Image of sheep


ASI Offers Comments on Lamb Processing Infrastructure

The American Sheep Industry Association submitted comments this week to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Investments and Opportunities for Meat and Poultry Processing Infrastructure as requested by the Biden Administration back in July.

“The lamb processing sector is highly concentrated with two to three firms influencing the majority of market sales. Imported lamb is also very concentrated in the marketplace and influencing the other half of lamb meat sales in the United States,” read the letter to USDA Supply Chain Resilience Coordinator Sarah J. Helming. “This concentration was highlighted during the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the sudden loss of restaurant and foodservice sales forced the bankruptcy proceedings of our second largest lamb packing facility, Mountain States Rosen, owned by the Mountain States Lamb Cooperative. The loss of this lamb packer at the height of what is traditionally the lamb industry’s busiest marketing season, the Easter/Passover holiday, exposed serious deficiencies in the industry’s supply chain, namely the lack of adequate packing and fabrication capacity in the event of a market disruption.

“Fortunately, at the time of this loss, a new packing facility was close to completion and due to the sudden lack of processing, a second slaughter facility was re-opened. But it was several months before these new packing facilities came online. During that lag time, lamb producers and lamb feeders struggled to find packing capacity and were forced to either sell at any price taking a significant loss on their investment, delay processing incurring additional production costs and negatively impacting consumer product quality, or ship lambs long distance to multiple small state and regional facilities to piecemeal the needed capacity.

“Even a year later, these new small to mid-sized packers lack adequate fabrication facilities and labor to fully participate in the food supply chain and therefore lack the ability to fully realize the potential of their investment. Many local and regional processing facilities utilized by small to mid-size sheep and lamb producers lack the resources to invest in infrastructure and face labor constraints to meet the growing demand for processing lamb at a local level. This was further evidenced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of processing capacity at the local level.”

The comments go on to specifically address a number of aspects of lamb processing as requested by USDA in the Federal Register.

Click Here to read the full comments.


SSWS Materials Available Online

A number of new training and outreach materials have been added to the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply website developed by Iowa State University in conjunction with the American Sheep Industry Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These resources are available for meetings, workshops, newsletters, etc.

Listed below are the key items/sections added to the SSWS plan this year.

The Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan for Continuity of Business provides opportunities to voluntarily prepare before an FMD outbreak. This will better position premises with sheep that have no evidence of infection to: limit exposure of their animals through enhanced biosecurity; move animals to processing or another premises under a movement permit issued by regulatory officials; and maintain business continuity for the sheep industry, including producers, haulers, packers and wool processors during an FMD outbreak.


Market News App Offers Valuable Tools for Producers

The American Sheep Industry Association Market News App provides valuable resources for sheep producers, including a wool calculator.

This important tool takes the weekly Australian Wool Exchange report and converts prices from AUD per kilo to USD per pound. The calculator allows producers to see weekly trends and fluctuations in the world wool market. Producers can also access the weekly wool report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the app.

Other tools in the ASI Market News App include breakeven and gestation calculators. The app also includes USDA market information and auction reports.

The app is available for free in both the Apple and Google Play stores.


Wool Connect Offers Discount for Producers

The Schneider Group is offering a 50 percent discount to American wool producers who would like to attend the virtual Wool Connect 2021 conference next week.

Wool Connect is a three-day digital conference on Sept. 7-9 for wool growers from around the world. By attending the online sessions, producers will gain valuable market insights from retailers and other wool industry players that will help growers make better decisions in their sheep and wool operations. The event will be organized in three, two-hour sessions. Sessions will begin at 3 a.m. eastern time, but will be recorded for on-demand viewing.

The American Sheep Industry Association plans to present at the conference in 2022, after further implementation of the American Wool Assurance Program. To access the discount, producers should go to  and use coupon code AmericanWool50.

Click Here for more information.


Campbell Joins OSU Animal Sciences Faculty

The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences has hired Brady Campbell as an assistant professor to focus on small ruminant management.

Campbell begins his new position on Sept.15 in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He will work with Ohio State Extension professionals to develop educational materials and programs for sheep and goat producers. In addition, he will conduct applied research on small ruminant production and management and assist with youth livestock sheep and goat programs.

“Brady will fill an important role for our department and the state. Ohio is the largest sheep production state east of the Mississippi,” said John Foltz, chair of the animal sciences department. “Lamb and goat production are on the rise in Ohio due to a variety of factors, including increased consumption in restaurants and increased ethnic populations in the state. As we educate undergraduate students who are increasingly from urban backgrounds, they can more easily work with small ruminants. They are safer for the students to handle than larger species, such as cattle or horses.”

Campbell is a Waterford, Ohio, native and a fourth-generation sheep and swine producer. His family raises purebred Lincoln and Texel sheep, as well as crossbred sheep and commercial swine in southeastern Ohio’s Washington County. He completed three degrees within the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio State University, including a 2015 bachelors with a bioscience specialization, a 2017 masters and a 2021 Ph.D. In addition, since 2016, he has served as the program coordinator of the Ohio State Sheep Team.

Campbell’s previous research focused on alternative management strategies to improve the growth and health of pasture-reared lambs and to reduce the economic losses resulting from gastrointestinal parasitic infection. Moving forward he intends to continue investigating alternative forage-based small ruminant production systems.

“Being an Ohio native and sheep producer myself, I am intimately familiar with the excitement and hardships of livestock production,” Campbell said. “Now, as a faculty member, it is my time to give back to the university that helped mold me into the person I am today, as well as help others, both students and producers, become more efficient, productive and sustainable in their production systems.”

Source: OSU


UCCE Looking to Document LGD Bonding Techniques

The process of bonding livestock guardian dogs with livestock is crucial to their success as adult dogs. However, little if any research-based information is available on bonding techniques.

University of California Cooperative Extension Human-Wildlife Interactions Advisor Carolyn Whitesell and UCCE Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor Dan Macon have developed a producer survey designed to document the types of bonding processes used by commercial livestock producers. The researchers hope to build greater understanding regarding the approaches that result in successful bonding – and those that do not.

Project cooperators will complete a short online or telephone survey when they start the bonding process with a new pup. Follow-up surveys will be conducted monthly until the bonding process is completed. Surveys should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. All responses will remain confidential.

If you’re starting a livestock guardian dog puppy in the next year and would be willing to participate in this project, contact Macon at or 530-889-7385.

Click Here for more information.

Source: UCCE


Sheep Field Days Planned in Texas

Two Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service sheep-focused field days are set to take place on Sept. 9 and Sept. 16, respectively.

The first event will be the Genetic Advancement of Wool Sheep Field Day on Sept. 9 at HF4 Ranch, 9240 Rural Route 864, Sonora, Texas. The second event will be the Genetic Advancement of Hair Sheep Field Day on Sept. 16. It will start at 30 County Road 226 in Priddy, Texas, before continuing to the Hamilton Sheep Station at 2475 County Road 513, Hamilton, Texas.

“Emerging genetic technologies have redefined what is possible when breeding and selecting sheep,” said Jake Thorne, AgriLife Extension sheep and goat program specialist, San Angelo, Texas. “We no longer need to use our best guess when it comes to identifying productive livestock that are well suited for their environment.”

Field day topics will include increasing lambing rates, curtailing internal parasite issues and making more efficient use of labor resources by incorporating technology at the ground level. These are all areas of focus for a more profitable industry.

“The Texas sheep industry is somewhat at a crossroads,” Thorne said. “We have been blessed with incredible market opportunities, and prices for the commodities that come from the small ruminant industry. We also have a strong outlook into the future. However, to capitalize on this opportunity even further, we need to make some collective changes to increase our production efficiency to meet this demand.”

Producers who have used genetic technologies will be the main presenters and attendees will hear directly from those who have made management changes to improve the health and productivity of their flocks.

Source: Texas A&M AgriLife


Australian Market Records Losses This Week

The weaker tones evident at the end of the previous selling series carried into this week, resulting in overall losses in the Australian wool market. The national offering increased by 6,876 bales to 35,119 bales. Buyer sentiment was not as strong as in the previous series and the prices achieved were well below the close of last week.

By the end of the sale, the individual Micron Price Guides in the Eastern centers for 17 micron and coarser lost between 6 and 50 cents. On the back of these losses, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator fell by 18 cents for the series, closing at 1,332 Australian cents. The market finished with some positive signs. In Sydney on the final day, the market had a slight overall increase to push the local indicator marginally higher. Selling last, Fremantle recorded some solid gains to help the Western region indicator add 9 cents for the day. This increase pushed the Fremantle region into an overall gain for the series (5 cents).

Although the market has lost ground during the opening weeks of the new season – the EMI has lost 91 cents since the start of the 2021-22 selling season for a 6.4 percent drop – it is worth highlighting that the market is still trading well above the levels achieved 12 months ago. When compared to the corresponding sale of the previous season, the EMI is 474 cents higher for an increase of 55.2 percent.

Comparing individual MPGs during this time, the 17 micron MPG in Melbourne is 1,085 cents higher than this time last year. That equates to an 81 percent increase. Next week, the rostered quantity increases slightly to 37,123 bales in Melbourne, Fremantle and Sydney.

Source: AWEX


Skip to content