Sheep Industry News April 2022

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SheepIndustry NEWS Volume 26, Issue 4 April 2022

F Y 2 0 2 1 A N N U A L R E P O R T R E L E A S E D

American Lamb on Fire

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS ■ US consumer research conducted to guide short- and long-term strategies ■ Outdoor Cooking Adventures social media promotions captured attention ■ American Lamb Burger tested by chain restaurant ■ Successful virtual and in-person events ■ Lamb Flavor Research Phase III validated REIMS technology with consumer panels ■ New Lamb Quality for producers video series ■ IȌȌƮ Ǟȁ˜ɐƵȁƧƵȲ ȁƵɈɩȌȲDz ƵɮȯƊȁƮƵƮ



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* For Fiscal Year October 1, 2020-September 30, 2021



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SheepIndustry NEWS Volume 26, Issue 4 April 2022

A Look Inside 12 Sheep Industry Review Provides Assessment The sheep and lamb industry saw prices reach historic levels in 2021. The year of outstanding domestic demand for lamb is sum marized in the 2021 Sheep Industry Review – a checkoff funded report commissioned by ALB and compiled by ASI. 16 Sheep Producers Return to our Nation's Capital Legislative fly-ins have been nearly non-existent since March of 2020 when sheep producers were the last ones to visit before the government went into a COVID-19 lockdown. But that drought came to end last month. 14 Industry Sees Opportunity in Targeted Grazing Targeted grazing is becoming an increasingly important sector for the American sheep industry. Recognizing the importance of this segment to the industry, ASI published the first Targeted Grazing Handbook in 2006.


Fourth-generation rancher Sophie Jensen of Utah cares for a bum lamb at the family operation's lambing shed.

Departments 4 President’s Notes 6 Market Report 11 ASI Member Listing 12 ASI News 22 Around the States 27 Breeders’ Directory 29 Industry Calendar 30 The Last Word

18 Meet the Exec. Board

April 2022 • Sheep Industry News • 3


Scientific Data Leads to Exciting Times in Our Industry

A s a seedstock producer, I see evidence of positive change in the increased use of data as a selection tool and an escalation of collaboration among all stakeholders in order to make genetic improvements throughout our evolving sheep industry. Six recent examples include: the visible advancements in cooperation between our U.S. Department of

genotyping to support the goal of establishing a reference population of more than 3,000 animals in each of four desig nated breeds by the end of the three-year project. Another sign of change is Superior Farms continued commitment to genomic technology through its Flock 54 program. Under the capable guidance of Karissa Isaacs, the company has

introduced many of our producers to the world of genomics. Fourthly, the National Sheep Improvement Program – our industry’s organi zation that turns on farm perfor mance records into science-based

ASI VISION Premier Protein , Premier Fiber Environmentally Regenerative, Economically Sustainable

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Research Service centers. Kudos to Dr. Joan Burke in Boonville, Ark., Dr. J. Bret Taylor in Dubois, Idaho, and the team of scientists at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center at Clay Center,

ASI MISSION To support, promote and safeguard sheep production in the United States – representing and advancing the interests of member organizations, industry partners and individual sheep producers with advocacy, knowledge-based insights, communications, research and education. To identify, establish, advise, direct and/or support enterprises that benefit members.

measurements (EBVs) – saw a

Neb., that are led by Dr. Brad Freking and Dr. Tom Murphy. These scientists have a true passion for improving our in dustry and are currently collaborating on many new research efforts. One of my favorites is the establishment of reference flocks that will be key to better use of our on-farm records and genomic understanding. In conjunction with the ARS efforts, the USDA Na tional Institute of Food and Agriculture recently awarded a $650,000 grant to collect data on traits that will have a major impact on profitability for producers including lamb survival, ewe longevity, parasitism and udder health. Dr. Ron Lewis at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln serves as the project leader. Dr. Luis Brito of Purdue University is another key member of that team. The project is called Sheep GEMS, and is a collaborative effort between ARS stations, universities and individual NSIP flocks. Participating NSIP flocks – called Innovation Flocks – will combine their on-farm performance records and corre sponding estimated breeding values with tissue samples for

record number of new members in 2021. The adoption of this technology continues to increase under the leadership of Rusty Burgett and a hardworking and committed producer board. The increased adoption of electronic identification tags and the use of electronic scales, readers and handling equip ment that allows for the speedy collection of the important data that needs to be collected by producers is also a glaring sign that our industry is rapidly jumping forward. And finally, the establishment of the organization Sheep Genetics USA – which provides a forum for input from all segments of our industry on the priorities needed for research and the methods needed to support those genetic improvement efforts – is a positive effort in true collabora tion. All of these signs point to a seismic change in how we use genetic information in our industry, with a corresponding positive gain in production efficiencies. Jump on board because these are exciting times.

4 • Sheep Industry News •

SheepIndustry NEWS April 2022: Volume 26, Issue 4

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ASI Office Staff: Peter Orwick, Executive Director Rita Kourlis Samuelson, Deputy Director/Wool Marketing Larry Kincaid, Chief Financial Officer Erica Sanko, Director of Analytics & Production Programs Christa Rochford, Wool Marketing Programs Manager Zahrah Khan, Project Manager - Accounting & Convention Heather Pearce, Wool Production Programs Manager Chris Jones, Executive Assistant The Sheep Industry News is published monthly as the official publication of the American Sheep Industry Association Inc. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Payment of member dues in an ASI affiliated state organization entitles a member to a subscription. For non-members, the subscription rate is $50 per year. ADVERTISING INFORMATION: Rates available at Deadline is the fifth of the month preceding the cover date. All advertising is subject to publisher’s approval. Advertisers must assume all liability for their advertising content. Publisher maintains the right to cancel advertising for nonpayment or reader complaint about service or product. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in Sheep Industry News .


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April 2022 • Sheep Industry News • 5

Market Report BRIDGER FEUZ University of Wyoming

Record Prices Could Lead to Changes In Cull/Slaughter Ewe Marketing

O ften, producers don't think of cull or slaughter ewes as a marketing opportunity. Record high cull ewe prices this past year might have some producers thinking differently. There are numerous reasons that producers cull ewes from their flocks. Producers tend to get rid of ewes if they are open/dry, lame, bad bags, bad eyes, bad mothers or just too old. It is no wonder that when these ewes are ready to go down the road, producers are eager just to get rid of them. Producers are almost always culling ewes because of a problem. However, since these cull ewes make up, on average, between 15 and 25 percent of a flock each year, they can be a sizeable income source to an operation. Another important factor to consider relative to cull ewes is that often producers are making culling decisions at relatively the same time in the production cycle every year. This means that these cull ewes get marketed as slaughter ewes in higher volumes shortly after these production cycle times. In the Intermountain West, that generally translates to September and October. The timing will be different in other regions, but it is likely that the bulk of the slaughter ewes will be marketed in a two to three month time period for each region. Not surprising, the market price for slaughter ewes is often lowest during these same periods. It’s not a conspiracy, its simply that the supply of ewes during those periods drives the price down. While I had a sense that the cull/slaughter ewe market might be quite cyclical based on these and other factors, I had not delved further into the market until recently. Last fall, I worked with the Livestock Marketing Information Center to develop a seasonal price index for slaughter ewes at the Colorado auction. A seasonal price index looks at prices during a set time period – in this case 10 years – and essentially adjusts the average annual price to a value of 1.00. The seasonal price index then compares the monthly adjusted prices to the average annual price of 1.00. As I mentioned above, September and October are the highest volume months in the Intermountain West. The seasonal price index for slaughter ewes in Colorado in September is 0.91 and in October the index is 0.85. That means that September ewe prices are almost 10 percent below the annual average and October ewe prices are 15 percent below the annual average. Conversely, January, February and March are the highest months for the seasonal price index at 1.16, 1.15 and 1.07, respectively. So, while October is 15 percent below

the annual average, January is 16 percent above the annual average. Which means that the January price is generally 31 percent higher than the October price. You can see each month of the Colorado region on the seasonal price index chart (at right). Does that mean that all the producers in the Colorado region that market their cull ewes in September and October are making a bad marketing decision? The answer is not necessarily. Holding cull ewes after October in the Colorado region would require additional feed, labor and other resources. Additionally, keeping ewes around from October to January could increase the chance for death loss. However, if you could manage cull ewes on your operation efficiently, it might be something to consider. Keep in mind if everyone decided to shoot for the January average high, it would just shift the seasonal price index making January the new low month. While this seasonal price index is calculated for the Colorado region, other regions might also see similar highs and lows in the annual cycle. It is important to understand the cyclical nature of the market in your area, but many areas could take advantage of market ing cull ewes off the peak in the volume cycle. How do you know if it makes sense on your operation to hold/ feed ewes to try and take advantage of this seasonal price cycle? Let’s walk through a scenario where you decide to move your traditional cull ewe marketing date from Oct. 15 to Jan. 15, and your ewes weigh 180 lbs. • Assume the average price for slaughter ewes on Oct. 15 was $0.95 per pound. • Cull ewe value in October would be 180 lbs x $0.95 = $171 per head. • Assume conservatively we will see a 25 percent increase in the price on Jan. 15. • Assume we just maintain the weight of the ewes. • The new market price based on the conservative 25 percent increase would be $1.18. • Cull ewe value in January would then be 180 lbs. x $1.18 = $212.40 per head. • The value difference between January and October is $41.40 per head. The gross feeding/operating margin is $41.40 per head. That means if you can feed the ewes a maintenance diet with feeding,

6 • Sheep Industry News •

labor, death loss, vet and other expenses for less than $41.40, you could increase the profit on your cull ewes. Only you as a manager can decide if the added effort and risk are worth the potential return to managing your cull ewes for a dif ferent market timing. However, given the consistency of the seasonal price index for slaughter ewes in the Colorado region, it seems like it is worth the effort to run the numbers on your own operation to see if it could improve your overall profitability.

A great tool to use for this is a partial budget. You can find this calculator and others on the Wyo ming Ranch Tools site at UWyo A s wool shearing continues across the United States, in a few weeks’ time all eyes will be on the Australian wool market. Australian wool prices have improved this year compared to 2021 and 2020, but are still lagging pre-2020 levels. American wool prices have been steady with modest gains compared to a year ago. In February, the Australian Eastern Market Indicator averaged 1,428 cents per kg clean, 10 percent higher than the prior year, but 9 percent lower than in 2020. The last time the EMI surpassed 1,400 cents per kg clean was in July 2021. The EMI gained in recent months, reaching Australian $6.57 per lb. (U.S. $4.68 per lb.) in early February – the highest weekly price since late June of last year. But as of early March, the EMI softened to AUS $6.41 per lb. adjusting to the EMI in U.S. dollar terms, which was at U.S. $4.69 per lb. Prices for the finer wool market – between 17 to 21 microns – in February reached levels not seen since last summer. Prices for 18 micron wool posted the largest year-over-year gain in February with a 10 percent gain and an increase of $1.15 per lb. more than 2020. A relatively short supply of finer wool and improved demand has supported prices. Broader wools remain a bit challenged, as prices in February and into early March remained below 2021 and 2020 levels. The market for 21 to 23 micron wools appears to be rather steady, with prices gaining in early March. According to ASI Wool Consultant Barry Savage, since Australia is not a large producer of wool in this micron range, there is an opportunity for American producers to capitalize on this segment of the market. The market for 25 to 26 microns has also been steady in recent weeks, but is still struggling compared to

Wool Prices Continue Steady Increase in 2022

prior years. Coarser wools – 26 micron and higher – are still suffer ing from soft market demand with prices at historically low levels. According to Meat and Livestock Australia’s Annual Industry Pro jections, the relationship between wool and lamb prices has resulted in a shift in the Australia sheep flock away from wool production to lamb production. In the last three years, the percentage of Merino breeding ewes has declined from 76 to 72 percent, driven by record high lamb prices combined with lower returns from wool and dif ficulty in sourcing shearers. This supply shift is one factor supporting finer wool prices. The EMI is forecasted to increase in the next five years according to forecasts released by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in early March. According to ABARES, for the 2021-22 fiscal year the Australian EMI is expected to average 1,390 cents per kg with 2022-2023 wool prices gaining about 20 percent to 1,663 cents per kg. The forecasted increases are driven by increasing demand for finer wools and improving economic conditions. Overall, the wool market is in relatively better position compared to last year as the world transitions to a post-pandemic era. However, higher transportation costs and shipping constraints continue, which will weigh on the United States and international wool market. While the Australian EMI has softened from the season high of 1,449 cents per kg clean posted in early February, it is still trading at 104 cents per kg clean above the previous season's value for the same time pe riod. The strength in the EMI has come with relatively large volumes as well, which suggests market demand is steadily improving.

April 2022 • Sheep Industry News • 7

SHEEP SHOT You Been Bedding Barns Long?

Michigan's Elaine Palm submitted this photo of spring lambs in the barn to the 2021 ASI Photo Contest.

8 • Sheep Industry News •

April 2022 • Sheep Industry News • 9

Sheep Industry Review Provides 2021 Assessment

AMERICAN LAMB BOARD T he sheep and lamb industry saw prices reach historic levels in 2021. The year of outstanding domestic demand for lamb is summarized in the 2021 Sheep Industry Review – a check off funded report commissioned by the American Lamb Board and compiled by ASI. "The pandemic continued to bring uncertainty during 2021, which drove shifts in consumer food consumption and buying patterns,” said ALB Chairman Peter Camino of Buffalo, Wyo. “Per capita lamb consumption was 1.36 pounds per person for 2021 – the highest level since the early 1990s. Gains in lamb consumption have been linked to the year-round availability of more lamb cuts in supermarkets and direct sales as a result of the pandemic.” Various factors on the supply side supported higher lamb prices. Persistent drought, higher feed costs and other production constraints – as well as strong slaughter ewe prices – resulted in significantly large mature sheep slaughter in 2021. The continuing downward trend in the American sheep flock has resulted in a smaller lamb crop and lamb supply. Additionally, cold storage inventories in 2021 were below year ago levels, which provided further support to lamb prices. Although economic uncertainty continued in 2021 – with focus on price inflation and consumer response to higher prices for meat and other goods – the feeder and slaughter lamb prices saw gains of more than 40 percent in 2021. The wholesale lamb market also saw record highs in response to strong consumer demand and tighter available supplies. Sheep and lamb inventory continued a declining trend, down 2 per cent to 5.065 million head. Breeding sheep inventory registered at 3.71 million head, also down 2 percent. Replacement prices posted large gains during the latter half of 2021, similar to live lamb and wholesale lamb price trends. Ewe prices all set new record levels in 2021. Commercial slaughter was up slightly in 2021 to 2.25 million head. Tighter supplies of feeder lambs were evidenced in lower on-feed numbers during spring and summer months with inventories climb ing into the fall. Compared to the 2015-2019 average, on-feed supplies averaged 7 percent lower. As the sheep flock has continued to decline, so has lamb produc tion. Commercial lamb production was down only 0.5 percent for the year, but was 8 percent lower than the 2015-2019 average. This lower production is attributed to smaller lamb supply and lighter weights. Feeder lamb (60-90 lbs.) prices in 2021 were above previous year levels every week except the first week of March. In fact, the industry saw a new record high posted at $271.27 per cwt. This equates to 2021 prices that were 45 percent higher than the 2015-2019 average price.

These stronger prices were due to tighter lamb supplies, strong con sumer demand for lamb and growth in ethnic, local and niche market demand. Slaughter lamb prices also set records, coming in 44.8 percent higher than 2020 and averaging $217.25 per cwt. The record high was set in early August. Wholesale lamb values reached record levels during the second half of 2021. The robust wholesale market was supported by strong consumer demand, supply constraints in the meat and poultry com plex and year-round availability of more lamb cuts in supermarkets. Based on retail data collected by 210 Analytics LLC across fresh and processed meat, lamb was the only one to grow pound sales year-on year in 2020. Lamb also had the highest growth in pound sales when compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic normal. Strong American lamb prices and tight domestic supplies provided an attractive market for lamb imports. In fact, lamb imports were 264.2 million pounds in 2021 – up 23.7 percent. Mutton imports have surged in the last few years and were up 13.5 percent to 99.8 million pounds in 2021. Australia was the lead country for lamb imports, contributing 195.6 million pounds at an increase of 20.7 percent in 2021. New Zealand also contributed to lamb import totals at 32.9 percent above 2020 and 64.4 million pounds. Overall, imports responded to record high U.S. wholesale lamb prices. Exports for lamb and mutton totaled 3.48 million pounds – 7.6 percent higher than in 2021. Growth in the export sector was driven primarily by lamb variety meat exports to Mexico. Lamb muscle cut exports rallied to the Caribbean in 2021, with notable growth in the Dominican Republic and gains to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. Lamb exports as a percent of lamb and mutton production were 2.4 percent, slightly higher than in 2020, but lower than the 2015-2019 average of 3.7 percent. Live sheep exports increased in 2021 driven by exports to Canada, which accounted for 74 percent of all live sheep exports. Live exports to Mexico have been in decline in recent years. Looking at 2022, the report estimates commercial production to decline 4 percent and commercial slaughter of American lamb to decrease by about 3 percent. Likewise, imports are expected to fall 3 percent to 352 million pounds. Total lamb availability is expected to contract by 5 percent, with a decline in per capita availability due to the decline in production relative to the U.S. population. In 2022, feeder lamb prices are expected to average 10 percent higher and slaughter lamb prices to average 5 percent higher. Read the full report at blog/2021-sheep-industry-review.

10 • Sheep Industry News •



Nebraska Sheep & Goat Producers Association 308-386-8378 • NevadaWool Growers Association 775-934-8860 • New Hampshire Sheep &Wool Growers Garden State Sheep Breeders Inc. (N.J.) 609-947-2260 • New MexicoWool Growers Inc. 505-247-0584 • Empire Sheep Producers Cooperative (N.Y.) 585-367-2775 • North Carolina Sheep Producers Assoc. Inc. 919-522-4110 • North Dakota Lamb &Wool Producers Assoc. 701-333-8009 • Ohio Sheep Improvement Association 614-499-2931 • Oregon Sheep Growers Association 503-364-5462 • Pennsylvania Sheep &Wool Growers Association 814-880-3314 • Rhode Island Sheep Cooperative 401-578-2012 • South Carolina Sheep Industries Association 864-360-3222 • South Dakota Sheep Growers Association 406-581-7772 • Tennessee Sheep Producers Association 615-519-7796 • Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers’ Association 325-655-7388 • UtahWool Growers Association 435-915-6119 • Vermont Sheep & Goat Association 802-899-2104 • Virginia Sheep Producers Association 540-231-9159 • Washington State Sheep Producers 360-999-8118 • West Virginia Shepherds Federation 304-445-1516 • Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative 608-743-9080 •

Alabama Meat Goat & Sheep Producers 334-613-4221 • ASI Women 435-528-7570 • ArizonaWool Producers Association 520-560-4202 • Arkansas State Sheep Council 870-853-7404 • CaliforniaWool Growers Association 916-444-8122 • ColoradoWool Growers Association 970-874-1433 • Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association 860-819-8339 • Meat Sheep Alliance of Florida 352-502-2564 • Georgia Sheep &Wool Growers Association 706-340-1098 • Hawaii Sheep and Goat Association 808-775-8075 • IdahoWool Growers Association 208-344-2271 • Illinois Lamb &Wool Producers Inc. 815-544-9582 • Indiana Sheep Association 317-896-2213 • Kentucky Sheep &Wool Producers Association 502-682-7780 • Maine Sheep Breeders Association 207-324-1582 • Maryland Sheep Breeders Association 410-746-5768 • Massachusetts Federation of Sheep Associations 508-829-4556 • Michigan Sheep Producers Association 616-610-5628 • Minnesota Lamb &Wool Producers Association 320-760-5727 • Missouri Sheep Producers Inc. 573-578-0497 • MontanaWool Growers Association 406-442-1330 • National Lamb Feeders Association 605-224-0224 • Iowa Sheep Industry Association 641-625-4248 • Kansas Sheep Association 620-393-5204 •

Susan Shultz Ohio President

Brad Boner Wyoming Vice President

Ben Lehfeldt Montana Secretary/Treasurer

Peter Orwick Colorado Executive Director

WyomingWool Growers Association 307-265-5250 •

April 2022 • Sheep Industry News • 11

ASI News

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APPLY NOW FOR SHEEP HERITAGE SCHOLARSHIP A $3,000 college scholarship is available once again this year for graduate students from ASI’s Sheep Heritage Foundation. Students should be working in an area of study that will lead to the advancement of the American sheep industry. Students pursing either a master’s degree or a doctorate at a university in the United States are eligible to apply. The application deadline is May 31. Visit for more information and the application form. ASI RESEARCH UPDATE LOOKS AT EXTERNAL PARASITES The March ASI Research Update podcast focused on External Parasite Control with Dr. Cassandra Olds of Kansas State University. “While winter is still in full swing for most of us, longer days and warmer temperatures are right around the corner, and that means green grass, baby lambs and parasites,” said podcast host Jake Thorne of Texas A&M University. “The label ‘parasite’ is really quite all encompassing, and while considerable attention is placed

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“It really comes down to what your unique situation is,” Olds said. “The best thing you can do is get familiar with these insects and the biology. Then you can start making educated decisions on where is this insect breeding, what is it doing and how can I get rid of it to the best of my abilities.” Olds said it’s possible for external parasites to create problems for multiple species of livestock and domestic animals on diverse operations. Some parasites might affect everything from sheep to cattle to horses and dogs, while others are specific to the host. Most animals suffer from lice, for example, but they all have their own species of lice. “If it’s on the incorrect host, they don’t recognize it as a host,” she said. “Sheep and goats tend to share things a lot more. Goats are go ing to have the closest shareability if you want to call it that.” Listen to the podcast at research-update-external-parasite-control-with-dr-cassandra-olds kansas-state-university.


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April 2022 • Sheep Industry News • 13

Industry Sees Opportunity With Targeted Grazing

JOHN WALKER, PH.D. Texas A&M AgriLife T argeted grazing is becoming an increasingly important sector for the American sheep industry. Recognizing the importance of this segment to the industry, ASI published the first Targeted Grazing Handbook in 2006 ( content/uploads/2022/01/Targeted-Grazing-Book-compressed. pdf). Since then, targeted grazing has grown in the number of ser vice providers, acres managed, use by land management agencies and scientific publications on the subject. Much has been learned as a result of this growth, and because of that ASI is developing a new handbook. The goal of the new hand book is to combine the practical knowledge of producers engaged in the targeted grazing business with the latest research findings, creating a user-friendly guide for people who are new targeted gra ziers or contemplating starting a targeted grazing business. To support this effort, a survey and focus group discussions with targeted grazing service providers was conducted during 2021-22. The survey had 101 respondents representing 38 different states and two Canadian provinces. In addition, six virtual focus group dis cussions – each with 20 or more participants – were held in January and February of this year. On average, survey respondents’ targeted grazing experience was 8.5 years. While most of the respondents have been provid ing services for 10 years or less, 23 percent have practiced targeted grazing for more than 10 years and with five respondents have been

in business for more than 30 years. In terms of business opportunity, large full-time operators reported the most growth, while medium and large part-time operations tended to stay about the same size. Participants in focus groups said they had more opportunities than they could handle, indicating the opportunity for growth in the targeted grazing in dustry is promising. Forty percent of operations had fewer than 20 animal unit equivalents, which is equivalent to 100 or fewer sheep. Thirty-five percent had 20 to 100 AUE and 25 percent had more than 100 AUE. On average, graziers combined two classes of livestock with the most common being hair sheep and goats. Forty-seven percent of survey respondents were on paid proj ects four to five months of the year, but responses varied from only one to two months to more than eight months. Flock size tended to determine how many months were spent on grazing projects. A higher percentage of targeted graziers with large flocks provide services on a full-time basis with targeted grazing as their primary business model. However, there were significant numbers of large flocks that were less than full-time, which likely indicates that com modity production is their primary business model. In comparison, medium and small flock operators were more likely to be half or part-time. When asked what types of landscapes survey respondents provide services for – private land rural, public land rural, urban rural interface or urban – distribution was fairly even across these disparate areas. On average respondents worked in three of the four areas, which is an indication of their ability to adapt their services to different situations. Targeted plant species reported included 45 different problem atic species. The top 10 species included woody brush and trees, broadleaf weeds, annual grasses, blackberries, thistles, multiflora rose, knapweed, kudzu, pine and leafy spurge. Woody brush and trees were the most common plants targeted grazing was used for. The types of jobs for which targeted grazing is applied are diverse and graziers report working flocks in multiple settings. The most common targeted grazing projects are directed at controlling inva sive plants, forest plantations, fuels management and open space conservation. Landfills and solar grazing projects are becoming more popular. Less well-known areas of application include wild life habitat improvement and cover crop management, as well as orchards and vineyards. There are a host of other types of projects that primarily deal with cleaning up difficult terrains.

14 • Sheep Industry News •

Pricing for services varied considerably. Sixty percent of survey respondents charge per acre for targeted grazing services, followed by per day (30 percent), and other methods (10 percent). The average low price per acre across all animal species was $650 and the average high price was $1,725. The cost varied by species of livestock used with the highest for goats – which are most often used on smaller jobs – and lowest for wool sheep and cattle. These differences – in part – reflect the difference in

portance of public relations,” and prepare educational handouts. There are many factors that targeted graziers consider when deciding whether or not to accept a targeted grazing job. The following concerns are not uncommon. • The person or organization seeking targeted grazing has unrealistic expectations; • The job requires more re sources than are available; • There is high potential liabil ity exposure; • There are conditions that put

size of jobs and the different classes of animals. Full-time operators charged on average 45 percent more per acre than half-time opera tors, which were 40 percent higher than part-time operators. Prices varied regionally as well with Midwest and East Coast states charg ing the most. Great Plains and Upper Midwest areas charged the least and the Mountain states and West Coast were intermediate. In targeted grazing, there is a learning curve for both graziers and livestock. On average, the number of months it took for live stock to become proficient at targeted grazing is as follows: sheep, three months; goats slightly more than two months; and cattle one and a half months. It is thought that the type of job might influence the proficiency time. Size of flock also impacts proficiency train ing with large and small operators reporting longer training than medium-size flocks. When asked how livestock are kept on projects, almost 80 percent of respondents use electronic fencing. Other responses included permanent fencing, multistrand electrical fence, herders, and panels. The most important health issues that targeted graziers deal with are internal parasites, predation and toxic plants. Although having a contract with the customer is the norm, it varies somewhat. Only 52 percent of respondents use contracts for most projects and 30 percent use contracts only when the consumer requests a contract. The new handbook will have contract samples. About half of the respondents have specific performance criteria for projects with before and after photos being the most common method for monitoring vegetation. We can’t talk about the benefits of targeted grazing without addressing the issue of negative publicity. At least 56 percent of re spondents know of targeted grazing projects that were done poorly and hurt the reputation of the industry. Thus, the impetus for writ ing the second edition of the Targeted Grazing Handbook . The No. 1 response on ways to mitigate negative publicity was to “keep job site and animals in good shape.” Other responses includ ed “talk with people who stop by and are interested in the project,” “engage the press and take interviews,” “train employees in the im

safety of livestock at risk; • Grazing might do more damage because the source of the problem (weeds) hasn’t been addressed; • High level of poisonous plants. Today, we know much more about targeted grazing from both the scientific perspective and from the practical experience of targeted grazing experts. Advancing the industry from a position of both applied science and from that of the user is worth marketing. It will be fun to see how this eco-friendly livestock application will develop in the next 16 years.

Stockquip llc Tony Wutzke 541-760-6280

April 2022 • Sheep Industry News • 15

Sheep Producers Return To Our Nation's Capital

L egislative fly-ins such as the ASI Spring Trip have been nearly non-existent since March of 2020 when sheep producers were the last ones to visit with congressional delegations before the United States government went into a COVID-19 lockdown. But that drought came to end last month as sheep producers returned to the nation's capital. "It was so wonderful to be back in Washington, D.C., this spring," said ASI President Susan Shultz of Ohio. "Everyone from the agency representatives we met with to Congressional leaders and their staffs seemed happy to see constituents back in town. Visiting our senators and representatives on the Hill is always a highlight, but we were also honored to meet with several government agencies who understand the important role our industry can play reaching the administra tion's climate goals." U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Produc tion and Conservation Robert Bonnie reiterated his belief that sheep have a positive story to tell about the valuable role they can play in reversing climate change and aiding in wildfire suppression. Janet Bucknall of Wildlife Services once again pledged her agency's support for dealing with the many predator issues that have always plagued the sheep industry. "We also heard from Farm Service Administrator Zach Duch eneaux – who we met with at our Executive Board meeting in South Dakota last summer – and he's another great supporter of the sheep

industry," Shultz said. "We also met with the U.S. Forest Service because the American sheep industry is really at the forefront of targeted grazing, which is so important for their fire suppression and climate change priorities." Priorities for sheep producers haven't changed much since their last visit to Washington, D.C., in 2020. Producers talked with their congressional delegations about such things as: international trade, mandatory price reporting, foreign labor and pharmaceuticals for minor species. At the same time, they were able to thank budget mak ers for increased support of the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station and Wildlife Services in the most recent appropriations bill that will carry through until the end of the fiscal year. For the USSES in Dubois, Idaho, the bill contained $4.2 million for improvements to the buildings and facilities, as well as an additional $500,000 in rangeland research funding. The bill also provided ad ditional funding for Wildlife Services, providing $116 million for Wildlife Damage Management and $23 million for Methods Develop ment. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Equine, Cervid and Small Ruminant Health line item – covering the scrapie surveillance program – was increased to $32 million. The two-day trip concluded with a reception at The Monocle on March 16 as congressional staffers were treated to an American lamb dinner.

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Clockwise from top right: Utah producers Ann and Brian Okelberry, Brian and Carolyn Bitner, and Kristan and Casey Earl visited with their congressional delegation while in Washington, D.C., for the ASI Spring Trip; USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie addressed the group; as did FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux; and Janet Bucknall of Wildlife Services.

April 2022 • Sheep Industry News • 17

Meet The Exec. Board

Bronson Corn, New Mexico Region VI

A rancher fromNewMexico, Bronson Corn might need a hypnotist of his own to make people forget his remarkable turn as a backup dancer to "Luke Bryan" during the Saturday afternoon lunch at the 2022 ASI Annual Convention in San Di ego. As one of a select few volunteers who appeared on stage for the entirety of Dr. Al Snyder's hypnotist act, Bronson was put through a series of role-playing adventures that had him driving a car, dancing and more. Fortunately, he's no longer answering calls from his cowboy boot. It was a moment that won't soon be forgotten, even if Bronson can't remember a minute of it.

I DON’T KNOW HOW I GOT ROPED INTO THAT. I hope I don’t ever have to answer that phone call again. I wish there was no such thing as a smartphone, so there wouldn’t be any video or photos of that. At the time, it was kind of like a dream. But then I woke up and it was no longer a dream. Everybody was giving me a hard time. I don’t mind making a fool of myself to get someone else to laugh. I’m absolutely not a dancer. I dance a lot like a whale out of water. I'M A FIFTH-GENERATION RANCHER here in Roswell. I've got sheep, cattle and goats and a little feedlot operation. My wife, Barbara, and I have our own operation, but we run all of the sheep together with my dad (Mike Corn is a past president of ASI and owner of Roswell Wool). We run them all as one unit and that way we don't have to fight as many coyotes with sheep scattered out over so much different country. We like to keep them centralized. I WAS PRESIDENT OF THE NEWMEXICO Wool Growers at the same time that my dad was president of ASI, but I was president for four years. There was another man who was going to take the position but he couldn’t at that time, so they asked if I would stay on for another two-year term. Right here around Roswell used to be the epicenter of the sheep industry, especially the fine-wool sheep industry. Some of the finest wool that has ever been produced was produced right here in Roswell. There’s been a lot of struggles in the sheep industry in New Mexico. The predators have eaten us alive, and that’s caused a lot of people to get out of the industry. FROM AN ECONOMICAL STANDPOINT, you can’t have a ranch out here and just run cattle on it. And you can’t have a ranch out here and just run sheep on it, either. The terrain of this country is so diverse that the two of them work well together. There’s country here that cattle just can’t graze, and that’s a big part of why I want to stay in the sheep industry. The

combination of the two gives you full utilization of the land. And that’s part of why I wanted to be on the ASI Executive Board, so I can promote getting back into the sheep industry in this area. And some actually have. There’s a couple of cattle ranchers down here who are bringing two loads of ewes back into New Mexico on a ranch that ran sheep 20 something years ago and are now getting back into it. So, that gives me hope. FROM THE TIME I WAS A KID, I HAD A PLAN to spend two years at New Mexico State University and get an ag economics background, and then transfer over to Texas Christian Univer sity’s ranch management program. And that’s what I did. The main reason I wanted to go to New Mexico State for just two years was because I wanted to learn to be more technologically savvy before I went to TCU. That ranch management program is a pretty intense program, so I needed some more experience before I just stepped right into it. It's a one-year program, but you’re only in the classroom about half the time. The rest of the time, you’re on these field trips going to a bunch of differ ent operations all over the Southwest and nearby states. We went to New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska. The main things you get out of the program are contacts and knowledge of the economical side of ranching. They don’t teach you the hands-on side of it at all. It’s based on the economic side of ranching. The students already know how to deal with the livestock, but learning the business side is just as important if you’re going to make a living in ranching. THE PART THAT I’M MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT and that keeps me going when things seem to be stacked against us is that I want to give my kids (Garrett, 11, and Madison, 8) the opportunity to do what I’m doing. I love everything about what I’m doing – even the stuff that sucks sometimes. When everything is pushing against me, I can’t see myself doing anything different because I believe this is what God made me to do.

This is a series of articles spotlighting members of ASI’s Executive Board.

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New Mexico's Bronson Corn gets a call from his cowboy boot as part of a hypnotist act at the 2022 ASI Annual Convention in San Diego.

April 2022 • Sheep Industry News • 19

Guard Dog Contributors

CHARTER MEMBERS Juan & Carmen Amparan, Amparan Livestock, CA John & Nina Baucus, Sieben Ranch Co., MT Brad & Laurie Boner, M Diamond Angus Ranch, WY Stan & Ann Boyd, Boyd Livestock Services, ID J. Paul & Debra Brown, Reata, CO Bob & Mary Buchholz, Buchholz Ranch, TX Jeanne Carver, Imperial Stock Ranch/Shaniko Wool, OR Dan & Steve Chournos, Chournos, UT Colorado Wool Growers Association, CO John, Quinci & Florence Cubiburu, Cubiburu Livestock, CA Denis Ranch, TX John & Mary Eagle, Eagle Suffolks, ID Nancy East, DVM, Sheeprock Ranch, CA Ben & Stella Elgorriaga, Elgorriaga Livestock, CA Stephen & Lisa Elgorriaga, Bonita Land & Livestock, CA Henry & Kathy Etcheverry, Etcheverry Sheep, ID John & Laura Jo Faulkner, Faulkner Land & Livestock, ID Guy Flora, OH Paul & Marla Frischknecht, Frischknecht Livestock, UT Mike & Mary Ann Harper, Mike Harper Livestock, CO Jay, Jo, Jeff & Cindy Hasbrouck, Double J Lamb Feeders, CO John & Tom Helle, Helle Rambouillet, MT Ryan & Beatriz Indart, Indart Ranch, CA Frankie, Renee & Maria Luisa Iturriria, I & M Sheep, CA Aaron & Katie Jones, CF, MT Dave & Shannon Julian, Julian Land & Livestock, WY Clint & Maureen Krebs, Krebs Livestock, OR Skye & Penny Krebs, Krebs Sheep, OR Dean & Kathy Lamoreaux, Lamoreaux Sheep, UT David & Bonnie Little, Little Livestock, NV Jim Magagna, Magagna Brothers, WY Bob & Diane Malone, Lost Lake Ranch, TX Ken & Phyllis McKamey, McKamey Ranch, MT Jack & Kathryn McRae, McRae Brothers Targhees, MT Don Meike, Meike Ranch, WY WM Jr. & Sherie Goring, WF Goring & Son, UT Melchor & Karen Gragirena, El Tejon Sheep, CA Michael A. & Vicki Guerry, Guerry, ID Julie Hansmire, Campbell Hansmire Sheep, CO Robert & Lynn Harlan, Schoolbell Feeders, WY

Pierce & Betty Miller, VIP Ranch, TX Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers, MN

Mark & Lorin Moench, Thousand Peaks Ranches, UT WM Moore & Frankie Addington, WI Moore Ranch, WY Nevada Wool Growers Association, NV David & Roxie Niemi, Niemi Ranch, SD Elisabeth Noelke, Noelke Ranch, TX Mike, Kelly & Katy Nottingham, Nottingham Livestock, CO Jack & Cindy Orwick, Orwick Land, SD John, Diane, Tom, Cory & Jake Peavey, Flat Top Sheep, ID Brian & Gayenell Phelan, Superior Farms, CA Larry, Madge, Lane & Dawn Pilster, Pilster Ranch, MT Joe Pozzi, Joe Pozzi Livestock, CA Larry Prager, Center of Nation Wool, SD Steve, Toni, Andrew, Jorgiea & Zacharias Raftopoulos, Two Bar Sheep, CO Louis Schmidt, Schmidt Ranch, CO Frank Shirts Jr., ID WL & Jamie Strauss, Strauss Ranch, TX Art & Jill Swannack, Feustel Farms, WA Angelo, Karin, Anthony & Dani Theos, Theos Swallow Fork Ranch, CO Tom & Debra Thompson, Thompson Farms, CO Randy & Amanda Tunby, Tunby Ranch, MT Utah Wool Marketing Association, UT Gary & Lori Visintainer, Visintainer Sheep, CO Clark & Ruth Ann Webster, C & R Farms, UT Sandy & Brenda Webster, Sandy Webster Livestock Z, UT Western Range Association, ID Jeff, Cindy, & J.C. Siddoway, Siddoway Sheep, ID Jack Smith, Cedar Livestock Association, UT

SUPPORTING MEMBERS Arizona Wool Producers Association, AZ Joe & Carmen Auza, Auza Ranches, AZ Bob & Sherry Benson, IN

Brian & Carolyn Bitner, BRB Livestock, UT Jack & Lori Blattner, Blattner Suffolks, ID George Borkow & Marilyn Volpe, Sheep Ranch, ID Robert & Becky Boylan, Boylan Ranch, SD Vance Broadbent, JRB, WY James Brown, James Brown Law Office, MT Patrick & Ronna Burke, Burke Ranch, SD

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