Sheep Producers Return to D.C.

Legislative fly-ins such as the ASI Spring Trip have been nearly non-existent since March of 2020 when sheep producers were the last ones to visit with congressional delegations before the United States government went into a COVID-19 lockdown. But that drought came to end this week as sheep producers returned to the nation’s capital.

“It was so wonderful to be back in Washington, D.C., this spring,” said ASI President Susan Shultz of Ohio. “Everyone from the agency representatives we met with to Congressional leaders and their staffs seemed happy to see constituents back in town. Visiting our senators and representatives on the Hill is always a highlight, but we were also honored to meet with several government agencies who understand the important role our industry can play reaching the administration’s climate goals.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie reiterated his belief that sheep have a positive story to tell about the valuable role they can play in reversing climate change and aiding in wildfire suppression. Janet Bucknall of Wildlife Services once again pledged her agency’s support for dealing with the many predator issues that have always plagued the sheep industry.

“We also heard from Farm Service Administrator Zach Ducheneaux – who we met with at our Executive Board meeting in South Dakota last summer – and he’s another great supporter of the sheep industry,” Shultz said. “We also met with the U.S. Forest Service because the American sheep industry is really at the forefront of targeted grazing, which is so important for their fire suppression and climate change priorities.”

Priorities for sheep producers haven’t changed much since their last visit to Washington, D.C., in 2020. Producers talked with their congressional delegations about such things as: international trade, mandatory price reporting, foreign labor and pharmaceuticals for minor species. At the same time, they were able to thank budget makers for increased support of the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station and Wildlife Services in the most recent appropriations bill that will carry through until the end of the fiscal year.

For the USSES in Dubois, Idaho, the bill contained $4.2 million for improvements to the buildings and facilities, as well as an additional $500,000 in rangeland research funding. The bill also provided additional funding for Wildlife Services, providing $116 million for Wildlife Damage Management and $23 million for Methods Development.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Equine, Cervid and Small Ruminant Health line item – covering the scrapie surveillance program – was increased to $32 million.

The two-day trip concluded with a reception at The Monocle on Wednesday as congressional leaders and staffers were treated to an American lamb dinner.

 

Wyoming Wool Growers Seeking Executive Director

The Wyoming Wool Growers Association is soliciting applicants for the executive director position located in Casper, Wyo.

For more than 100 years, WWGA has worked for Wyoming sheep producers in policy advocacy, education, and lamb and wool product promotion. The executive director is the public face and spokesperson for the organization and is responsible for maintaining communication with members and relationships with key partners, agency staff and governmental leaders.

The successful candidate will possess excellent organizational, communication and interpersonal skills. Screening of applicants will begin on March 25.

Click Here for more information.

Source: WWGA

 

Australian Market Suffers Slight Setback

The Australian wool market recorded a small overall decrease this series. The national offering was more than 2,000 bales smaller compared to the previous week, due in part to Melbourne again being limited to two selling days to accommodate a Monday public holiday.

There were 47,251 bales available to the trade. The fleece market was a “tale of two types” as vegetable matter levels played a significant role in the prices that were achieved. Good style wools carrying less than 1.5 percent vm were limited in supply and highly sought after, with wools carrying less than 1 percent vm even more so. The strong buyer interest in these lots kept prices generally within 20 cents of the closing levels of the previous series.

The opposite was true of the abundance of higher vm lots available – only 40.7 percent of the total fleece offering had less than 1 percent of vm. Higher vm wools lacked buyer support, continually losing ground as the sales progressed. The waning interest in these types generally pushed prices down by 30 to 50 cents for the week and was a major contributor to the 13.7 percent of the fleece that was passed in.

The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator dropped by 5 cents for the series, closing the week at 1,408 Australian cents. The EMI has had an up and down run since Week 33. Since that time, the EMI has risen on all even numbered weeks (for a gain of 7 cents) and fallen on the odd numbered weeks (for a loss of 19 cents). The EMI is still 131 cents higher than the corresponding sale of last season.

Next week’s sales return to the normal Tuesday/Wednesday selling pattern, with Melbourne able to conduct a third selling day (Thursday), which has in turn pushed the national offering higher to 48,286 bales.

Source: AWEX

 

Florida Plans Second Ram Test and Sale

The University of Florida will hold its second Ram Test and Sale this year and interested participants must register by May 1.

The Ram Test and Sale is part of a program to grow the sheep and goat industries in the Sunshine State and the Southeastern United States. Efforts surrounding sheep and small ruminants are a collaboration between the UF College of Veterinary Medicine and the UF/IFAS animal sciences department.

The program is designed to standardize environmental conditions to evaluate individual ram performance, provide high-quality performance tested rams to producers, offer educational opportunities to the industry and facilitate networking among producers.

Eligible rams must be born between Dec. 1, 2021, and Feb. 15, 2022, and weaned by April 15, 2022.

Other important dates for the Ram Test and Sale are as follows:

  • May 1 – Pre-registration deadline
  • May 14 – Rams arrive at UF/IFAS Sheep Unit
  • May 26 – 84-day gain test begins
  • August 18 – 84-day gain test ends
  • September 17 – UF/IFAS Ram Test Sale & Educational Program

Click Here to read more about the program and access registration information. For any questions regarding the UF/IFAS Ram Test and Sale, contact Jesse Savell at sanspur@ufl.edu or 352-494-3397 or Clay Whitehead at jacobcwhitehead@ufl.edu or 904-796-0441.

Source: University of Florida

 

California Ram Sale Set for April 9

The California Wool Growers Association is hosting the 102nd Annual California Ram Sale on Saturday, April 9, at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, Calif.

More than 500 rams, including crossbred, composite, Hampshire, Oxford, Suffolk and white-faced rams will be offered from California, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho and Utah.

Ultrasound carcass measurements – i.e. loin eye area – and a Range Ram Index will be provided on all sale rams. The Range Ram Index utilizes ultrasound carcass data collected at the sale and will help to identify the potential genetic merit of those rams in passing superior genetic traits – such as larger loin eye area or heavier carcass weights – into producer flocks.

The ram sale trade show will feature a variety of sheep health and equipment companies showcasing products developed to address sheep production, nutritional and health needs.

Click Here for ram sale information. To request a sale catalog, contact the CWGA office at 916-444-8122 or info@woolgrowers.org.

Source: CWGA

 

New Report Offers Good News for Lamb

The 2022 Power of Meat annual report is out, and there’s good news for lamb. The report summarizes a survey that “looks at meat through the shopper’s eyes,” and addresses all meat, imported and domestic, sold through retail food outlets during 2021. It is the 17th year of The Power of Meat report, sponsored by CRYOVAC and presented at the 2022 Annual Meat Conference.

Lamb gained in pounds purchased by United States consumers in 2021 over 2020. Beef leads in total sales, but lamb sales in 2021 increased 4.3 percent over 2022, and 19 percent over 2019, to hit 60 million pounds. Dollar sales grew to $534 million, an 11.7 percent increase over 2020 and 35.4 percent over 2019.

Restaurant dining is returning after two years of a pandemic, but 61 percent of consumers continue to cut back on restaurant spending, with 62 percent of those people trying to recreate the experience at home.

“That’s a great fit for lamb, and the American Lamb Board’s efforts at reaching consumers through social media with practical cooking tips and ideas,” says ALB Chairman Peter Camino of Buffalo, Wyo.

The report shows nearly 75 percent of American consumers describe themselves as meat-eaters, echoing the sentiment that meat belongs in a healthy, balanced lifestyle. But the pandemic, inflation and supply chain issues are driving consumers to buy meat less often and pay more when they do. The year 2020 was record-setting for meat dollar sales; 2021 topped it by 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, total meat volume sales declined 5.6 percent from 2020 to 2021. Compared with 2019’s pre-pandemic numbers, dollars increased 18.5 percent and volume increased 3.9 percent in 2021.

The report also includes information and insights on where consumers buy meat, including online sales, meat sales promotions and product claims that are important to consumers (i.e. nutrition, country of origin and sustainability). The report indicates inflation will likely continue to be a factor for meat sales into 2022. Total meat sales in price per pound is up 6.4 percent since 2020 and 14.5 percent since 2019.

For a copy of the complete study contact rae@americanlamb.com

Source: ALB

 

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