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SSWS Exercise Webinar Planned

A webinar on the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply tabletop exercise that was conducted during the summer in conjunction with the American Sheep Industry Association, the Colorado Department of Agriculture and industry stakeholders is planned for Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. eastern time.

Presenters in the webinar will “share lessons learned, preparedness tips and opportunities to achieve business continuity for the sheep industry during a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak. Attendees will learn more about the complexities of the sheep industry and how partnerships can be built through preparedness planning.”

The project was funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperative agreement with ASI and was the first exercise of ASI’s SSWS Plan.

Click Here for the webinar. Participants may also dial in via phone by calling 669-254-5252 or 646-828-7666 and using Meeting ID 160 334 7638. Contact Liz Fernandez at with any questions.


Research Update: Mitigating Greenhouse Gas

Dr. Frank Mitloehner – director of the Clarity and Leadership for Environmental Awareness and Research Center at the University of California-Davis – joins the ASI Research Update podcast this month to discuss Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Livestock.

“Without greenhouse gasses, life on earth would not be possible. It would be too cold,” said Mitloehner, who was the keynote speaker at the 2022 ASI Annual Convention in San Diego. “The problem is that humans are producing too many of them.”

The term greenhouse gas refers to three actual gasses: carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Methane is much more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide – Mitloehner describes it as a Starbucks insulated cup verses the average paper cup – but methane in the air is destroyed in approximately 10 years, where carbon dioxide remains in the air for about 1,000 years.

Livestock, of course, produce methane, which is far less harmful to the earth’s climate than its fellow greenhouse gasses. Yet, animal agriculture is often labeled as a major cause of global warming.

“The people who paint it as such are generally those that always had a beef with animal agriculture,” Mitloehner said.

Click Here to listen to the full podcast.


Australian Wool Market Rises

The Australian wool market garnered a solid increase in this series, with all sectors recording either increased or unchanged levels when compared to the previous selling series.

The national offering dipped slightly to 41,419 bales. The total national offering continues to track below that of the previous season. There have been 342,600 bales offered to date in the 2023-24 season, this is 9,561 bales – or 2.7 percent – less than the previous season.

The strong finish to last week’s selling in the Western region – where large increases were recorded across all Merino fleece types – transferred to this week’s opening as these increases were quickly realized. By the close of the first day, the individual Merino fleece Micron Price Guides across the country had risen by between 3 and 31 cents. The 17-micron MPG in the North was the only MPG to resist the upward trend.

With all other sectors either maintaining or increasing levels, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator posted a 15-cent rise. This was the largest daily rise since July. Prices consolidated the second selling day, opening at similar levels to the previous day then slowly strengthening as the day progressed. By the end of the second day, the movements in Merino fleece MPGs ranged between 0 (unchanged) and plus 14 cents. No MPGs recorded falls for the day.

The EMI added 21 cents for the week, the largest weekly rise since Week 1 (July 5), when the EMI opened the season with a 36-cent increase. After falling to its lowest point (1,118 cents) since October 2020 in the previous series, the EMI has now risen for three consecutive selling days, adding 30 cents across these sales for a 2.7-percent increase.

Next week’s offering is of a similar size as 42,887 bales are currently expected to be offered in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.

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

Source: AWEX


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.

Senate Hits Snag in Ag Appropriations Bills

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted on a bipartisan 91-7 vote to open debate on the Senate floor on the first package of spending bills for fiscal year 2024. However, shortly after the vote, some Republican senators began pushing for the three spending bills to be considered individually, bringing the process to a standstill.
Three bills were in the package, including the one for the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration. The current spending bills expire Sept. 30.

DOL Proposes New Rule for H-2A Program

This week, the Department of Labor released a proposed rule to expand employee protections for workers in the H-2A temporary farm worker program. Among the proposed changes are requiring new disclosures on recruitment, making new wage rates applicable sooner, allowing workers to access representation in disciplinary cases and preventing employers from confiscating workers’ travel documents.

The proposed rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register. Once published, interested parties will have 60 days to comment on the rule. The proposed rule can be found here.

OMB Identifies Farm Bill as Necessary

The Office of Management and Budget sent Congress a list of bills expiring at the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year in anticipation of the possible consideration by Congress of a continuing resolution. Included in OMB’s list is an extension of the entire 2018 Farm Bill, which OMB says needs to be extended or included in any continuing resolution unless the current Farm Bill is extended or a new Farm Bill is passed before Sept. 30.

To date, no new Farm Bill has been introduced or considered by either the U.S. House or Senate Agriculture Committees. For context, in 2018 the House and Senate Committees had both reported their versions of the Farm Bill, and these bills had passed both the House and Senate by late June.

Also included in OMB’s list were both the Animal Drug User Fee Program and the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Program. Before the August recess, the House passed its version of the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments. In the Senate, ADUFA and AgDUFA were approved by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. OMB’s full list of expiring authorities can be found here.


Shearing Schools Planned for 2023-24

A handful of shearing schools have announced dates for the 2023-24 season. If your school isn’t listed below, please contact Heather Pearce at to have it added to the list.

  • Ohio State University Statewide Shearing School, Sept. 22-23 in Hebron, Ohio. Visit for more information.
  • South Dakota State University Shearing School, Oct. 7-9 in Brookings, S.D. Visit for more information.
  • Montana Wool Harvesting School, Oct. 12-15 in Billings and Molt, Mont. Visit for more information.
  • Advanced Shearing School, Oct. 13-15 in Dublin, Va. Contact Tom Stanley at 540-588-0241 or
  • North Dakota State University Shearing School, Nov. 18-20 in Hettinger, N.D. Contact Dr. Christopher Schauer at
  • Utah State University Shearing School, Jan. 18-20, 2024, Details TBA.
  • Missouri Extension Shearing School, March 6-7, 2024, at Lincoln University’s George Carver Farm in Jefferson City, Mo. Contact Jody Bruemmer at or 573-681-5540.
  • Washington State Beginner Shearing School, April 22-26, 2024, Moses Lake, Wash. An advanced shearing school will also be conducted on April 27. Contact Sarah Smith at 509-754-2011, ext. 4363 or


American Lamb Goes to School

The American Lamb Board participated in the Center for the Advancement of Culinary Education Leadership Conference to share American lamb information and classroom tools. Working with CAFÉ in advance of the conference, ALB sponsored a lamb recipe contest.

Chef Tyler Baxter of Northampton College was selected for his American Lamb Merguez Corndogs with Green Apple Relish and Turmeric Mustard. He attended the conference to serve his upscale corndog dish at the opening reception.

ALB has worked with many culinary educators to develop lesson plans and articles which are offered to culinary educators on the CAFÉ website. They include:

An American lamb cuts poster and step-by-step fabrication sheets are also popular tools for use in culinary education. New in 2023, The American Lamb grazing video now appears on a top chef education website CIA along with an American lamb butchery video and several American lamb cooking videos.

“Educators cannot teach what they don’t know,” says Megan Wortman, ALB executive director. “Our culinary education programs and our work with culinary educators help to teach lamb butchery, lesson plans for ground lamb and more.”

Source: ALB


Penn State Seeking Livestock Extension Educator

Penn State Extension is seeking a Livestock Extension Educator based in North Central Pennsylvania.

The candidate will be part of a state team and thus expected to participate in and deliver programs statewide. The home base will be Lycoming County.

Some of the job duties include: developing original content to engage audiences through innovative educational methods such as online courses, videos, mobile apps and electronic publications, in addition to traditional publications and in-person presentations; contributing to a significant effort in the state to improve livestock management practices and the viability of the Pennsylvania livestock industry; and participating in developing a diverse external funding portfolio (e.g., grants, contracts, cost recovery, development) to support the team’s programs.

Click Here for more information.

Source: Penn State Extension


Video of the Week

Incredible footage showing guard dogs stopping a puma from hunting sheep in the pitch-black Patagonian mountains has been captured using heat sensitive cameras and drones.

The clip was filmed as part of Animals Up Close With Bertie Gregory, a new National Geographic series that takes viewers to remote locations around the world looking at creatures up close in their daily lives. In the episode, Gregory and his team visit a remote, mountainous region of Patagonia in southern Chile. Their aim was to capture the lives of pumas and the challenges they face – including their coexistence with farmers, who have historically killed pumas that hunt their livestock.

Click Here to watch the video.

Source: Live Science

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