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New Items Available in ASI Shop

As the gift-giving season rolls around, the American Sheep Industry Association offers some education items for the sheep people in your life – especially those who are fascinated by American wool.

ASI has recently added several new items to the shop at, including an updated Shearing Guide for prospective shearers priced at $35 per copy. For those who prefer digital versions of resource materials (instead of a hard copy), there’s the option to purchase the Shearing Guide and Videos on a USB flash drive for $20. Also available is a USB flash drive of Wool Handling Videos for $20.

These new products are available in addition to a variety of other products that include an American Wool baseball cap, bumper stickers, a shearing pattern poster and other assorted products.

Click Here to start shopping.


NY Shearing School Has Openings

The Cornell Sheep Shearing School in Ithaca, N.Y. – set for Nov. 11-12 – still has openings for students. Beginning shearing students are being accepted and the deadline to apply has been extended.

The school will primarily be taught by Doug Rathke from Lamb Shoppe, LLC. Rathke is a renowned shearer and shearing instructor in the United States and has had extensive training from the New Zealand Wools. Rathke is skilled at both machine and blade shearing and has represented the USA Shearing Team for the Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing Championships on several occasions.

Aaron Loux from Aaron Loux’s Professional Sheep Shearing and Jim Baldwin from Foxfire Farms will both assist Rathke in instruction. Loux has been a professional sheep shearer for more than a decade and has trained in Australia, New Zealand and Wales. Baldwin has been a professional sheep shearer for more than two decades and has raised Merino sheep for more than three decades.

Students are expected to bring their own gear. It is recommended that you have a minimum of three medium-beveled combs and nine cutters (three cutters per comb). If you need gear or have any questions regarding shearing equipment, please contact Rathke at 320-583-7281.

Click Here for the application form. Registration is $225 per person.

Class size is limited to 12 participants to ensure that a quality training experience can be provided to both beginners and people taking the next step to becoming professional shearers.

If you are submitting your application after Nov. 4, please contact Jessica Waltemyer at 724-504-3567 or to register and make payment arrangements. She might also be able to assist you with finding lodging arrangements.

Source: Cornell University


Faribault Develops Spread the Warmth Campaign

Faribault Mill – maker of handcrafted wool and cotton blankets – is proud to announce a new philanthropic campaign called Spread the Warmth just in time for Youth Homelessness Awareness Month this November. The goal is to donate thousands of woolen blankets to organizations serving youth experiencing homelessness in cities across the country.

Faribault Mill’s Spread The Warmth campaign donates blankets to nonprofits dedicated to youth experiencing homelessness like YouthLink in Minneapolis. For every bed blanket sold, Faribault Mill donates a woolen blanket to one of 13 nonprofits nationwide.

For every bed blanket sold – whether twin, full, queen or king size – Faribault Mill will donate a woolen blanket to nonprofits dedicated to serving youth experiencing homelessness in Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Oakland, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The company plans to continue this initiative for years to come, expanding the number of cities and nonprofits it serves.

“We’ve been making high quality blankets for Americans right here in the USA since 1865, and for our military since WWI. These are the very blankets we’re donating to organizations serving some of the estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in America,” says Faribault Mill President & CEO Ross Widmoyer. “Providing a high-quality, long-lasting woolen blanket to children will bring them warmth, security and comfort.”

Wool is made of natural fibers, is durable, odor and stain resistant, and stays warm when it gets wet. It’s renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. The many benefits of this fabric make it ideal for serving those in need.

“Donating these blankets aligns with our mission as a company and as parents to give back to the community in a meaningful way,” Widmoyer adds. “Our employees are proud to work for a company committed to community service and to provide a constant pipeline of warm blankets for these nonprofits for years to come.”

Click Here for more information or to apply for your organization to be included in this program.

Source: Faribault Mill


Weak Demand Drives Down Australian Wool Market

The Australian wool market fell again this week, driven by weaker demand. The talk amongst the trade early in the week was of a cheaper market, and the only question was how much it would fall.

When the market opened in the East, the prices on offer were noticeably lower but not as low as some buyers predicted. Good-style lots and wool possessing favorable additional measurement results continued to attract solid support and was least affected by the falling market. Lesser-style wool, wool with poor additional measurement results and wool carrying higher levels of vegetable matter (more than 1.5 percent in particular) was not as well supported and recorded larger falls.

By the end of the first selling day (Wednesday), the individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece had dropped by between 14 and 59 cents. These losses combined with overall falls in the skirting, crossbred and oddment sectors resulted in a 27-cent drop in the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator.

On the second day of selling (Thursday), the market continued to fall but at a slower rate than the previous day. This was due in part to strong resistance from sellers, many of whom were not prepared to accept the prices on offer. By the end of the day, the passed-in rate for Merino fleece nationally had climbed to 27 percent. The movements in the Merino fleece MPGs ranged between unchanged and -44 cents. The EMI lost another 12 cents, closing the week at 1,261 Australian cents – an overall fall of 39 cents and a reduction of 3 percent. A noteworthy event – albeit a negative one – was the 30-micron MPG in the South, which fell to 303 cents. This is a record low for this indicator.

Next week’s offering reduces. Currently, there are expected to be 35,949 bales on offer in Melbourne, Fremantle and Sydney – which is a designated Superfine sale.

Click Here for the Full Australian Wool Market Report.

Source: AWEX


Ohio Finalizes Plans for Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium

The Ohio State University and Ohio Sheep Improvement Association are pleased welcome all to the 2022 Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium in Wooster, Ohio, on Dec. 3 at the OARDC Shisler Conference Center. The theme of the 2022 symposium is management and marketing.

Throughout the day, attendees will hear reflections and insights about changes in the sheep, lamb and wool industry. Speakers during the event will discuss management as it primarily relates to confinement/dry lot management scenarios – one of fastest growing management systems in the eastern United States sheep production system. Attendees will also hear from speakers on marketing insights related to sheep, lamb and wool. Speakers and discussions will lead to the betterment of the flock and the American sheep industry.

Speakers attending this year’s event include Dr. Eric Gordon, Dr. Brady Campbell, ASI President Susan Shultz, Dr. Richard Ehrhardt, Dr. Andrew Weaver, Roger Hunker, Garth Ruff, Sandra Morris and many more.

Additionally, we will continue the tradition of hosting the Young Shepherd’s Assembly. This program will be held on the evening prior to the symposium on Dec. 2. Shepherd’s 18 to 40 years of age are invited for food and drinks at the JAFB Wooster Brewery located at 120 Beall Ave., Wooster, OH 44691. Please note that pre-registration is required to attend. For any questions related to this event, please contact Christine Gelley at or Brady Campbell at

Furthermore, shepherds of all ages, sectors and regions are invited to attend the symposium to connect with other shepherds and to continue learning together. If you are unable to attend the symposium in-person, you won’t have to miss the event. The 2022 symposium will be held in a hybrid format, including options for both in-person or online participation depending on your preference. Registration type (in-person or online) must be indicated when completing your registration form. Word on the street is that lamb chops are on the menu for those who attend in person.

Click Here to register.

Source: Ohio Sheep Improvement Association


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.

House Introduces MAP and FMD Expansion Bill

This week, a bipartisan group of six members of the House of Representatives introduced the Supporting Market Access to Reinvigorate Trade Act. This bill would increase the funding available for the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, both of which are utilized by the American Sheep Industry Association to market American wool.

These Department of Agriculture programs help support new market creation for American agricultural products. This bill was originally introduced by Reps. Jim Costa and Jimmy Panetta (Calif.), Cindy Axne and Ashley Hinson (Iowa), Dan Newhouse and Kim Schrier (Wash.), and Tracey Mann (Kan.).

U.S. Hits Highest Drought Level Since 2012

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows more than half of the United States in drought – the highest level since 2012. The biggest impact of the drought is in the western United States.

While drought improved in Missouri last week, the dryness is intensifying in other areas of the corn belt region. Experts say it will take several rains to bust the historic drought levels, however, the precipitation outlook throughout the winter is concerning and might not mitigate the drought’s impacts.

U.S. Facing Diesel Shortage

According to a report published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. stocks of diesel and other distillate fuel oils are at their lowest recorded levels since the EIA started collecting data in 1982. Currently, distillate inventories are 26 million barrels below the 10-year seasonal average for this time period, with the East Coast and Midwest facing the worst supply constraints.

A variety of factors are exacerbating the already low supply, including transportation challenges on the Mississippi River, the looming threat of a potential rail strike, and the ongoing war in Ukraine. As a result, retail diesel prices are now $1.45 per gallon higher than for gasoline, up from 24 cents per gallon a year ago. The shortage is expected to continue until freight movements and manufacturing activity slow down and supply has a chance to rebalance.


ALB Offers Lamb Cuts 101

Any way you cut it, American lamb is delicious. That’s how the American Lamb Board’s updated Lamb Cuts 101 key culinary resource sums it up.

As part of ALB’s Curriculamb education program, The Lamb Cuts 101 brochure addresses ALB’s strategy to grow awareness and increase usage of American lamb among chefs and consumers. It explains the five primals of a lamb carcass (shoulder, rack, loin, leg and breast) and the subprimals that come from each primal. It also gives usage and preparation guidance.

“This all-lamb educational piece gives people the information they need to prepare a variety of American lamb cuts any day of the year,” said ALB Chairman Peter Camino.

The brochure is available to order free in limited quantities from ALB’s LambResourceCenter website.

Source: ALB


Ag Groups Look to Congress for Rail Solutions

The Ag Transportation Working Group – of which the American Sheep Industry Association is a member – called upon congressional leaders this week to assist in averting a railroad strike that would result in “devastating consequences to our national and global food security.”

“President Biden and his administration successfully brokered an agreement between the National Railway Labor Conference and 12 unions on September 15. Unfortunately, two unions have voted to not ratify while members of four others continue to review the agreement,” read the letter majority and minority leaders in both the U.S. Senate and House. “Due to a combination of the non-ratification votes and the NRLC advising through a press release that ‘now is not the time to introduce new demands,’ congressional action will be necessary if the parties fail to reach agreement. Currently, the next potential rail shutdown is scheduled for November 19, and we urge Congress to be prepared to act quickly when arriving back in session on November 14. Adding urgency to this matter, critical inputs and agricultural products such as ammonia shipments could be embargoed starting on November 14.

“A strike or lockout combined with existing challenges in the rail system, at our ports, with trucking and with record low water levels on the Mississippi River impacting numerous barge shipments would be catastrophic for the agricultural and broader U.S. economies. Congress must act to prevent this from occurring if the parties cannot reach agreement. Resolution of this dispute prior to November 19 is necessary to ensure rail service continues uninterrupted. We thank you for your responsiveness to this imminent supply chain issue.”

Source: Ag Transportation Working Group


Textile Groups Seek Domestic Support

The American Sheep Industry Association recently joined a half-dozen textile trade organizations in calling for congressional support of the Homeland Procurement Reform Act.

“Over the past two years, it has become abundantly clear that U.S. manufacturers and their domestic supply chains have been negatively impacted by years of offshoring to foreign nations, including our near-peer adversaries. There are myriad examples from the past year that demonstrate the negative impacts of these actions, especially as frontline personnel and first responders sought lifesaving personal protective equipment items that were not immediately available due to our overreliance on foreign sources.

“Section 6721 of the House-passed FY23 National Defense Authorization Act and Section 6033 of the Senate FY23 NDAA as amended ensure that key components of the Department of Homeland Security can procure critical uniforms and protective equipment developed and manufactured in the United States to execute their security, enforcement and investigative missions. This bipartisan, bicameral initiative was originally introduced by Senators Shaheen, Moran, Hassan, and Rounds as S.1009, the Homeland Procurement Reform Act. Companion legislation was also introduced as H.R.2915 by House Representatives Correa, Mast, McGovern, Pappas, and Thompson.

“Since its introduction, support for the HOPR Act has grown in both the House and the Senate, and on November 16, 2021, the House of Representatives passed this legislation via voice vote. Similarly, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs unanimously reported S.1009 on September 14, 2021, indicating the Committee’s strong support for the legislation. Identical versions of this bill are now included in the House and Senate NDAA, and we urge you to support its inclusion in the final version of that critical legislation.

“We have consistently encouraged Congress to identify opportunities to empower federal agency procurement officers to invest in American supply chains and provide high quality, innovative uniforms, footwear, armor and equipage produced in the United States. The HOPR Act establishes specific criteria that the Department of Homeland Security must meet when procuring certain uniform and equipment.

“As the House and Senate continue consideration of a final version of this legislation, we respectfully request your support for inclusion of this provision in its complete and original form. Our leaders and membership are available to provide relevant examples and support to ensure that the final product of this legislation is as impactful as possible.”


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