supports Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act

The American Sheep Industry Association recently joined a variety of agricultural and veterinary associations in calling on Congress to pass the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act to bolster access to veterinary care for America’s livestock.

“Passage of the bill will also help each state address its needs for public practice veterinarians (food safety, public health, epidemiology, pathology, molecular diagnostics, virology, toxicology, immunology, bacteriology, serology, foreign animal disease preparedness, and livestock infectious diseases), read the letter to Congress. “Exempting loan repayment awards for veterinarians from an onerous and astonishingly high withholding tax – 37 percent – means more ranchers and farmers in rural America will gain better access to a wide array of veterinary services needed for their livestock and poultry.

“Since 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made 552 awards to public practice and food animal veterinarians in 47 states, Puerto Rico and federal lands. Meanwhile 1,632 veterinarians have applied to fill shortage areas since the program’s launch. Had these awards been exempt from withholding taxes, roughly one additional veterinarian would have been selected to practice in communities throughout rural America for every three awards made.”

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