ASI Accepting Awards Nominations
Producers and others in the industry have just one week remaining to submit nomination forms for American Sheep Industry Association annual awards, which will be presented during the 2024 ASI Annual Convention on Jan. 10-13, 2024, in Denver, Colo. The deadline for all award nominations is Nov. 17.
There are five awards open for nominations: The McClure Silver Ram Award, the Peter Orwick Camptender Award, the Distinguished Producer Award, the Industry Innovation Award and the Shepherd’s Voice Award.
The McClure Silver Ram Award is dedicated to volunteer commitment and service and is presented to a sheep producer who has made substantial contributions to the sheep industry and its organizations in his/her state, region or nation.
The Peter Orwick Camptender Award recognizes industry contributions from a professional in a position or field related to sheep production. Nominees should show a strong commitment and a significant contribution to the sheep industry, its organizations and its producers above and beyond what is called for in his/her professional capacity.
The Distinguished Producer Award was launched in 2014 to recognize the 150th anniversary of the national organization – the oldest livestock association in the country. This award is a way to recognize an individual who has had a significant long-term impact on the industry, including involvement with the National Wool Growers Association or American Sheep Producers Council.
The Industry Innovation Award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual or organization that improves the American sheep industry in a game-changing way, regardless of whether its impact is felt at the regional or national level.
The Shepherd’s Voice Award for Media recognizes outstanding coverage of the sheep industry by either print or broadcast outlets. The award excludes all publications and affiliates related solely to the sheep industry, allowing for recognition of outlets with general coverage of sheep industry issues.
Nominations must be submitted to ASI by Nov. 17, and past recipients of these awards are not eligible.
Click Here for more information.
LMIC Lamb & Sheep Market Update
Released today, the Livestock Marketing Information Center Monitor offered an update on the lamb and sheep market.
Lamb and yearling weekly slaughter has been on its seasonal climb for several weeks with weekly levels at or above 30,000 head per week since August. Recent weeks have been 32,000 to more than 34,000 head per week or about 8 to 9 percent higher than a year ago.
Year-to-date through October, weekly lamb and yearling slaughter is tracking more than 3 percent above the same period in 2022. The big difference from last year has been dressed weights. Weekly lamb and yearling dressed weights have been at or below 60 pounds, which is lower than levels seen last year and lower than the five-year average levels of about 62 to 65 pounds for this time of year. The lower weekly dressed weights have more than offset the higher weekly slaughter levels leading to a year-to-date decline in lamb and mutton production of about 2.5 percent.
The lamb cutout value has been on a gradual increase since July with values going from about $430 per cwt. to last week’s value of more than $470 per cwt. – an increase of $40 per cwt. or 9.3 percent. Strength in the lamb cutout value has been supported by the shoulder, leg and loin. Shoulder prices have risen from about $360 per cwt. in July to last week’s price of $410 per cwt., an increase of 13 percent. Leg prices have increased 11 percent since July, going from $416 per cwt. to last week’s price of $461 per cwt. Prices for the loin have increased about $83 per cwt. (13 percent) since July and last week’s price was $697 per cwt. Since July, loin prices have followed a similar pattern to the five-year average. Prices for the rack have been generally flat for several weeks with prices at or below $1,100 per cwt.
Weekly slaughter lamb prices (national, negotiated, live) have been holding steady just below $200 per cwt. since late-July. Compared to the same period last year, slaughter lamb prices have been averaging almost $70 per cwt. higher. Seasonally, slaughter lamb prices start to move lower during the second half of the year, but prices have remained counter-seasonally higher. Strength in slaughter lamb prices is linked to strength in the lamb cutout value. Feeder lamb prices (three-market average 60 to 90 lbs., Colo., Texas, and S.D.) moved higher during September reaching $225 per cwt., but prices have fallen lower in recent weeks to about $180 to 190 per cwt. Typically, feeder lamb prices trend higher through the end of the year.
Australian Wool Market Records Minor Loss
The Australian wool market recorded an overall loss this series, albeit by the barest of margins. Although a loss was recorded, there were positives to be taken from the week.
The market opened softly and by the end of the first day many of the individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece finished lower. The movements ranged between -19 and +6 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 7 cents for the day. On the second day, the market rallied and prices generally rose. In the East, the MPG movements ranged between -1 and +22 cents. The EMI rose by 6 cents for the day, closing the day and the week at 1,128 Australian cents – 1 cent lower than last week’s close.
Selling last in Fremantle, strong widespread demand helped push the market higher across all Merino fleece types and descriptions. Here, the MPGs rose by between 15 and 22 cents. The rises were enough to ensure that all Western MPGs finished in positive territory for the week. This strong finish set the market up for a strong opening next week.
Another positive this week was that the market performed well when viewed in U.S. dollar terms. The majority of Australian wool is traded in USD terms. With a strengthening Australian dollar (the AUD rose by 0.83 cents since the close of last week) when viewed in USD terms, the EMI recorded a 9 U.S. cent increase to close the week at 723 U.S. cents.
The crossbred sector struggled this week as the movements in the MPGs between 26 and 30 micron ranged between -13 and -20 cents. The losses in these MPGs prevented the market from recording an overall increase. Next week’s offering is forecast to increase to 45,419 bales in Melbourne, Fremantle and Sydney.
Click Here for the Australian Wool Report Prices in USc Per Pound.
USDA Announces Appointments
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week the appointment of five members to serve on the American Lamb Board. All five of the appointees will serve three-year terms. The terms of the members start January 2024 and end January 2027.
Newly appointed members are:
- Steve Breeding, Seaford, Del. – Producer (100 or less head).
- David McEwen, Galata, Mont. – Producer (Greater than 500 head).
- Catherine Harper, Eaton, Colo. – Feeder (Less than 5,000 head).
- Carlos R. Barba, Naperville, Ill. – First Handler.
- Michael N. Duff, Blackfoot, Idaho – Seedstock Producer.
The 13-member American Lamb Board is composed of six producers, three feeders, three first handlers and one seedstock producer.
More information about the board and a list of board members is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service American Lamb Board webpage.
American Sheep Industry Association President Brad Boner of Glen Rock, Wyo., appreciates these volunteer leaders’ willingness to serve the national sheep industry organizations.
ASI is proud to have nominated these individuals for ALB to the Secretary of Agriculture and looks forward to their work on behalf of the lamb business. ASI developed the lamb checkoff as a key part of the lamb industry adjustment plan filed with USDA in 1999.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week the appointment of two producers and an expert in marketing to each serve as members on the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Board of Directors. The newly appointed members will serve three-year terms from January 2024 to January 2027.
Newly appointed members are:
- Producers – Patricia R. Sanville, Frederick, Md.; Randy Tunby, Baker, Mont.
- Expert in Marketing – Barry Savage, Newton, Mass.
The board is composed of seven voting members and two non-voting members.
More information about the center is available on the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Web site.
ASI is the official nominating entity for directors to the sheep center and is pleased with the appointments by the Secretary of Agriculture. ASI successfully added the Center to the 2014 Farm Bill and is actively supporting re-authorization in the upcoming legislation.
“The center has proven to be a great partner in strengthening the sheep industry with project support, such as creation of the commercial wool testing laboratory in 2022, support of the new lamb processing facility in Colorado and the launch of Sheep Genetics USA in 2021,” Boner said.
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.
Ag Labor Working Group Releases Interim Report
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Agriculture’s Agricultural Labor Working Group released an interim report on the labor challenges facing the agricultural sector. The report outlines initial findings based on a series of stakeholder roundtables the working group has conducted in the past four months.
These roundtables covered topics such as challenges in accessing and navigating the H-2A temporary agricultural program and labor and producer perspectives on the H-2A program. The working group is co-chaired by Reps. Rick Crawford (Ark.) and Don Davis (N.C.) and will work toward developing legislative solutions to the challenges identified in the interim report.
Harris Looks to Senate Collaboration
Last week, Rep. Andy Harris (Md.), chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations Ag-FDA Subcommittee, said he believes that instead of working to revive the Fiscal Year 2024 Ag-FDA appropriations bill in the House, the House Republican Conference should focus on negotiations with the Senate on the funding bill.
In September, the House voted down the Ag-FDA appropriations bill on a 191-237 vote, with 27 Republicans joining all Democrats in opposition. Some House Republicans had concerns about the bill due to its steep spending cuts for USDA and its inclusion of a policy rider regarding the sale of the abortion pill mifepristone. Rep. Harris’ comments come after House Speaker Mike Johnson (La.) signaled interest in reconsidering the Ag-FDA appropriations bill during the week of Nov. 13 in a dear colleague letter he sent while vying for the speakership.
Ag Lawmakers Looking to Hammer Out Farm Bill Extension
Considering the current Continuing Resolution is set to expire on Nov. 17, Congress is looking to pass another stopgap measure to extend federal funding into the new year. Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Ranking Member John Boozman (Ark.), House Ag Chair G.T. Thompson (Penn.) and Ranking Member David Scott (Ga.) are all reportedly on board to pass a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill.
An extension of the 2018 Farm Bill – which already expired on Sept. 30 – is necessary, but this new timeline puts Congress in a tough position to pass a Farm Bill during a presidential election year. One of the major sources of partisan disagreement in the extension is the roughly 20 so-called “orphan programs,” which were funded only through September 2023 under the current Farm Bill and do not benefit from longer-term funding.
The Wool and Pima Cotton Trust Fund – which is particularly important and valuable to the American sheep industry – happens to fall under the orphan program category. While the four corners of ag have all expressed their support for the Farm Bill’s orphan programs, it remains to be seen how Continuing Resolution discussions play out in the coming week, especially with House GOP leadership signaling that it wants a clean Farm Bill reauthorization with no new money attached to it. Stay tuned for more information.
ALB Puts Mutton in the Spotlight at IFEC
The American Lamb Board met with foodservice and trade magazine editors at the annual International Foodservice Editorial Council conference last week in Louisville, Ky.
IFEC is a nonprofit association dedicated to improving the overall quality of business-to-business communication within the foodservice industry and to promoting professional standards among its members. IFEC brings editors and public relations professionals together to exchange ideas, share resources and confer on editorial content for chefs and restauranteurs.
“It is important for the American lamb industry to regain foodservice sales,” says ALB Chair Peter Camino of Buffalo, Wyo. “The IFEC gives us the opportunity to connect with chefs and foodservice operators about the benefits of American lamb through the publications represented at the conference.”
Culinary Marketing Manager Mariah Meurer and Executive Director Megan Wortman represented ALB and had the opportunity to pitch chef leads, recipes and images for American lamb menu items to align with 2024 editorial calendars. Meetings were held with editors of Catersource, Flavor and the Menu, Foodservice Director, FSR, National Culinary Review, Nation’s Restaurant News, Plate, Restaurant Business and more.
ALB sponsored two, 20-minute Trends Sessions where Chef Patrick Bosely of longtime family-owned and operated Moonlite Bar-B-Q spoke all about mutton. Bosely prepared Smoked Mutton and Burgoo, which is Kentucky’s most famous stew and made with mutton. He spoke about the history of mutton and how his family’s restaurant has kept the Kentucky tradition alive for more than 70 years. If you’re interested in learning more about Moonlite Bar-B-Q, visit the restaurant’s website at https://www.moonlite.com/.
Fencing & Grazing Webinar Planned
The University of Minnesota Extension and North Dakota State University Extension will host a sheep and goat fencing and grazing webinar on Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. central time. Jonathan Kilpatrick with the Sustainable Farming Association will discuss different types of fencing options for small ruminants and grazing management strategies to get the most out of pastures.
“Fencing management has been a preferred topic for our producers,” says Travis Hoffman, extension sheep specialist for NDSU and UMN. “Planning the next grazing season is proactive planning for grazing utilization for small ruminants.”
Kilpatrick has many years of fencing and grazing experience with numerous livestock species. He will provide information on fencing options for sheep and goats, along with fencing strategies for multispecies grazing operations. In addition, Kilpatrick will discuss ways to improve grazing systems to maintain healthy pastures and maximize forage production.
“Sheep and goat grazing practices can vary throughout the year depending upon weather and other factors,” says Brenda Miller, UMN Extension educator. “It’s important to be able to adapt to maintain healthy pastures. It’s also very vital to have durable and secure fences to keep livestock in and safe.”
Pre-registration is required. Register at ndsu.ag/sheepandgoat. A Zoom link will be emailed to participants upon registration. If you are unable to attend the live session, you will receive the recording via email.
Source: UMN & NDSU Extension
Bill Seeks to Delist Gray Wolves
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Lauren Boebert (Colo.) proposing to delist gray wolves from the nation’s endangered species list.
The bill – called The Trust the Science Act – was included in the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for the 2024 fiscal year. House members passed the act on Nov. 3 — less than two months before Colorado reaches a year-end deadline to reintroduce a gray wolf population in the state.
The proposed federal legislation would reinstate a 2020 U.S. Fish and Wildlife rule that delisted gray wolves as endangered species, a move later challenged in a lawsuit and overturned by a decision handed down by the U.S. District Court for Northern California in February 2022.
Following the court’s decision, President Joe Biden’s administration joined hunting groups in supporting an unsuccessful appeal of the court’s decision.
In a statement, Rep. Boebert said, “the science is crystal clear on this issue: gray wolves should no longer be on the endangered species list. The constant back-and-forth on this matter goes against the best available science. We can no longer put farmers and ranchers in harm’s way by using taxpayer dollars to protect a species that has been fully recorded and that is destroying their livestock.”
Click Here to read the full article.
Source: Steamboat Pilot & Today