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Archived SSWS Webinar Available for Viewing

A webinar on the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply tabletop exercise that was conducted during the summer in conjunction with the American Sheep Industry Association, the Colorado Department of Agriculture and industry stakeholders is now archived and available for viewing. The webinar was recorded on Sept. 29.

Presenters in the webinar shared lessons learned, preparedness tips and opportunities to achieve business continuity for the sheep industry during a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak. Attendees learned more about the complexities of the sheep industry and how partnerships can be built through preparedness planning.

The project was funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperative agreement with ASI and was the first exercise of ASI’s SSWS Plan.

Click Here to view the archived webinar.


Australian Wool Market Suffers Setback

After managing a small increase in the previous series, the Australian wool market recorded another overall fall this week. After 3.8 percent was withdrawn prior to sale, the national offering was 116 bales less than the previous week as 39,692 bales were available to the trade.

The prices on offer for Merino fleece types were consistently below those achieved in the previous series. By the end of the week, the movements in the Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece ranged between plus 4 and minus 61 cents. The largest falls were seen in the fine Merino MPGs with the 17-micron MPG in Sydney and the 16.5-micron MPG in Melbourne losing 53 and 61 cents, respectively.

After being the strongest performing sector during the past few series, the crossbreds succumbed to the falling market this week with an overall softening recorded. There was one MPG that managed an increase as the 32-micron MPG in Melbourne rose by 5 cents. The skirtings tracked a very similar path to the fleece. The oddments also finished lower as the three Merino Carding Indicators dropped by an average of 9 cents.

The end result of these market movements was a 10-cent drop in the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator, which closed at 1,128 Australian cents. The EMI has recorded 10 successive sale days with single-digit movements – including one unchanged. Six out of the 10 were falls and during this period the EMI has dropped 20 cents.

The EMI continues to drop compared to the previous season. At this stage last year, the EMI was 143 cents higher when it was 1,271 cents. The EMI has fallen by 11.3 percent in the year that followed. Despite the lackluster performance of the market in this series, the national offering increases next week as 44,552 bales are currently expected to be offered in Melbourne, Fremantle and Sydney, which is a designated Superfine sale.

Click Here for the Australian Wool Report Prices in USc Per Pound.

Source: AWEX


Act Would Increase Processing Capacity

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) introduced legislation recently to increase competition and capacity in the meat processing industry. The Butcher Block Act would create grant and loan opportunities through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enable small and mid-sized meat processing facilities to expand their operations.

The American Sheep Industry Association supports the act.

U.S. Reps. Dusty Johnson (N.D.) and Abigail Spanberger (Va.) introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Colorado’s livestock production sits at the heart of our $47 billion agriculture sector, but too many producers struggle to find local or regional processing options,” said Bennet. “Congress should make it easier and more cost effective for Colorado’s family farmers and ranchers to bring their animals to market. Our bipartisan legislation strengthens local food systems, increases competition, and helps lower prices for Americans.”

“High prices don’t just drive up price tags at the grocery store, but also result in higher input costs for ranchers and meat processors,” said Moran. “Providing resources to allow smaller processors to upgrade and expand their operations will make it easier for ranchers to bring their cattle to market. This legislation will help eliminate waste, support small businesses and provide consumers with more affordable options at the grocery store.”

The Butcher Block Act would:

  • Improve competition and capacity in rural areas by authorizing USDA loans and loan guarantees to increase and modernize small and medium meat processing and rendering facilities.
  • Include eligibility for cooperatives that are producer-owned and eligible for refinancing.
  • Create a new USDA grant program to expand, diversify, and increase resilience in meat processing and rendering facilities by:
    • Helping facilities receive technical assistance to manage and train a new workforce.
    • Helping small and medium-sized facilities achieve compliance with state and federal regulations.
    • Developing new innovative or mobile facilities to improve local and regional access to processing and rendering services.

Bennet has worked with Moran to protect and improve meat processing and other agricultural processing facilities in Colorado and across the country. In September 2020, Bennet and Moran cosponsored the Requiring Assistance to Meat Processors for Upgrading Plants Act to provide grants to meat processors to expand their markets. In March 2021, Bennet and Moran secured $100 million for overtime fee relief for small meatpackers in the American Rescue Plan modeled after the senators’ Small Packer and Overtime and Holiday Fee Relief Act.

Click Here for text of the bill.

Source: Sen. Bennet


ALB Promotes Lamb at Consumer, Influencer Events

The latest consumer research funded by the American Lamb Board indicated that a majority of consumers associate lamb with flavor, tenderness, freshness and quality, but only 33 percent of consumers agree that lamb is a nutritious meat choice. Building awareness about lamb’s nutrition benefits and positioning lamb as part of a healthful diet and lifestyle is an opportunity to increase consumer utilization of American lamb.

Most recently, ALB’s nutrition education campaign added new strategies to foster a love for lamb with nutrition influencers and consumers through nutrition information delivered through a virtual consumer-facing workshop, an inaugural healthcare professionals ranch tour and participation at the Food and Nutrition Conference Expo.

On Sept. 19, Sabrina Falquier, M.D., CCMS, led a virtual consumer-facing workshop hosted by ALB titled, How American Lamb Fits into a Healthful American Diet. This nutrition workshop educated consumers on the nutritional benefits of lamb and how to incorporate principles of culinary medicine into eating patterns.

Culinary medicine – a relatively new term in the world of healthcare – combines the science of medicine and nutrition with the art of cooking. For the consumer, this translates into the healthcare team discussing how food affects health and actionable ways to incorporate a healthier diet.

During the ALB workshop, Dr. Falquier brought lamb and culinary medicine together, demonstrating two recipes highlighting different cuts of American lamb, including American Lamb Shakshouka and Blended American Lamb Burger.

To educate influential health professionals on how American lamb is raised and how farmers and ranchers care for the land, ALB hosted six leading health professionals – five registered dietitians and one physician – for the inaugural Stewards of the Land ranch tour.

The tour took place in Tomales, Calif., at Pozzi Ranch and Stemple Creek Ranch on Sept. 20-22 as guests learned first-hand from American lamb ranchers about how sheep are used to improve the quality of the land they graze by cycling nutrients back into the soil, minimizing erosion and encouraging native plant growth, all while helping to build healthy ecosystems. In addition, they enjoyed multiple meals featuring various cuts of American lamb, which led to lively discussions around the flavor, versatility and natural nutrient density of the meat.

Health professionals are critical information gatekeepers for consumers, especially when it comes to food. Many health professionals play a critical role in the media with active social media followings and as authors and contributors to educational articles and video content distributed through news websites, magazines, newspapers and television. Increasingly, health professionals are interested in how food is grown and produced, and this interest is particularly pronounced when it comes to animal agriculture.

Attendees were impressed with the operations of these ranches and the knowledge the producers shared with the tour guests.

“From our time on the ranches to the delish dishes, it was truly an unforgettable experience and definitely taught me a lot more about how lamb is raised,” said Chrissy Carrol, a registered dietitian with Snacking in Sneakers. “Both Joe Pozzi and Loren Poncia were fabulous to meet, and you can tell they both really love what they do.”

During the 2023 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo on Oct. 7-11 in Denver, ALB and Potatoes USA co-sponsored a reception for more than 100 registered dieticians and nutritionists. Holistic Cannabis Practitioner, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author Janice Newell Bissex hosted the reception. Chef R.J. Harvey, RDN and Culinary Director at Potatoes USA, developed two dishes and paired each with Grgich Hills wines a California vintner that uses sheep grazing to maintain the grounds of their vineyards.

ALB distributed the new sustainability report and shared sheep grazing messages and stories with attendees.

Source: ALB


Join IWTO in Montreal in December

The International Wool Textile Organization will hold its annual Wool Round Table in Canada for the first time this year. Members of the American Sheep Industry Association – IWTO’s national committee in the United States – are cordially invited to attend the three-day event in Montreal on Dec. 4-6.

The Round Table brings the global wool textile community together for three days of networking and knowledge sharing, with a focus on local industry. This year’s program features speakers from the world’s major wool growing countries, alongside voices from across North America.

Day one covers wool market intelligence and sustainability, plus an update from the Campaign for Wool, while day two explores wool for interiors and wool production. A visit to local industry takes place on day three.

Click Here for more information and to register.

Source: IWTO


From Farm to Ocean-Friendly Fiber

The International Wool Textile Organization recently contributed a story on wool’s ocean-friendly characteristics to Suston magazine.

“Wool has long been lauded for its performance characteristics. But the natural fiber’s ability to fully biodegrade adds another impressive credential as microfiber pollution threatens marine ecosystems,” read the story.

“At nearly two-thirds of global market share, synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon form the backbone of today’s textiles industry. Yet unlike their natural predecessors, these relatively novel fibers do not biodegrade and have become a leading cause of marine microfiber pollution.

“The release of such fibers that lack the ability to biodegrade not only contaminates natural and marine ecosystems and burdens landfills, but it also enters the food chain and poses health risks to animals and humans alike. Wool is a natural fiber that stands apart.”

Click Here to read the full story.

Source: Suston


DSANA Schedules Symposium for Nov. 8-9

The Dairy Sheep Association of North America has scheduled its annual symposium for Nov. 8-9. The symposium will be conducted online again this year.

Each day will feature four presentations. There will be an opportunity to network with other producers through the chat box, and attendees can ask questions of the expert speakers.

Here’s a preview of topics:

  • Assessing, and breeding for, udder conformation.
  • How to recognize and mitigate heat stress in a lactating flock.
  • The economics of feeding dairy ewes.
  • Yogurt production, both on-farm and using a co-packer.
  • Mastitis vaccine trial results and on-farm experiences.
  • The impact of grazing a milking flock part-time.

The symposium will also include video farm tours, which are always popular. The cost for this symposium is free for members but registration is required.

Click Here for more information.

Source: DSANA

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