Annual Convention Moves Online in 2021
The American Sheep Industry Association Executive Board met via Zoom last week and supported a recommendation to move to a virtual board meeting in January 2021.
The ASI Annual Convention was scheduled for Jan. 27-30 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, but state and local COVID-19 restrictions on social distancing made meeting room capacity an issue. Additionally, safety concerns would have meant some directors would not attend in person, therefore a much more expensive hybrid version of in-person and virtual would have been needed. ASI’s contract with the hotel has been rolled back to the next open convention dates in 2024.
While the ASI officers and staff will gather in Denver to present a two-day event during the last week in January, all other attendance at the convention will be virtual. Affiliated groups such as the American Lamb Board and the National Lamb Feeders Association have been advised that the traditional ASI convention will not be available to host their annual meetings.
In addition, there will be no annual awards in 2021, as the executive board felt the virtual format would not allow for a proper celebration of those who have worked so hard to support the industry through one of the most difficult years in its history.
Contracts for future ASI Annual Conventions in San Diego, Calif. (2022) and Fort Worth, Texas (2023) are still in place at this time. Further information on the 2021 ASI Annual Convention will be released as it becomes available.
ASI Accepting Officer Nominations
American Sheep Industry Association Nominating Committee Chair Mike Corn reminds sheep producer leaders and state associations that nominations for ASI Secretary/Treasurer are due in November.
Interested producers should share a letter of interest, including leadership experience in the sheep industry with Corn or the ASI office by Nov. 25. The committee will then agree on a nomination slate to be presented to the ASI board of directors at its annual meeting in January.
Webinar Planned on Wool for Specialty Markets
A two-part webinar presented by the American Sheep Industry Association will discuss Wool for Specialty Markets on Oct. 28 and 29, beginning at 6 p.m. mountain time each day. The webinar will be available through Zoom.
Part one of the webinar will focus on producing the best wool for handspinners and fiber enthusiasts. Part two will help producers prepare their wool, learn the ins and outs of working with a small mill, and discover what products they might sell, as well as where to sell their premium wool.
Registration is available now and limited to 100 participants. Recordings will be available at SheepUSA.org after the webinar is completed.
Click Here to register for the webinar.
Indiana Accepting Funding Requests
During a year of pandemic-stalled and canceled events, the Indiana Sheep and Wool Market Development Council elected three new members to its council. The organization also is accepting new funding requests until its Nov. 4 meeting, which will take place in a virtual format.
In compliance with the IN S&W’s regulation to elect three new councilmembers each year on a rolling basis, three new individuals now sit on the council in Districts Two, Five and Eight. The new members are Kim Martin, Bill Zwyers and Justin Rexing, respectively.
In collaboration with the Indiana Sheep Association, IN S&W hosted a successful shearing school at Purdue University’s Sheep Unit last spring with more than 20 participants, filling every slot offered in the program. ISA held this year’s shearing school on March 7, just before the coronavirus lockdown in Indiana.
Next month, the council will review new funding request applications for projects to be implemented in the coming year. IN S&W urges anyone who has a project idea in mind to apply. Ideas may include projects to benefit the profitability of producers in the state, consumer awareness, marketing, youth educational activities or improving existing sheep-related programs.
Source: IN S&W
Australian Market Continues Steady Rise
The Australian wool market recorded large upward movements this week with all sectors of the market again posting positive results. The Merino fleece attracted strong widespread competition, pushing prices continually higher across all microns and descriptions.
As buyers fought hard to secure quantity, the market continued to rise until the final hammer. So much so, that in a very rare occurrence, by the end of the week the individual Micron Price Guides in the west (which sold last) for 18.0 through to 20.0 micron were higher than in the east. As Fremantle only sold for one day, all these gains were experienced on Wednesday. The Western Indicator rose by 113 cents, the largest daily rise in that indicator since September of last year.
Across the country, the MPGs for 16.5 to 21.0 micron gained 102 to 158 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator rose by 95 cents for the series, closing the week at 1,117 Australian cents. The EMI has now risen for five out the last six series, gaining a total of 259 cents during this period – an increase of 30.2 percent. The significant price rises helped to lower the national passed-in rate to only 2.4 percent.
The skirting market again followed a similar path to the fleece. Strong demand pushed prices up by 100 to 160 cents with 18.0 micron and finer enjoying the largest rises. The crossbreds recorded further rises, but not to the same extent as their Merino cousins. The MPGs for 26.0 to 30.0 micron added between 11 and 60 cents for the series.
General increases in locks, stains and crutchings of 30 to 50 cents, pushed the Merino Carding Indicators up by an average of 37 cents. The large price rises have enticed more sellers to the market, pushing the national offering higher. There are currently 34,093 bales on offer for next week.
Wool Press Grant Application Now Available
The last two years, the American Wool Council was pleased to support producers and shearers with partial funding for new wool presses. The council will again be offering a grant program of $5,000 to two shearers, warehouses or individuals to assist with the purchase or build of a wool press in 2021.
The applicant will cover the bulk of the costs associated with the press purchase, but the American Sheep Industry Association and the AWC seek to assist as much as possible. Grant applications are due by Dec. 1.
As domestic and international freight costs are a significant expense to the American wool industry, the ASI Wool Council developed the Wool Press Grant to incentivize the purchase and production of American wool presses as well as to minimize wool freight costs. This project aims to encourage the use of presses that can be maintained and repaired in the United States, produce bales that are a standard size and emphasize the importance of proper wool bale weights to producers, shearers, warehouseman, pools and co-ops.
While assisting shearers and individuals directly, the program supports American sheep producers by allowing them to generate better returns on their wool clip. Producers will also benefit as the new presses will replace older presses that are prone to delay-causing breakdowns.
Grant recipients will be required to submit a final report – including photos or videos – and documentation that the baler meets all program requirements. Requirements include: the baler must be made in the United States, it must produce an average bale weight of between 400 and 500 pounds, produce a uniform bale size of 32 inches by 52 inches, and come equipped with safety features.
Click Here for more information and an application.
Video of the Week
American Sheep Industry Association Executive Director Peter Orwick, Jeff Hasbrouck of Double J Feeders and Iowa sheep producer Randall Vos were all interviewed recently for a Market to Market report on Iowa PBS about the state of the American sheep industry.
Click Here to watch the video.
- PRODUCER EDUCATION