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Lamb Industry Presses for USDA meat purchases

The American Sheep Industry Association and the National Lamb Feeders Association sent a letter to USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach today calling for prompt solicitation of bids under a Feb. 19 Pre-Solicitation Notice Announcement for Trade Mitigation Purchase of Lamb Products.

Lamb meat sales to food service industries are struggling due to developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to the closure of many restaurants around the United States.

“The Easter/Passover season is traditionally the single largest lamb consumption period of the year, so the loss of sales is devastating,” read the letter. “Decreased slaughter during this run up to the largest lamb processing period can lead to back-up of live lambs in the feedlots, which again supports an aggressive use of USDA lamb meat purchases. We ask that every consideration is made of any additional lamb products for near term solicitations, as well as use of Section 32 procurement funds, as appropriate.”

Click Here to read the full letter.


Checkoff and sheep center director nominations due to ASI by April 24

The American Sheep Industry Association is seeking nominations of sheep producers to serve on both federal boards affiliated with the sheep business. ASI is certified to nominate producers and feeders to the American Lamb Board and is the only organization that can nominate directors to the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in March that it is accepting nominations to serve on ALB and NSIIC beginning in 2021. The deadline to submit nominations to ASI is April 24. USDA requires two nominations for each vacant position.

The American Lamb Board has five openings for three-year terms that will begin in February 2021: a producer with 100 or less lambs; a producer with more than 500 lambs; a feeder with less than 5,000 lambs; a first handler; and a seedstock producer.

Any American producer, feeder, first handler or seedstock producer who owns or purchases lambs may be considered for nomination. To satisfy the requirements of the Lamb Promotion and Research Order, either the producer with 100 lambs or less or the producer with more than 500 lambs must be from Region 1.

The 13-member American Lamb Board is industry-funded and supports the national marketing and promotion of sheep and sheep products.

Click Here to learn more.

The NSIIC board of directors has three openings. There are two vacancies for sheep producers and one vacancy for a person with expertise in marketing.

The board of directors comprises seven voting members and two non-voting members. Voting members include four active sheep producers, two members with expertise in finance and management and one member with expertise in lamb or wool product marketing. Non-voting members include USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics.

Click Here to learn more.


Apply Now for the Sheep Heritage Foundation Scholarship

The Sheep Heritage Foundation Memorial Scholarship – offered through the American Sheep Industry Association – in the amount of $3,000 is being made available for sheep-related graduate studies.

May 31 is the deadline to apply, and a final selection is expected to be made in June or July.

The scholarship is for the advancement of the sheep industry – lamb and wool – through financial support of a graduate-level (MS or Ph.D.) student who is attending a school in the United States.

Applicant requirements:

  • Be a graduate student involved in sheep and/or wool research in such areas as animal science, agriculture economics or veterinary medicine with proof of graduate school acceptance;
  • Complete an application;
  • Present two letters of reference.

The application form can be downloaded from the ASI website or obtained by writing to the American Sheep Industry Association, Attn: Memorial Scholarship, 9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360, Englewood, CO 80112-2692, calling 303-771-3500 ext. 107 or emailing

Click Here for the application.


COVID-19-Related Cancellations in the Sheep Industry

The following events have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak and federal, state or local restrictions concerning large gatherings of people:

Moffat County (Colo.) Shearing School;

Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association Spring Sheep Workshop;

California Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101 (March 29-April 4 dates);

Washington State Shearing School and Advanced Shearing School;

Ohio Statewide Sheep Shearing School;

Connecticut Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival;

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival;

Montana Lamb Jam.

If you know of other cancellations, please forward them to


Australian Wool Market Continues Recent Slide

The Australian wool market once again followed the trend of other global markets, suffering prolonged losses in Week 38.

Melbourne opened in isolation on the first selling day and from the opening lot it was apparent that buyers had significantly reduced their limits. By the end of the first day, the individual Micron Price Guides had fallen by 29 to 58 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator fell by 19 cents.

The losses continued into the second day, as buyers continually reduced their buying limits. The MPGs across the country fell by another 26 to 99 cents – the largest losses experienced in Sydney and Fremantle as these centers came into line with the Melbourne market. On the back of these large losses, the EMI dropped by 52 cents. This was the largest daily fall in the EMI since January.

The market continued downward on the final day, but not at the same rate of the previous two days as buyers became more confident of the new price levels. The Eastern MPGs lost a further 3 to 40 cents, with the EMI falling by 12 cents. The EMI lost 83 cents for the series, closing the week at 1,438 Australian cents.

This was the largest weekly fall in the EMI since October of last year. The EMI has now fallen for six consecutive selling days, falling by a total of 146 cents during this period. As the Australian dollar fell to its lowest point in 17 years, the fall in the EMI when viewed in USD terms was more significant. It dropped by 181 USc – a reduction of more than 18 percent.

The market did finish on a positive note. Selling last, the Fremantle region recorded increases in its MPGs of between 5 and 35 cents on the final day. Despite the losses, the national offering increases next week to 49,874 bales, with all three centers in operation.

Source: AWEX


Textile Groups See Manufacturing as Essential

United States textile and nonwoven associations – including the National Council of Textile Associations, of which the American Sheep Industry Association is a member – issued a joint statement Thursday urging federal, state and local governments to deem textile and nonwoven manufacturing facilities as “essential” when drafting “Shelter in Place” orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

NCTO, the Industrial Fabrics Association International and the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry recognize the serious challenges elected officials, health administrators and others are facing when issuing orders to protect communities across the country and we understand the necessity for leaders to enforce a ‘Shelter in Place” order or quarantine orders.

Our members make a broad range of inputs and finished products used in an array of personal protective equipment and medical nonwoven/textile supplies, including surgical gowns, face masks, antibacterial wipes, lab coats, blood pressure cuffs, cotton swabs and hazmat suits. These items are vital to the government’s effort to ramp up emergency production of these critical supplies.

If workers who produce these goods are not granted an “essential” exemption from “Shelter in Place” and other quarantine orders to go to their manufacturing and distribution facilities, it will cause major disruptions in the availability of these goods. This will create significant hardship to healthcare providers and consumers across the country who depend on steady and stable supplies of these critical items.

We are asking the administration and state and local authorities to provide greater certainty and clarity for our companies and employees and ask for a clear exclusion of our manufacturing operations from “Shelter in Place” orders as the textile and nonwoven products that we make in the U.S. play an essential role in mitigating the shortages of critical supplies. Such a designation will help us avoid disruptions of vital goods and services during this challenging time.

Source: NCTO


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