Annual Convention Speaker to Address Sustainability
Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson – a professor in the department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University and the Director of AgNext – will be the keynote speaker at the 2023 ASI Annual Convention’s Opening Session on Jan. 19.
While much of her research has centered around cattle, Stackhouse-Lawson is no stranger to the sheep industry. According to a press release from CSU, she grew up on a small ranch in rural California and was involved in 4-H as well as Future Farmers of America. Although her parents didn’t come from a livestock background, “They thought it was important for my brother and me to raise animals,” she said. “By the time I was in sixth grade, my one-sheep 4-H project had grown to 60 ewes.”
With that experience grew an appreciation for the land and the connection between it and the animals. As her flock was expanding, the family also moved to a larger ranch.
“The ranch we purchased had been burned in the Fountain Fire, which is the reason our family was able to afford it. As foresters by trade, my parents knew how to replant the 420 acres, which we then grazed with my sheep for weed and brush control,” she said. “I grew up watching the intricate way nature and domestic animals depend on and interact with one another, and fell in love.”
“I have dedicated my career to on-the-ground initiatives that I believe are making a difference in feeding the world sustainably,” Stackhouse-Lawson said. “I am excited to advance the sustainability of the livestock supply chain, including the natural resources that our food system depends on.”
And that’s her main focuse at AgNext, which utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to advance sustainable solutions for animal agriculture. Prior to leading AgNext, Stackhouse-Lawson was the director of sustainability for JBS USA where she was responsible for coordinating the company’s corporate sustainability program and strategy. She also served as executive director of global sustainability at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, where she developed the industry’s sustainability program.
Click Here for more information on the ASI Annual Convention.
ASI Accepting Officer Nominations
ASI Nominating Committee Chair Benny Cox 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 Cox or the ASI office by Nov. 25. The committee will then agree on a nomination slate of officers to be presented to the ASI Board of Directors at its annual meeting in January.
Contact Cox at email@example.com or 325-653-3371, or ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick at 303-771-3500, ext 103, or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In addition, Regions IV and VIII and the National Lamb Feeders Association will have to elect new representatives to the ASI Executive Board as Steve Clements, Sarah Smith and Bob Harlan are all term-limited. Lisa Weeks in Region II and Bronson Corn in Region VI are both eligible for re-election in their respective regions.
Regional representative elections are conducted during the regional caucuses on Saturday morning at the ASI Annual Convention.
Wool LDP Available to Producers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Assistance Loan and Loan Deficiency Payment programs could provide welcome assistance for wool producers.
Currently, the program offers a 40-cent LDP (per pound grease) for ungraded wool. This has been the going rate for the past two years for ungraded wools, as graded wools have varied from week to week. This week, LDP payments are available for the following micron ranges:
- 6 to 20.5 microns: 20 cents per pound clean;
- 6 to 22 microns: 39 cents per pound clean;
- 1 to 23.5 microns: 54 cents per pound clean;
- 6 to 25.9 microns: $1.10 per pound clean;
- 26 to 28.9 microns: 6 cents per pound clean.
Current rates are posted on the American Sheep Industry Association website each Tuesday afternoon. Producers with questions about the Wool LDP Program can contact their local Farm Service Agency office.
Click Here for more details and current rates.
Australian Wool Market Hits Hot Streak
The Australian wool market recorded a second successive week of strong gains. On the first day of selling – from the opening lot in the Eastern centers all the way to the closing lot in the West – buyer sentiment was extremely high, and strong widespread competition helped push prices higher.
Main buyer interest continued on the better-style and spec fleece lots, however all Merino fleece types and descriptions posted gains in the rapidly rising market. The individual Micron Price Guides across the country added between 18 and 75 cents for the day. These rises – combined with gains in all other sectors – pushed the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator up by 31 cents for the day.
Interestingly, this was the largest daily rise in the EMI since the same time last year, when the EMI added 50 cents for the day on Oct. 19 to re-enforce the view of many in the industry that the market rises at this time of year. In fact if we go back a further season, the EMI rose by 123 cents on Oct. 20, 2020.
On the second selling day, buyer activity was as buoyant as the first with further strong rises felt. The Merino fleece MPGs added another 4 and 83 cents. The EMI rose another 21 cents for the day, adding a total of 52 cents for the week. This was the largest weekly rise in the EMI since June 17, 2021. The EMI closed the week at 1,323 Australian cents. In the last two weeks, the market has recovered the losses of the previous six weeks. The EMI is now back above where it finished at the end of Week 10 – when it closed at 1,319 Australian cents.
Next week quantities rise, due in part to the rising market. There are expected to be 42,433 bales on offer nationally.
Click Here for the Full Australian Wool Market Report
Legislative Update from Washington, D.C.
The American Sheep Industry Association’s lobbying firm – Cornerstone Government Affairs – offered an update this week on legislative issues in our nation’s capital.
Farm Bill Hearings Planned
This past week, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) announced her plan to hold multiple Farm Bill hearings before the end of this year. Sen. Stabenow has stated that the upcoming hearings would include different Farm Bill titles, but declined to discuss exact details.
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry has only held two listening sessions on Farm Bill issues this year – one in Michigan and the other in Arkansas. The current Farm Bill is set to expire in September of 2023, and will need to be extended or reauthorized before that deadline.
USDA Providing Relief to Distressed Borrowers
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that borrowers with qualifying USDA farm loans have begun receiving funding assistance from the Inflation Reduction Act’s $3.1 billion allocated for distressed farm loan borrowers.
Section 22006 of the IRA directed USDA to advance assistance to borrowers of direct or guaranteed loans whose operations are facing financial risk. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also announced that a separate $2.2 billion program for producers who experienced discrimination in USDA’s lending programs is in the implementation process.
The automatic assistance already provided from the IRA has helped approximately 11,000 delinquent borrowers bring their accounts current. The relief has also resolved debt and ceased debt collections for roughly 2,100 borrowers who have had their farms foreclosed on. USDA has provided steps to administer an additional $500 million in payments to help borrowers still facing delinquencies.
One route includes using pandemic relief funds to support borrowers who used the Farm Service Agency’s disaster-set-aside option during the COVID-19 outbreak. Borrowers who are still facing bankruptcy or foreclosure will have the chance to pursue additional funding assistance through FSA’s two new case-by-case processes. In addition to aiding distressed borrowers, the agency aims to improve their loan servicing efforts by adding more tools and relaxing restrictions.
Source: Cornerstone Government Affairs
DSANA Plans Online Symposium for November
Dairy sheep producers from around North America will gather online in November for the 2022 Virtual Dairy Sheep Symposium, hosted by the Dairy Sheep Association of North America.
The symposium will take place during two half-days on Nov. 9-10. Sessions will run from noon to 4:30 p.m. eastern time (9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. pacific time).
The North American sheep dairy industry is a small but growing sector of the agricultural economy. The aim of DSANA’s yearly symposium is to address topics of interest to all those who raise and milk dairy sheep, craft sheep’s milk cheeses, yogurt or other sheep dairy products, or engage in dairy sheep research or product sales.
Topics to be covered by various speakers at this symposium include:
- Understanding somatic cell counts in dairy ewes;
- How milk quality impacts cheese yield;
- Raising dairy ewe lambs from breeding to first freshening;
- Sheep’s milk gelato/frozen yogurt production;
- Drying off dairy ewes at the end of season;
- Parasite control in dairy sheep;
- Lifetime effects of heat stress on the unborn ewe lamb.
Video farm tours will also be shown during the course of the symposium.
The symposium is free to all DSANA members. Non-members may register for $75 and receive a free DSANA membership for one year.
Click Here for more information or to register.
Cooking Videos Feature Jammir Gray’s Favorite Lamb Recipes
New American lamb cooking videos produced by the Culinary Institute of America feature Chef Jammir Gray from Napa’s Compline Restaurant and Wine Shop making her favorite lamb dishes.
The videos and recipes are now posted at CIAprochef.com and will be promoted throughout 2022 and 2023 across the CIA’s social media channels and e-newsletters.
The five videos and recipes illustrate diverse uses for American Lamb for foodservice professionals including:
- American Lamb Paprikash with Hand-cut Pappardelle Pasta;
- Smoked Leg of American Lamb with Toum;
- Pomegranate-glazed American Lamb Shank with Creamed Kale;
- Sorghum-glazed American Lamb Chop, Black-eyed Peas and Pickled Mustard Greens;
- Merguez American Lamb Roll with Date Chutney.
Compline Restaurant features the bounty and flavors of northern California – in produce, as well as meats such as fresh, local American lamb. The protein is a natural fit on Napa Valley menus because it pairs well with Napa Valley wines, and grazing sheep are used as a part of sustainable vineyards management.
The Culinary Institute of America’s free educational video series features the Napa Valley’s most beloved chefs cooking with American lamb. The videos and recipes were created by the Culinary Institute as an industry service to the American Lamb Board.
“We want to inspire chefs to think about diverse flavors and preparations for American lamb on menus,” said ALB Executive Director Megan Wortman. “The videos and recipes found on the CIA website illustrate lamb’s use in everything from pizza to sandwiches to melt-in-your-mouth lamb shanks.”
Click Here for the videos and recipes.
- PRODUCER EDUCATION