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Plan Now to Attend Your First Annual Convention

Considering attending the American Sheep Industry Association’s Annual Convention for the first time in 2024? Here’s some things you should know before the convention begins on Jan. 10 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

Of course, anyone with an interest in the American sheep industry is welcome to attend, whether it’s your first time or 40th time.

Click Here to register. Early bird registration discounts end on Dec. 8, and all online registrations must be completed by Dec. 18. Any registrations after that date must be completed in person in Denver.

There’s no doubt attending the convention for the first time can be a bit intimidating. With more than 400 attendees and 50-plus meetings, there is a lot going on and a lot to take part in at the annual convention. First-time attendees should look through the tentative online schedule before leaving home. This will give you a glimpse of sessions you might like to attend. Once you’ve arrived in Denver, you’ll receive a convention book with the schedule, meeting agendas and a list of speakers for each meeting. Take time to look through the agendas and see if that has an impact on which meetings you’d like to attend. All meetings listed on the official schedule of events are open to registered convention attendees.

Each of the four tours offered during the convention require a separate ticket in addition to convention registration. Tours should be booked as early as possible as space is limited. If a tour is listed as sold out when you register, check with the registration desk at the convention, as spots sometimes open up at the last minute.

Many of the meals provided during the convention are included in the registration fee. A full registration provides access to the Industry Welcome Reception on Thursday evening, the Awards Lunch on Friday, the Speaker Lunch on Saturday and the Make It With Wool Reception and Fashion Show on Saturday evening. If you’re booking a two-day registration, the meals listed above are included for the days you’re registered to attend.

The Wool Recognition Lunch on Thursday and the RAMPAC Reception on Friday evening each require a separate ticket in addition to your registration fees.

Networking is one of the most important benefits of attending the annual convention. Visiting with producers, lamb feeders, lamb companies and trade show vendors between meeting sessions are some great ways to meet new people. Seating at meals is generally open and also allows opportunities to have conversations with people from all across the United States.

Producers under 40 years of age are encouraged to join meetings of the Young Entrepreneurs – scheduled for Thursday evening (mostly a meet and greet session) and all day on Friday. In addition to presentations from industry insiders, the group is planning a lamb cooking competition this year.

During the annual convention, the Whova app is also a great place to check in digitally. The app includes valuable information – such as the schedule, list of speakers, etc. – and provides a great way to interact with other attendees. In the past, it’s been used to plan carpools to/from the airport, dinner outings and more. The app is the place to share photos from the convention, as well. It’s available for download from your phone’s app store.


Positive Week for the Australian Wool Market

In welcome news to sellers across the country, the Australian wool market recorded a healthy increase this week, driven by solid price rises in Merino fleece types.

There were originally 43,041 bales rostered for sale and some industry observers feared that the market would struggle with this quantity. Those fears turned out to be unwarranted as the market opened stronger and then slowly but noticeably increased as the series progressed. Worth noting however, the national offering reduced to 39,157 bales – which was similar to the previous week – after 9 percent of the offering was withdrawn prior to sale.

The movements in the individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece finer than 21 micron ranged between plus 1 and plus 56 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator rose by 11 cents for the week, closing at 1,139 Australian cents. The crossbred and oddment sectors went against the trend of the overall market and recorded losses. These falls prevented the EMI from recording a larger increase.

The market was best described as steady for the entire series. This was highlighted by the movements in the EMI, which were plus 6 on day one and plus 5 on day two. Most sellers across the country were prepared to accept the prices on offer as nationally the passed-in rate was just 4.7 percent. This was the lowest passed-in rate since October of last year, when the EMI recorded a 52-cent rise. Despite the EMI being 184 cents lower than this time last year, the season to date passed-in rate is currently 8.9 percent – 4.1 percent lower than the corresponding sale of the previous season.

Next week the national offering is forecast to increase as 42,117 bales are expected to be offered in Melbourne, Fremantle and Sydney.

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

Source: AWEX


Strauss Sells Lamb, Veal Lines to Catelli

Strauss Brands announced this week it has agreed in principle to sell its veal and lamb lines of business to an industry peer while partnering with a Texas-based producer to enhance its grass-fed, grass-finished beef offerings. Strauss is a third-generation family company with a rich 86-year history.

The sale is expected to close in the next several weeks. Catelli Brothers Family of Foods – a United States subsidiary of Canadian-based Preval AG – will acquire and shift Strauss veal and lamb production to its two U.S.-based plants in Collingswood, N.J., and Sutton, Mass. Catelli Brothers is a recognized leader in specialized veal and lamb production and shares the same family commitment to ethical agriculture, customer service and a focus on high-quality products. Catelli Brothers is part of North America’s largest integrated producer of humanely raised veal.

“We are proud to have made meaningful changes in how animals are raised and treated, becoming leaders in ethical agriculture and creating a positive and lasting impact in our industry,” said Randy Strauss.

Source: Strauss Brands


WWGA, ASI Oppose Wyoming Resource Mgt. Plan

The Wyoming Wool Growers Association submitted a letter this month in opposition to the release of the Draft Rock Springs Resource Management Plan. The letter was sent to Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning.

The American Sheep Industry Association filed a letter of support for the WWGA stance on using Alternative B as the preferred alternative, which sheep producers consider “detrimental to the livestock industries and multiple use management.” The proposal would cut thousands of animal unit months and remove predator management on the bulk of the area. Wyoming has the third largest sheep flock in the United States, so federal management plans in the area impact the American sheep industry as a whole.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said, “this draft does not accurately reflect the 12-year cooperative process undertaken during my entire time in office as governor and as state treasurer, three presidential administrations, a multitude of public meetings, cooperating agency input, technological and scientific advancements, and millions of taxpayer dollars. So, it is completely incomprehensible that the BLM selected for its Agency Preferred Alternative, Alternative B, one considered an outlier in previous attempts at issuing an RMP one that was meant to serve initially as a bookend – an alternative with the most resource use restrictions and concomitantly with the largest socioeconomic impacts. Over a decade’s worth of contributions from local stakeholders, cooperators, counties and state agencies are either falling on deaf ears or disingenuously being thrown by the wayside with this decision.”

As one-third of the nation’s lamb and wool production relies on federal grazing, WWGA and ASI agree with the governor’s opinion in this matter.

“To this point, the WWGA fully supports the request of Governor Gordon on a complete withdrawal of the draft RMP with a newly crafted Preferred Alternative for rerelease to the public for comment (with no less than 120 for comment).”


ASI Accepting Awards Nominations

The deadline to submit nominations for American Sheep Industry Association awards is now less than a month away. Awards will be presented at the 2024 ASI Annual Convention on Jan. 12 in Denver.

There are five awards open for nominations: The McClure Silver Ram Award, the Peter Orwick Camptender Award, the Distinguished Producer Award, the Industry Innovation Award and the Shepherd’s Voice Award.

Nominations must be submitted to ASI by Nov. 17, and past recipients of these awards are not eligible.

Click Here for more information.


NAHMS Conducting Sheep Study in 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System conducts a national sheep study approximately every 10 years. The upcoming Sheep 2024 Study will support industry groups and research efforts with new and valuable information on sheep health and management. The study consists of two phases and includes biological sampling and two questionnaires.

A random selection of almost 5,000 sheep operations located in specific states will be asked to participate. While participation is voluntary, it is important to obtain high quality data. The National Agricultural Statistics Service will contact selected participants in January and February 2024. Participants will be asked to provide their contact information to NAHMS in order to complete the second phase of the study, which begins in April 2024 and continues through July 2024.

Information from the study will help develop new treatments, controls and prevention mechanisms for sheep diseases. The results will also guide future research and education. Participants will not only represent themselves, but also the producers who were not selected for the study. Eligible operations will receive free testing for enteric microbes, gastrointestinal parasites and lameness pathogens.

If you don’t currently receive NASS censuses or surveys, Click Here to sign up. If NASS contacts you in January, please agree to complete the NAHMS Sheep 2024 Study.

Click Here to access reports from previous NAHMS studies, as well as information on upcoming studies.

Source: NAHMS


Building the Arkansas Small Ruminant Program 

The University of Arkansas Small Ruminant Extension is inviting producers and other value chain segments to build a plan to develop sheep and goat production and marketing in the Natural State.

A survey is open until Oct. 31 to do an industry assessment. In addition, producers can participate in webinars and online forums to help identify the main challenges on and off farm and suggest possible solutions. On Nov. 6, representatives of multiple organizations will meet at the Little Rock State Office to discuss the results and elaborate an advancement plan with shared goals and commitment.

Click Here to take the survey and for more information.

Two field days are also planned. The Northwest Arkansas Small Ruminant Field Day is set for Oct. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Milo J. Shult Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Click Here for more information.

The Central Arkansas Small Ruminant Field Day is Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Heifer Ranch for Regenerative Agriculture in Perryville, Ark. Click Here for more information.

Source: University of Arkansas Extension


Chef Shares Modern American Lamb Recipes

At Pomella restaurant in Oakland, Calif., Chef Mica Talmor serves flavorful Middle Eastern food made from local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, including locally-raised American lamb. New cooking videos produced by the Culinary Institute of America feature Talmor making her favorite lamb dishes.

The videos and recipes are now posted at and will be promoted throughout 2023 and 2024 across the CIA’s social media channels and newsletters. Talmor demonstrates four lamb recipes inspired by her Israeli roots:

Talmor says lamb is the only red meat on her menus and she supports local shepherds and their families by using local lamb.

The Culinary Institute of America’s free educational video series features these videos as well as other videos from American lamb-loving chefs. The videos were produced by The Culinary Institute of America as an industry service to the American Lamb Board.

“American lamb is a common protein around the globe,” said ALB Executive Director Megan Wortman. “The videos and recipes found on the CIA website illustrate lamb’s diverse use on menus – from shawarma to shanks.”

Source: ALB

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