Image of sheep

ASI Wraps Up Successful Spring Trip

This past week, members of the American Sheep Industry Association from all across the country traveled to the nation’s capital to participate in ASI’s annual Spring Trip to advocate on behalf of the sheep industry’s top issues and priorities.

On Tuesday, the fly-in kicked off with breakfast and general issue briefing from Cornerstone Government Affairs lobbyists Vernie Hubert and Macey Hammerstrom. Following ASI’s D.C. consultants were various sheep industry specific presentations from: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Deputy Administrator Janet Bucknall; USDA/Risk Management Agency Associate Administrator Heather Manzano; The Meat Institute Vice President of Legislative Affairs Nathan Fretz; USDA/Agricultural Marketing Service Deputy Administrator Jennifer Porter; USDA/Agricultural Marketing Service Associate Deputy Administrator Taylor Cox; and Kelley Drye International Trade and Government Relations Partner Paul Rosenthal.

This ASI event provides the only opportunity of the year for producer leaders to visit with USDA program officials that partner with industry on wool and lamb marketing and sheep production and protection.

ASI members took to Capitol Hill to meet with their state’s members of Congress and agriculture committee staff, advocating for passage of a new Farm Bill, the sheep industry’s priority issues and Fiscal Year 2025 appropriations requests.

Joining the ASI Executive Board, representatives from 10 of ASI’s state affiliates travelled to Washington, D.C., to represent the industry, including: California, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The trip wrapped up on Wednesday evening with ASI’s annual American Lamb reception on Cornerstone’s rooftop overlooking the Wharf, where the night was filled great company and American lamb.



Research Update: Zoonotic Diseases

This month’s ASI Research Update podcast takes a look at Zoonotic Diseases of Sheep and Goats with ASI Animal Health Committee Co-Chair Cindy Wolf, DVM.

“Of the infectious diseases diagnosed in people, six out of every 10 are known as diseases that came from animals and got into humans,” Wolf said. “It’s not a scary thing, it’s just good to be aware of. It was interesting to look at what were the most common diseases that moved from animals into people. Luckily, there wasn’t even a category for sheep and goats.”

Transfer of disease from animals to humans is more common with reptiles, dairy calves and poultry, Wolf added. But she goes on to discuss diseases that sheep and goat producers should be aware of as they work with their animals on a daily basis.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


Australian Wool Market Shows Stability

After two weeks of successive rises – and three without a fall – the Australian wool market recorded a reduction this week. The dip in the market was largely due to the strengthening of the Australian dollar.

There were no large falls, with many pockets recording increases – particularly in the North. The movements in the individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece ranged between plus 13 and minus 29 cents. The crossbred sector recorded minimal changes – MPG movements between plus 2 and minus 5 cents. The skirtings generally tracked the fleece, while the oddments closed slightly higher. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator fell by 5 cents for the series, closing at 1,167 Australian cents.

The EMI began the current season – in July 2023 – at 1,126 cents. In the 70 selling days that have since transpired, the EMI has risen on 29 occasions, fallen on 35 and been unchanged on the other six. With the EMI now sitting at 1,167 cents, the net result of all these market movements is an increase of 41 cents.

Averaging this movement across the season, the EMI has risen by an average of 0.58 cents per selling day. Although the increase is small, it shows the market is tracking marginally higher for the season. As mentioned earlier, much of the market movements for this series can be attributed to currency movement, so much so that when viewed in U.S. dollar terms, the market strengthened. The EMI added 9 U.S. cents for the series, closing at 772 cents.

The largest improvements for the season have been in the broadest reported sector of the market. In the South, the 30-micron MPG has gained 57 cents for the season – a 20-percent rise. The 32-micron MPG has added 50 cents – again an increase of exactly 20 percent.

Next week’s quantity is forecast to increase by more than five thousand bales.

Click Here for the Australian Wool Report Prices in US Dollars Per Pound.

Source: AWEX


MSU Schedules Parasite Webinars

The Michigan State University Small Ruminant Extension Team will be hosting a series of four webinars on Tuesday evenings beginning on April 16 at 7 p.m. eastern time to discuss which parasites are a problem in the Midwest and Northeast, risk factors for infection, grazing strategies to reduce parasite load, infection monitoring, effective drug treatments and farm specific control programs.

Control of internal parasites is a major health challenge for sheep and goat farms. Previous control methods have led to the development of drug resistant parasites, furthering the problem. Effective and sustainable parasite control requires a program tailored to each farm’s unique circumstances. An effective and sustainable program will reduce animal health and productivity losses while minimizing the advance of resistance problems.

The webinars will be followed by an optional workshop on May 11 on the MSU campus that will provide hands-on instruction on the FAMACHA parasite monitoring program and the practice of fecal egg counting.

Registration is $25 per household for the webinar series only and $30 per person for the workshop.

Click Here to register.

Source: MSU Extension


Lamb Lovers Month Recap

February was Lamb Lovers month, and the 2024 ad campaign, Show Us Your Chops, reached more than 125,000 culinary enthusiasts across three targeted demographics. The campaign helped drive more than 10,000 unique visitors to the American Lamb Board consumer website.

Once on the site, visitors learned more about American lamb, had access to recipes, and had the option to enter a campaign contest to win a Dutch oven and two racks of American lamb.

“This campaign proved to be a cost-effective advertising campaign for reaching culinary enthusiasts and provided some key insights into various demographics targeted by the campaign,” said ALB Chairman Jeff Ebert.

The campaign ran ads on Facebook and Instagram targeting consumers interested in dining and cooking. The audience was then subdivided into three segments by age and stage of life:

  • Culinary Curious (28-34 years old): Well-off urban professionals with a passion for cooking, this group represents a fusion of culinary enthusiasts and city dwellers looking to enhance their cooking skills and enjoy the gourmet experience.
  • Culinary Hustlers (35-44 years old): These bustling suburban households are juggling busy schedules. They gather as a family to savor homemade culinary creations, and with scarcely a moment to spare, they seek quick and flavorful dinner solutions.
  • Culinary Connoisseurs (48-67 years old): With substantial spending power, these empty nesters are passionate about cooking and now have more leisure time on their hands. They represent a convergence of culinary connoisseurs and seasoned home chefs.

While the first two groups saw the most views and had a bigger overall reach, the culinary connoisseurs saw the most clicks and engagement. This group experienced five times as many post reactions, shares and saves, plus 15 times as many comments as the other two segments. This group was also the most likely to spend time on the American lamb consumer website.

Much of the campaign’s success can be attributed to sharing recipes and information about American lamb across multiple platforms.

The ALB Blogger Network promoted the campaign. Three influencer chefs in the network shared their love for American lamb, described its taste for people who had never tried it and shared their favorite recipes.

Throughout the campaign, consumers could find amazing chop recipes for the Show Us Your Chops campaign on other influencer and social sites.

Consumers visiting the Homemade site during the campaign could cook up Date Night Lamb alongside nationally recognized chef Joel Gamoran, who founded the site, which is now America’s largest cooking school and offers free online live cooking classes to home cooks.

Followers of the popular food-centric, live-streaming platform Kittch could cook up the five-star Grilled Lamb Chops with Fermented Bean Curd Sauce by Anna and Ni Nguyen.

Together, this campaign and the vast resources targeting a growing group of culinary enthusiasts successfully generated much interest in American lamb.

Source: ALB


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.

USDA Finalizes Product of the USA Label Claim:

On Monday, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the finalization of a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) rule to align the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim with consumer understanding of what the claim means.

USDA’s final rule allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be made on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States. With this rule, FSIS hopes to clear up consumer confusion surrounding current voluntary label claims related to the origin of regulated products in the United States marketplace and prohibit misleading origin labeling to better ensure consumers are receiving truthful information on where their food comes from.

It’s important to note that under this final rule, the “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim will continue to be voluntary. It will also remain eligible for generic label approval, meaning it would not need to be pre-approved by FSIS before it can be used on regulated products, but would require the establishment to maintain documentation on file to support the claim.

Alongside this rule, an updated labeling guidance was published regarding the use of voluntary U.S.-origin label claims, which will remain open for public comment until May 12, and comments can be submitted here.


Purina Offering Four $5,000 Scholarships

Purina Animal Nutrition – along with the Land O’Lakes Foundation – has opened its scholarship program designed to assist students with experience in agriculture and livestock production in pursuing their passions and furthering their education.

Undergraduate students and current high school seniors who have experience raising and caring for small or large livestock, equine and/or poultry, are eligible to apply for one of four $5,000 scholarships. Along with the impact animal agriculture has had on their lives, desired applicants will be able to demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement and have a clear vision for their future.

Scholarship applications will be accepted March 18 through April 17. Awardees will receive their scholarship funds for the Fall 2024 semester at their current or anticipated educational institution. The scholarship is open to all high school seniors who plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic semester/term and undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school.

Click Here to learn more.

Source: Purina Animal Nutrition


DSANA Plans GEP Webinar

Take the guesswork out of making breeding and selection decisions in your dairy sheep flock and improve your farm’s bottom line by attending a webinar about the Dairy Sheep Association of North America’s Genetic Evaluation Program on March 27 at 7:30 p.m. eastern time.

The Genetic Evaluation Program helps North American sheep milk producers use their ewes’ milk production records to make more informed decisions in their breeding stock programs through the use of genetic analysis performed in Quebec.

In this webinar, GEP coordinator Matt Gelbwaks and GEP user Christen Waddell – both full-time sheep dairy producers in the United States – will be joined by Amelie St-Pierre of Genovis in Quebec to introduce the program, review what is required of producers to participate, explain Estimated Breeding Values and how dairy sheep producers use them, and explain how the flock production of any dairy sheep producer can improve with the use of EBVs.

Questions about joining GEP will be answered live.

Click Here to register for free.

Source: DSANA

Skip to content