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USDA Appoints New ALB Members

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week the appointment of five members to each serve three-year terms on the American Lamb Board. The terms begin January 2021 and end January 2024.

Newly appointed members are:

  • Sally Scholle, Littlestown, Penn. – Producer (100 or less head of lambs).
  • David L. McEwen, Galata, Mont. – Producer (500+ head of lambs)
  • Peter J. Camino, Buffalo, Wyo. – Feeder (Less than 5,000 head)
  • Carlos R. Barba, Naperville, Ill. – First Handler
  • Michael N. Duff, Blackfoot, Idaho – Seedstock Producer

“The American Sheep Industry Association is pleased with the appointments as all three producers and the seedstock producer were nominated this spring by the association,” said ASI President Benny Cox.

The 13-member American Lamb Board is composed of six producers, three feeders, three first handlers and one seedstock producer. Two producers appointed to the board must own 100 or less head of lambs annually; one producer must own 101 to 500 head of lambs annually; and three producers must own more than 500 head of lambs annually. At least one feeder must feed less than 5,000 head of lambs annually and at least one must feed more than 5,000 head of lambs annually.

More information about the board and a list of board members is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service’s American Lamb Board webpage and on the board’s website,

Source: USDA/AMS


Sheep Center Appointments Announced

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week the appointment of two producers and an expert in marketing to serve as members on the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Board of Directors. The newly appointed members will serve three-year terms from January 2021 to January 2024.

Newly appointed members are:

  • Producer – Jeremy Geske, New Prague, Minn.
  • Producer – Brenda J. Reau, Petersburg, Mich.
  • Expert in Marketing – Steve W. Lewis, Artesia, N.M.

The board is composed of seven voting members and two non-voting members. Voting members include four active American sheep producers, two members with expertise in finance and management and one member with expertise in lamb, lamb product or wool marketing. Non-voting members include USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics.

The American Sheep Industry Association nominated each of the directors to the secretary of agriculture earlier this year. ASI also secured reauthorization of the center and the accompanying funding in the 2018 Farm Bill. The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center was established as part of the 2008 Farm Bill and administers a grant program designed to improve the infrastructure of the American sheep industry by strengthening and enhancing the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products.

More information about the center is available on the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center website.

Source: USDA/AMS


Research Update Podcast: Breeding Season Management

The University of Wyoming’s Dr. Whit Stewart discusses the ins and outs of flock management before, during and directly after the breeding period in the latest version of the ASI Research Update Podcast.

Click Here to listen to the podcast.


Kansas Symposium Moved to Oct. 30-31

The Kansas Sheep Symposium dates have been changed to Oct. 30-31 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Hays, Kan.

The symposium will include industry updates as well as speakers on management, marketing and nutrition. A trade show is planned and there will be door prizes and a silent auction. Follow the Kansas Sheep Association Facebook page for updates.

Contact Matt Benz at or 701-870-4135 for more information.


Continuing Resolution Averts Government Shutdown

The U.S. Senate passed a short-term funding bill on Wednesday that was later signed by President Donald J. Trump to avoid a government shutdown.

The legislation affects sheep producers in three specific areas:

  • It extended Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting until Dec. 11;
  • It delayed the Electronic Logging Mandate for livestock haulers;
  • It allowed reimbursement of Commodity Credit Corporation funds to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for continued Coronavirus Food Assistance Program funding.

The legislation keeps the United States government operating through Dec. 11, at which time lawmakers will need to pass a slate of funding bills or another continuing resolution.


Sen. Fischer Introduces Livestock Hauling Bill

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (Neb.) – a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and chairman of the subcommittee on Transportation and Safety – recently introduced the Haulers of Agriculture and Livestock Safety Act to increase safety and flexibility for the transport of agriculture and livestock products.

The HAULS Act would:

  • Eliminate the requirement that ag and livestock hours-of-service exemptions only apply during state designated planting and harvesting seasons.
  • Amend and clarify the definition of “agricultural commodities” based on feedback provided by agriculture and livestock organizations.
  • Authorize a 150 air-mile exemption from HOS requirements on the destination side of a haul for ag and livestock haulers.

“America’s sheep producers rely on safe and efficient transportation to get livestock from the farms and ranches across the country to the limited geographic areas where they can be processed. Senator Fischer’s legislation allows producers like myself to continue to keep the supply of fresh American lamb running, while ensuring the safety and welfare of our sheep and lambs during transport. The American Sheep Industry Association thanks Senator Fischer for her efforts to promote American agriculture,” said American Sheep Industry Association President Benny Cox.

Click Here for more information on the legislation.


DSANA Needs Producers for Genetic Improvement Project

The Dairy Sheep Association of North America is seeking western United States dairy sheep producers who would like to join the association in a three-year genetic improvement project starting in the 2021 production season.

As part of a Western SARE grant, participating producers would measure or meter the milk production of their individual dairy sheep, send the milk production data to be analyzed for estimated breeding values, then learn how to use the information to improve the genetics and milk/component production in their dairy sheep flocks.

Any commercial dairy sheep producer – large or small – in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming is eligible to participate. Participants do not need any previous experience with metering or milk recording. If interested, please contact Rebecca King, DSANA’s Production Improvement Program coordinator and California dairy sheep producer, by Oct. 15 at 831-406-0213 or

DSANA is also planning an Online Symposium for the week of Jan. 11, 2021. Details will be announced at a later date.

Source: DSANA


Australian Market Sees Correction After Recent Run

After rising for the last three weeks, the Australian wool market was unable to continue its upward path this series as almost all sectors of the market recorded losses. The national offering increased to 31,022 bales – 7,762 bales more than what was available in the previous week.

Although this week’s offering was larger, compared to the previous season there have been 9,549 fewer bales put through the auction system – a reduction of 2.9 percent. The Merino fleece sector suffered the largest losses as the individual Micron Price Guides across the country fell by 20 to 95 cents. On the back of these losses, the AWEX Eastern Market indicator fell by 40 cents for the series – a loss of 3.9 percent. Due to currency movement, the losses when viewed in U.S. dollar terms were slightly higher – a 30 U.S. cent drop, which equated to a 4.1 percent reduction.

The fall in price levels understandably pushed the passed-in rate higher as 17.8 percent of the national offering failed to reach seller reserve. This was 15.2 percent higher than the previous week. On a positive note, the EMI recorded a positive movement of 67 cents for the month. This was a monthly increase of 7.2 percent, the largest monthly rise in the EMI since September of last year.

The skirtings again followed a similar path to the fleece. All types and descriptions across all microns generally lost between 50 and 70 cents for the series. Although most crossbred MPGs fell for the week, the 26.0-micron MPG in the north was the only individual MPG to record positive movement, increasing by 10 cents. The oddments recorded mixed results. The Merino Carding Indicators lost ground in the south and west, but increased in the north.

Next week’s national offering increases again. Currently, there are 34,450 bales on offer.

Source: AWEX


Alliance Looks to Train Animal Ag Allies

The Animal Ag Alliance is looking for farmers, ranchers and veterinarians who want to be outspoken advocates for agriculture – both online and in their communities – to participate in Animal Ag Allies.

The program is looking for emerging voices in the dialogue around modern animal agriculture to provide development opportunities and connect them with one another as well as industry experts. The program provides opportunities for networking, training and continuous development of issue expertise and communication skills. The Animal Ag Allies will be on the front lines of responding to emerging issues and sharing positive content about animal agriculture.

The ideal participant has already demonstrated their commitment to engaging on relevant issues and is ready to take their efforts to the next level and possesses the following qualities:

  • Established public social media presence on at least one, ideally more, of the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest.
  • At least 1,000 existing followers on one or more of the above platforms.
  • Previous communications training experience through programs such as Masters of Beef Advocacy, Operation Mainstreet, and other state or national industry programs.
  • Prior experience with public speaking and working with media.

These are suggested guidelines, not set-in-stone requirements. The deadline to apply for the next class is Nov. 6.

Click Here to learn more about the program.


Video of the Week

The Indiana Sheep Association unveiled a new promotional video at its virtual meeting in September. The video includes information from sheep producers Tracie Bultemeier, Glen Jones, Stanley Poe and Danielle Walker.

Click Here to watch the video.

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