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Trailing of the Sheep Celebrates 25 Years

While the Trailing of the Sheep Festival has always been a celebration of sheep herding in Idaho, the festivities reached new heights Oct. 6-10 when Trailing of the Sheep celebrated 25 years with the dedication of The Good Shepherd monument.

“There are memories and histories in the face of the monument’s shepherd, and in the words in the pavers surrounding the figures,” said John Peavey, festival co-founder and longtime Idaho sheep producer.

The Good Shepherd includes full size sculptures of a herder, eight sheep, a horse and a dog in a scene that plays out in real life nearly every day in the state. Installed at Roberta McKercher Park off Highway 75 in Hailey, Idaho, the monument will serve as a permanent reminder of the role ranchers and their sheep have played in the valley.

“The monument is something that sheep ranchers in the area and around the country can be really proud of,” said American Sheep Industry Association Secretary/Treasurer Ben Lehfeldt of Montana, who was on hand for the dedication ceremony on Saturday morning and came away impressed with the life-size monument. “It really represents the industry and its influence in that part of Idaho.”

While the celebrations were extra special for the 25th celebration, those attending the festival got a firsthand look at everything from sheep and wool to delicious lamb dishes to shearing to a world-class sheep dog trial.

“We created this event 25 years ago to educate the new residents of the Sun Valley area on the long history and heritage of sheep ranching here,” said Peavey. “There were many people moving here who were surprised to see sheep trailing to winter and summer pastures on ‘their bike path’ and were not particularly happy about it. So, we took the opportunity to tell them that the bike path could not have been built without the sheep ranchers allowing their designated traditional right of way to be used for it and we invited them to trail the sheep with us.

“Over the years the festival has grown into a multi-day event showcasing the various aspects of the sheep industry – the culture, the cuisine, the history, the people, the stories and of course, the sheep, and now it is a nationally recognized and beloved community event.”

The American Lamb Board hosted a group of journalists and food bloggers at this year’s festival, exposing them to the rich history and heritage of sheep in the area.

“Our guests spent the fun-filled weekend celebrating the sheep industry and came away with a new appreciation for how delicious American lamb makes it to their plates,” said ALB Executive Director Megan Wortman.

Source: C-W Communications


Taziki’s American Lamb Burger a Success

Taziki’s Mediterranean Café and the American Lamb Board’s effort to promote the new Taziki’s Lamb Burger was a success. This summer, Taziki’s tested the burger on its menus in four markets and sales exceeded expectations.

“The Lamb Burger test we conducted this summer was a smashing success and we can’t wait to offer it to all customers in 2022,” said Julie Wade, Taziki’s senior director of marketing.

“We’re excited to offer the Lamb Burger in all Taziki’s locations as a limited time offer in early 2022. Lamb is a top-selling protein for us and serving it as ground patties gives our customers another way to enjoy it,” said Wade. “Sales during the test window exceeded expectations and additional markets asked to be included in the evaluation period.”

The burger is two patties of savory, seasoned ground lamb, topped with grilled peppers and onions, feta cheese and Taziki sauce served on a grilled kaiser bun.

Taziki’s Mediterranean Café is a rapidly expanding brand, named one of America’s fastest growing leaders by Inc. 5000 in the fresh-casual industry. Having more than tripled in size since 2011, Taziki’s has more than 90 restaurant locations, spanning across 18 states nationally.

The July through August test markets for Taziki’s Lamb Burger included Nashville, Tenn., Panama City, Fla., Birmingham, Ala. and the communities of Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas.

The American Lamb Board is funded by the American Lamb Checkoff and is charged with building awareness and expanding demand for American lamb and strengthening its position in the marketplace, thereby increasing the potential long-range economic growth of all industry sectors.

Source: ALB


Webinars Available On Demand

If you missed the Farm Flock Economics webinar sponsored by the American Sheep Industry Association earlier this week, you can find links to video of the presentation, as well as to the slides used during the webinar on the ASI website.

On a survey that followed the webinar, 78 percent of participants rated it excellent or above average. Comments on the webinar included:

  • “It will be interesting to put the forms you have available to use, as well as check out the YouTube videos.”
  • “Great webinar. Great topic. Thank you all so much for sharing your hard work.”
  • “I already utilize QuickBooks, but you offered great resources I never knew existed.”

In addition, video and slides are available on the website for every ASI-sponsored webinar.

Click Here for more information.


Australian Market Down This Week

The Australian wool market continued its volatile ride, with overall losses recorded this week, following the overall gains achieved in the previous series.

In the Merino fleece, the bulk of the selection was 18 micron and coarser. In these types, there were general losses of between 10 and 30 cents for the series. This was reflected in the individual Micron Price Guides, where the movements for the series ranged between 0 and -32 cents. These losses, combined with falls in all other sectors of the market, resulted in a 16 cent drop in the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator, which closed the week at 1,323 Australian cents. Worth noting, the market steadied on the final day. Minimal price movements ended with the EMI unchanged.

The EMI has continually risen and fallen this season. Of the 12 selling weeks of the current season, the EMI has risen on five occasions and fallen on the other seven. The result of these fluctuations has been 170 cents of negative movements, offset by 70 cents of gains. The overall result has been a 100-cent loss in the EMI since Week 1. Since Week 6, the movement in the EMI has been minimal. It has traded within 27 cents of the 1,350-cent market during this time.

The total amount for all wool sold this week was $57.07 million, pushing the total for the season to $623.91 million. This is well above the amount achieved by the corresponding sale of the 2020-21 season, where the total amount was $397.12 million dollars – $226.79 million lower than what has currently been achieved. The larger amount achieved is due to the larger offering and higher prices achieved this season when compared to last.

Next week’s national offering continues to stay around current levels as 38,025 bales are expected to be offered in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.

Source: AWEX


USDA Offers Online Tool for Drought-Stricken Ranchers

An online tool is now available to help ranchers document and estimate payments to cover feed transportation costs caused by drought, which are now covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture updated the program this year to include feed transportation costs, as well as lowered the threshold for when assistance for water hauling expenses is available. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will begin taking applications this fall.

“Drought has had a tremendous impact on producers, and we are thinking outside the box to help producers mitigate the effects of drought, which is a necessary first step to realizing the secretary’s vision of ensuring agricultural producers get a fair share of the food dollar,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “From climate change to COVID-19, we are continuously working to make our programs as flexible as possible and so they effectively help producers face today’s challenges.”

The new ELAP Feed Transportation Producer Tool is a Microsoft Excel workbook that enables ranchers to input information specific to their operation to determine an estimated payment. Final payments may vary depending on eligibility.

Click Here to learn more.


ASI Joins Group Opposing Tax Reporting Proposal

The American Sheep Industry Association this week joined a coalition of trade, agriculture and business associations in opposing changes to proposed tax information reporting requirements that would affect nearly every American with a bank account.

“The proposal will require providers of financial services to track and submit to the IRS information on the inflows and outflows of every account above a de minimis threshold of $600 during the year,” read the coalition letter to Congressional leaders. “Intended to help the IRS target wealthy tax dodgers, the unintended consequence is the overly broad proposal will directly impact almost every American and small business with an account at a financial institution.

“Lawmakers must fully understand the breadth of taxpayers who would be receiving a new form from their financial institution – almost every American who has a bank or credit union account and has gross inflow and outflow of at least $600. While recent proposals suggest that increasing the de minimis threshold to $10,000 is less objectionable, this is a flawed assumption and will not significantly reduce the scale of this new IRS program.

The privacy concerns for Americans are real and should not be taken lightly. The IRS is not impervious to being hacked and has suffered massive data breaches in the recent past where the personal information of taxpayers was stolen. According to the Treasury Department, they only plan to use the data to increase the audits for those who make over $400,000 a year. The likely question of any American taxpayer making less than that is: Why does the IRS need my account information if they aren’t going to use it?

“We believe that this program is costly for all parties, not fit for purpose and loaded with the potential for unintended and serious negative consequences. As associations representing a broad cross-section of financial and business interests, we urge you to oppose any efforts to institute this new reporting regime.”

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