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Festival’s New Sheep Monument Seeking Contributions

Plans are underway for The Trailing of the Sheep Festival’s new permanent monument which honors the sheep industry, ranchers, herders and their 150-plus years of history in the Wood River Valley and Idaho.

The festival’s board of directors plans to unveil and dedicate The Good Shepherd monument in Hailey, Idaho, on Saturday, Oct. 9, during the festival’s milestone 25th anniversary event, which runs Oct. 6-10. The monument will be installed on the landscape strip at Roberta McKercher Park facing Highway 75 in Hailey.

The monument – by sculptor Danny D. Edwards of Danny Edwards Bronzes – will consist of 11 life-sized bronze sculptures featuring eight sheep, a sheepherder, horse and a dog.

“We have dreamed of bringing something like this to the community for many years,” said John Peavey, festival co-founder and board president. “This unique tribute is made possible, in part, due to a generous gift from the estate of Patricia Lane. But the majority of the monument costs will be covered through fundraising efforts that are currently underway, including engraved pavers and sponsorships, so we encourage all those who love sheep to contribute to this lasting legacy.”

The monument pavers – which are engraved with the donor’s personalized text – range in price from $125 to $1,500, depending on size. The first round of pavers – to be installed for the monument unveiling this year – need to be ordered by May 31. Monument sponsorships for individuals and businesses are available at levels from $2,500 to $10,000, although gifts of any amount are welcome. The Trailing of the Sheep Cultural Heritage Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Click Here for more details and information on how to contribute to The Good Shepherd monument.

Source: Trailing of the Sheep       


Sheep Genetics Webinar Set for Tuesday

Sheep genetics will be the topic of discussion for the next American Sheep Industry Association-sponsored webinar on Tuesday, May 11, beginning at 8 p.m. eastern time.

Brad Boner, Tom Boyer, Rusty Burgett and Ben Lehfeldt of Sheep Genetics USA will lead discussion on this important topic. One of the production inputs the sheep industry has control over is the genetics it chooses for its flocks. Sheep Genetics USA is a proactive and collaborative initiative focused on improving genetic tools to enhance profitability. It is designed with action committees representing all industry stakeholders, thereby unifying the industry in an effort to maximize demand for American lamb.

Dr. Jay Parsons will host the free webinar, but registration is required.

Click Here to register for the webinar.


Monthly Scrapie Report Shows Infection

An infected sheep and goat herd was identified in Wisconsin on March 16, related to the positive ewe sampled in January 2021. As of March 31, 14,746 animals have been sampled for scrapie in FY 2021: 14,029 animals were sampled at slaughter and 717 on-farm, while 10,941 were sheep and 3,805 were goats.

Click Here for the March 2021 National Scrapie Eradication Program report.



ASI SheepCast: 30×30, Tax, H-2A & House Climate Bills

This week the ASI SheepCast looks at a new report giving some details to President Biden’s 30-by-30 plan, a new challenge to the president’s tax proposal, regulatory changes to the H-2A program and a number of new bills being considered on the climate solutions front by the House Ag Committee.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


Study to Look at Sheep, Bees & Solar Sites

The American Solar Grazing Association announced this week it will collect and analyze data on the agricultural, economic and environmental impacts of co-locating agricultural enterprises such as commercial beekeeping and sheep grazing on photovoltaic sites.

“New York State has one of the most ambitious solar energy mandates in the country,” says shepherd Lexie Hain, ASGA executive director. New York’s renewable energy policies could increase competition for open land – or create new opportunities. “By working together on the same land, farmers and energy developers can realize benefits for all involved while preserving the agricultural character of the state’s rural communities. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition; with this study, ASGA will be able to collect and analyze data on the economic and environmental impacts of co-locating ag and solar ventures on the same site.”

The project is being funded by a $198,000 research grant from the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority through its Environmental Research Program which aims to increase the understanding and awareness of the environmental and public health impacts of energy choices and emerging energy options, and provide a scientific foundation for creating effective and equitable energy-related environmental policies and resource management practices.

Additional project partners on the two-year study include the New England Division of American Farmland Trust and Juniper Economic Consulting. Data collection and analysis will focus on solar planting mixes, economics of co-location, solar equipment risk, and soil health from 30 existing, ground-mounted solar sites throughout the Northeast – primarily in New York State and neighboring states.

ASGA has already begun recruiting beekeepers, shepherds and solar sites and will continue enrollment throughout the 2021 growing season. For rigor, the study will collect data from co-located sites, as well as conventional, stand-alone operations for comparison purposes. Data will be collected during the 2022 and 2023 grazing seasons. Results of the study will address questions about the quality and profitability of farm products from solar sites, trends in soil health on agriculturally managed solar sites, and the benefits to farmers of working with the solar industry.

Click Here to learn more about the study or to be considered for participation.

Source: ASGA


Australian Wool Market Falls

The Australian wool market fell this series, with every sector recording overall losses. After 5.3 percent of the overall offering was withdrawn prior to sale, there were 47,558 available bales – only 112 bales more than the previous series.

The opening day of selling on Tuesday provided mixed results. Some better-style wool – particularly non-mulesed types and wool with favorable additional measurement results – attracted solid buyer support and recorded very little change from the previous sale. Lesser-style wool and those with poor additional measurements received the same level of support and were highly irregular in price, but trending downward. The movements in the individual Merino fleece Micron Price Guides in the three selling centers ranged between +21 and -28 cents. On the back of these movements, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator fell by 8 cents.

On the second day of selling, prices continued to fall as the sale progressed. As a result, the Merino fleece MPGs in the Western region all finished below those in Sydney and Melbourne. Across the country, the MPGs moved between 0 and -48 cents. These losses combined with falls in the other sectors pushed the EMI down by 15 additional cents. The EMI closed the week at 1,319 Australian cents for an overall loss of 23 cents – a 1.7 percent reduction.

The price reductions were met with seller resistance, pushing the national passed-in rate to 15.3 percent – 8.8 percent higher than the previous series (which recorded solid price rises). The crossbred sector recorded the largest losses (in percentage terms) for the series. The crossbred MPGs lost between 16 and 30 cents and the 25-cent fall in the 32-micron MPG was a 9-percent drop.

Next week’s national offering increases as there are currently 48,245 bales on offer in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.

Source: AWEX


Livestock Conservancy Celebrates Heritage Breed Stamps

Heritage Breed Stamps featuring 10 American breeds – including Barbados Blackbelly sheep – officially go on sale May 17 during International Heritage Breeds Week. Pre-order your stamps from the U.S. Postal Service online.

Join The Livestock Conservancy on Monday, May 17, at 11 a.m. eastern time at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia as it celebrates the first day of issue of heritage breed stamps with the U.S. Postal Service. The conservancy will be talking about the history of the breeds on the stamps, listening to George Washington himself, and meeting the breeds in person. Animal ambassadors of each of the 10 breeds will be on site at Mount Vernon for the public to take photos and learn more about their unique traits.

If you plan to attend the dedication celebration, the USPS asks that you please RSVP.

Can’t attend the event? The Livestock Conservancy will be livestreaming the celebration on its Facebook page.

Source: The Livestock Conservancy


Video of the Week

Meet Pendleton’s Dan Gutzman as he crisscrosses the nation to source the best American wool for the company’s world-famous blankets and jackets in the latest video from Experience Wool’s Unrivaled series.

Click Here to watch the video.

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