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Animal Health Management Webinar Set for May 16

The first of a two-part webinar series entitled Animal Health Management: Keeping Track of It All and Making Good Decisions is scheduled for May 16 at 8 p.m. eastern time. The second webinar is scheduled for July 11.

American Sheep Industry Association Animal Health Committee Co-Chair Dr. Jim Logan will provide an introduction and be joined by Dan Persons of Shearwell Data and Dr. Larry Goelz of Windy Ridge Veterinary Clinic.

Logan practiced veterinary medicine for 27 years and served the state of Wyoming for 23 years as state veterinarian through two appointed terms (1997 to 2004 and 2009 to 2021). He was the assistant state veterinarian from 2007 to 2009. Logan retired in June 2021 but continues to assist the sheep industry with his time and knowledge.

Persons has been a sales and support representative for Shearwell Data since 2015. He is responsible for helping producers transition their livestock operations to RFID-based records. He’s also owner and operator of Rafter P Ranch located in West Central Minnesota where he lambs 500+ ewes and finishes lambs to market weight in an antibiotic-free protocol. Persons is active in the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers as a regional director and in ASI as a member of the Lamb Council.

Goelz received his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He began his professional career at Pipestone Veterinary Services as a food animal veterinarian in 1996 and remained for 25 years as partner specializing in ruminants. In 2021 he co-founded Windy Ridge Veterinary Clinic, where he currently practices and serves as its president. His day-to-day practice is focused on ruminants with a unique passion for small ruminant clients and patients. Goelz’s non-professional time is filled with sports and equine activities shared with his wife and three teenage children.

This webinar is made possible with funding support from ASI and a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Click Here to register for the webinar.


Australian Wool Market Continues Upward Trend

The Australian wool market recorded an overall rise for the second consecutive series. The national offering was smaller than the 44,257 bales originally rostered. Due in part to the 6.1 percent withdrawn prior to sale, there were only 38,838 bales on offer.

With fleece wool carrying less than 1 percent vegetable matter continuing to become less available – 34 percent of the national fleece total fell into this category – these types attracted the strongest buyer attention. In some cases, buyers were willing to overlook shortcomings in some particular lots in order to secure quantity of these free or nearly free types. Demand for this wool was the driving force behind the overall increase in the market and in the rises that were recorded in some of the Individual Micron Price Guides across the country.

The overall movements for the MPGs ranged between -8 and +53 cents nationally. The Merino skirtings followed a similar path to the fleece as lower vm types were highly sought after and helped the sector record overall increases. The crossbred sector was generally firm, unchanged compared to the previous week. On the back of these movements, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator gained 8 cents for the week, closing at 1,310 Australian cents. For the first time in six selling weeks, the EMI recorded an increase in U.S. dollar terms. The EMI gained 13 U.S. cents for the series, closing at 874 U.S. cents.

The oddments were the poorest performing sector this week. The three Merino Carding Indicators fell by an average of 9 cents, caused mainly by a general reduction of 20 cents in locks carrying more than 3 percent vm. These losses prevented the EMI from a larger rise.

Next week’s offering is forecast to rise, there are currently 48,643 bales on offer, with selling to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday only.

Click Here for the Full Australian Wool Market Report.

Source: AWEX


Apply Now for Sheep Heritage Scholarship

The American Sheep Industry Association’s Sheep Heritage Foundation is once again accepting applications for the Sheep Heritage Scholarship. The scholarship will award $3,000 in financial support to a graduate student pursuing a sheep-related study that will support the advancement of the American sheep industry, lamb and wool.

Graduate students involved in sheep and/or wool research in such areas as animal science, agriculture economics or veterinary medicine are eligible to apply. Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate school in the United States and must be a United States citizen.

Students should complete a scholarship application and submit it with two letters of reference and proof of graduate school acceptance/enrollment. The deadline to apply is May 31.

Click Here for more information and the application.

Lamb Promotions Get Boost from ALB Funding

The American Lamb Board is making lamb promotion easier with its cooperative funding program. These matching funds support programs aligning with ALB’s strategic initiatives:

  • Marketing – Grow consumer demand for American lamb.
  • Research, Education and Innovation – Optimize/prioritize research and education efforts to improve product quality and consistency, increase productivity and grow the year-round supply of American lamb.
  • Industry Services – Expand awareness, understanding, engagement and involvement of stakeholders in the American Lamb Checkoff.

There are two types of funding available: one for promotions done by producer groups and one for promotions done by American lamb suppliers, including direct marketers. There is a separate form for each type of funding, and the process is straightforward to help applicants ensure that their promotion qualifies for match funding.

“We want the application process to be easy for those who want to promote American lamb,” says Peter Camino, ALB chairman from Buffalo, Wyo. “With this match funding, it opens up the possibilities for bigger and broader American lamb promotions.”

Some of the main guidelines for the cooperative funding program include:

  • Funds are not available to provide meals featuring lamb at American lamb industry events.
  • Funds should only be used to promote American lamb (not imported lamb).
  • Funds cannot influence government policy or action, including lobbying.
  • All efforts should be made to comply with the Act and the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order.
  • Support should be acknowledged in the promotion by using the ALB logo or a statement such as “Paid for in part by the American Lamb Board.”
  • Promotional materials should be submitted at least two weeks prior to use for ALB review and USDA approval, as required by federal checkoff guidelines.
  • Results report and invoice(s) with supporting documentation must be submitted within six weeks of completing the project.

Examples of programs supported through the cooperative funding program include recipe sharing at farmer’s markets, sampling ground American lamb at consumer events, development of promotional materials, hosting farm tours for local media, exhibiting at state foodservice events, in-store sampling, point of sale materials, training sessions and new product promotions.

Be sure to read the Cooperative Funding FAQs before submitting an application.

Source: ALB


Texas Plans Hair Sheep Conference

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will hold the 2023 Hair Sheep Conference in McGregor, Texas, on May 25.

The program will be held at The Exchange Event Center, 300 S. Jefferson Ave., McGregor. Onsite registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. The cost is $25 – payable by cash or check – and an RSVP is requested by May 18 to Candace Chapman at the AgriLife Extension office in McLennan County at 254-757-5180 or The event is organized by the AgriLife Extension office in McLennan County and the Central Texas Small Ruminant Committee.

“In Texas, there are more hair sheep than wool sheep,” said Shane McLellan, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, McLennan County. “Hair sheep tend to require less labor and the lambs are well suited for the non-traditional market, which has a growing demand for lamb and mutton.”

The conference will cover the following topics presented by these expert speakers:

  • Visual Selection Fundamentals, Clay Elliott, Ph.D., Purina Animal Nutrition small ruminant nutritionist, Calumet, Okla.
  • Managing Internal Parasites in Sheep, Jake Thorne, AgriLife Extension sheep and goat program specialist, San Angelo, Texas.
  • Benefits of Hair Sheep in Texas, Reid Redden, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension sheep and goat specialist and director of the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center in San Angelo.
  • 21st Century Hair Sheep Genetic Selection Technologies, Redden.
  • Supplementing the Diet of Hair Sheep, Elliott.
  • Management of Weaned Lambs, Thorne.
  • Market Trends and Opportunities, Derek Poe, Hamilton (Texas) Commission Company general manager, Hamilton.
  • Livestock Predation Management,,Bill Costanzo, Texas A&M AgriLife Research associate, San Angelo.

Source: Texas A&M AgriLife


Indiana Grazing School Returns in June

From the Indiana Forage Council and Purdue Extension, the Indiana Grazing School program returns this June. Livestock producers will have the opportunity to gain hands-on training in implementing improved grazing systems.

The program is also hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.

Topics to be covered include soil fertility, water delivery, fencing, grazing system options, animal health and plant identification. The program will offer two training sessions. The registration fee is $75 and covers the cost of management information and a meal and refreshments on the program’s second day. Additional attendees from the same operation can attend for a reduced $50 fee. Dates and locations for the Indiana Grazing School sessions are as follows:

  • June 9-10, Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center, 11371 East Purdue Farm Road, Dubois, Ind.
  • June 16-17, Randolph County Extension Office, 1885 S. U.S. Highway 27, Winchester, Ind.

The programs will run from 1 to 6 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Attendees will hear from featured speakers and hosts Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist; Jason Tower, Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center superintendent; Bethany Funnell, DVM, Purdue clinical associate professor of veterinary reproductive medicine and surgery; and Grant Burcham, DVM, veterinary diagnostician.

Click Here for further event details and the registration form. The registration deadline is June 2. For questions, contact Tower at or 812-678-4427.

Source: Purdue University


USDA Modifies Forage & Rainfall Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is modifying the Annual Forage Insurance Program to make it more sustainable and to allow producers more flexibility. This includes allowing producers to choose the areas which they insure, rather than being required to insure all eligible acres. The changes will take effect for the 2024 crop year.

“Our goal is to make sure that the policies we offer are sustainable and meet the needs of producers” said Marcia Bunger, administrator for USDA’s Risk Management Agency. “RMA’s modifications will ensure the program is available in the future and at the same time new flexibilities will allow the policy to be more tailored to the producers own operation.”

The Annual Forage Insurance Program is a rainfall index area-based plan that provides coverage to acreage planted each year and used as feed and fodder by livestock. The rainfall index does not directly measure an individual producer’s annual forage production or loss. Rather, it measures the normal precipitation deviation that occurs in and around the insured area, which is correlated with forage production. The Annual Forage insurance program include all counties in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.

The modifications to the Annual Forage pilot program include:

  • Allowing producers to insure the acres they choose – no longer requiring all eligible acres to be insured.
  • Modifying the program design from four growing seasons to 12 growing seasons.
  • Moving the Acreage Reporting Date to the fifth day of the month after the month of planting, which creates 12 acreage reporting dates.
  • Adding planting dates to designate the planting month and corresponding acreage reporting date.
  • Allowing producers in Kansas and Nebraska to have coverage in growing season 10 through 12 and a corresponding growing season at the start of the next crop year, which is consistent with other states where the insurance is offered.
  • Updating the Rainfall Index Basic Provisions to incorporate existing guidance on the record requirements in double cropping situations when one of the crops follow a different plan of insurance.

The Annual Forage Insurance Program began in 2014. Producers have enrolled for coverage on more than 6.2 million acres.

Source: USDA

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