PA Sheep and Wool Growers Regional Workshops Feb and March 2020

Details in pdf:  2020 Sheep Regional Training Workshops

Shepherd Workshops Sponsored by:   PA Sheep & Wool Growers Association, PennState Extension, American Sheep Industry and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

February 24th and 25th “Are My Sheep Making Me Money?” Join Dr. Richard Ehrhardt, Small Ruminant Extension Specialist at Michigan State University as he shares the MSU Lamb Profit Calculator and gain a better understanding of sheep production profitability. You’ll learn to take a critical look at your operation while evaluating the profit of marketing a lamb and how it relates back to the overall profit per ewe in your flock.

Dr. Ehrhardt will also discuss “Basic Principles to Improve Production Efficiency on Your Farm.” Learn how management decisions can alter your bottom line. Discussing methods to lower feed costs, labor investments, and production traits just to name a few.

South Eastern PA Monday, February 24, 2020 Lancaster Farm & Home Center 1381 Arcadia Road Lancaster, PA

North Eastern PA Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Columbia County Extension Office 702 Sawmill Road, Suite 102 Bloomsburg, PA

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March 3rd and 4th Join Brady Campbell, Program Coordinator for the Ohio State University Sheep Team as he presents, “Grazing Systems – Finding the Balance Between Nutrition and Parasite Management.” He has experience in sheep production, welfare, and behavior as well as alternative grazing systems and parasitology from the Wooster campus.

South Western PA Tuesday, March 3, 2020 Washington County Extension Office 100 West Beau Street, Suite 601 Washington, PA

North Western PA Wednesday, March 4, 2020 Mercer County Extension Office 463 North Perry Highway Mercer, PA

Heritage Sheep for Niche Production Brochure Availalble

Download a copy of the Livestock Conservancy’s new brochure on heritage sheep breeds from their website.

The brochure explains the benefits of raising heritage sheep and lists the sheep that are currently on the Livestock Conservancy’s endangered list.

Their website also provides a number of other useful tools for selecting the right breed for you.

Sheep

♦ List of Sheep Breeds
♦ Sheep Handling Videos
♦ Breed Comparison Chart
♦ Card Grading Protocols
♦ Heritage Sheep Brochure
♦ Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Challenge

Source:  https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/resources/internal/heritage-sheep

Cargill Recalls Animal Feeds Sold Under Southern States Brand

Cargill pulled a variety of animal feeds with excessive levels of aflatoxins from retail shelves from February through April 2019, but the company did not announce the action until this week.

Aflatoxin is a fungal toxin that commonly contaminates maize and other types of crops during production, harvest, storage or processing, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to aflatoxin is known to cause both chronic and acute liver damage in humans. People working with or eating contaminated feeds or foods are at risk of illness.

All 14 of the recalled products were sold under the Southern States brand.

“The affected products, which were manufactured and sold in the eastern United States, were removed from retail shelves throughout February, March, and April 2019. Livestock, horses and poultry exposed to aflatoxin are at risk of exposure to several health hazards,” according to the recall notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration.

The implicated feeds were manufactured at Cargill’s Cleveland, N.C., facility. The implicated products were recalled from retail outlets and distributors in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Consumers and other end users who have any of the affected lots in their possession are urged to return remaining product to their local dealers or retailers for a replacement or full refund. Consumers can call 800-822-1012 for additional information.
Source: FoodSafetyNews.com

 

Source: ASI WEEKLY May 10, 2019

Hidden Powers of a Sheep

Nice article in the winter issue of Craftsman Quarterly:

https://craftsmanship.net/the-hidden-powers-of-a-sheep/

Judith Schwartz writes about the people who are trying to turn around the near disappearance of American wool processing within the United States.  Ecological reasons for keeping sheep (they contribute to carbon sequestrian if pastures are managed correctly), natural dying,  and efforts to make  American wool products competitive (based on value not on cost) with Chinese products made from American wool.

Experience Wool Now on YouTube

The American Wool Council has provided fans of the all-natural fiber with a new way to Experience Wool through the creation of a YouTube page. The page currently hosts three videos produced by Brand Juice in the past year to market American wool to a wide variety of consumers.

The videos were shown on multiple occasions during the American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention last month in New Orleans, and can now be shared from the YouTube page by producers looking to promote American wool and its many benefits.

In The Luxurious Fiber, a narrator explains that the “Fabric designers choose first to achieve pure elegance, absolute luxury and unmatched style” is American wool.

The High Performance Fiber is aimed at more demanding users and offers, “There’s one time-tested, expedition-proven material you can count on. One fabric for four seasons. Experience the confidence of American wool.”

Natural and Sustainable promotes what might be the fiber’s greatest trait. “What this miracle becomes is infinitely remarkable, versatile, beautiful and in the end, sustainable.”

If you haven’t seen them yet, check out the videos. Share them with your friends, family and clients, and help the American Wool Council in promoting this natural, renewable, sustainable fiber that is perfect for any occasion in any season.

Access the YouTube Channel:   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFhONGmym_OM8ZWxPqw9Fag

For more information on American wool, visit AmericanWool.org or follow Experience Wool on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Source: ASI Weekly February 8, 2019

 

‘Shop local’ drives sales of American-made yarn

Source:  https://www.morningagclips.com/shop-local-drives-sales-of-american-made-yarn/

 

Livestock Conservancy Introduces New Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Wool Program

The Livestock Conservancy is hoping to preserve endangered sheep with its Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em program that encourages fiber artists to work with wool from rare sheep breeds.

Leicester Longwool

Genetic diversity is just one reason to preserve heritage sheep. Heritage breeds have survived through the ages because they are naturally hardy. Of particular interest to fiber artists are the different types of wool that each breed produces. Some have a softer wool that’s excellent for garments, while others have wool that’s more suited to making rugs. Some have white wool that takes well to dyes, while others come in a wide variety of natural colors and patterns.

The goal of Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em is to put fiber artists in contact with shepherds who produce wool from sheep on The Livestock Conservancy’s list of endangered livestock. When fiber artists register, they will receive a passport that includes a page of information for each breed. Each page will also include space to put a stamp after they purchase wool from a particular breed. There will be a Facebook group and a Ravelry group where members can share pictures of their projects. As fiber artists work their way through the breeds, they will receive prizes for completing projects and reaching various landmarks.

In addition to encouraging fiber artists to try rare wools, the program will also educate shepherds about how to prepare their wool for sale to fiber artists. By helping shepherds market their wool, they will become more financially stable, which helps ensure the future of the sheep.

When shepherds sell raw fleece from rare breeds directly to consumers, they can earn an average of $16 per pound on Etsy.  Fiber can also be sold to fiber artists at fiber festivals that are held around the country. By turning wool into roving, it can be sold to hand spinners or felters for an average of $44 per pound on Etsy, and if they take the extra step of having it spun into yarn, it averages $80 per pound.

More information about the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em  Challenge or about sheep breeds on the Conservation Priority List are available on the Livestock Conservancy website.

Source: ASI Weekly September 7, 2018

Youth Ambassador Program

The Garden State Sheep Breeders organization is proud to announce the introduction of the Garden State Sheep Breeders Youth Ambassador Program. Part of our  mission as stewards of the sheep community is to develop and grow our sheep leaders of tomorrow. The program’s goal is to empower the selected candidate with the knowledge, skills and aspirations necessary to develop them into an effective advocate for the Garden State Sheep Breeders. The program will seek to strengthen and expand upon the chosen candidate’s leadership abilities so that they may serve as a positive role model while promoting sheep, build meaningful relationships and support the sheep industry.

For details and an application see the Youth Ambassador Program page.

Natural Wool Biodegradable Caskets

Natural Wool Biodegradable Caskets

The Swaledale casket is made using pure virgin wool, supported on a strong recycled fibreboard frame. Wool is a fiber with a true “green” lineage that is both sustainable and biodegradable. The interior is generously lined with cotton and attractively edged in jute.

Independently tested and accredited for strength and weight bearing, the Swaledale’s unique design combines the highest environmental standards with an attractive and soft feel. Designed to differ from the traditional wooden casket, it offers a contemporary style with comfortable handling. The concept is completed with a personalized embroidered woolen name plate. All the materials used in the Swaledale casket are readily biodegradable and suitable for cremation and all types of burial.

A swarming, exotic tick species is now living year round in N.J.

An exotic species of tick that mysteriously appeared in New Jersey last year is now here to stay.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture announced Friday that the East Asian tick, also known as Longhorned tick or the bush tick, which was discovered on a Hunterdon County farm last year, has survived the winter.

“Ongoing surveillance continued during the winter and on April 17, 2018, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the Longhorned tick successfully overwintered in New Jersey and has possibly become established in the state,” it was stated in a news release.

Last summer, a farmer walked into the Hunterdon County health office covered in thousands of the ticks after she was shearing a 12-year-old Icelandic sheep named Hannah. Experts were called in to identify the tick which was not previously known to exist in the United States. The Department of Agriculture says it still does not know how the tick made its way to New Jersey.

The sheep has never traveled internationally and has rarely left Hunterdon County, according to Andrea Egizi, a tick specialist at the Monmouth County Tick-borne Disease Lab.

The longhorn tick. The larval and nymphal stages are difficult to observe with the naked eye. Larvae can be found from late summer to early winter. (Photo courtesy New Jersey Department of Agriculture)

When the incident was first reported, steps were taken to eradicate the insect from the farm by using a chemical wash on the sheep and removing tall grass where the they are known to dwell. The exact location of the farm and the identity of the sheep farmer is being withheld by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Although the ticks are known to carry diseases, such as spotted fever rickettsioses in other parts of the world, tests performed on the ticks and the farm animals were negative for diseases.

Local, state and federal animal health and wildlife officials, as well as Rutgers University – Center for Vector Biology, are working together to eliminate the ticks and stop them from spreading. Wildlife and livestock in the area will continue to be monitored throughout the year.

The ticks are known to swarm and infest deer and animals other than sheep, so the department is warning that it has the potential to infect other North American wildlife species. The ticks reproduce asexually by cloning themselves and just one of them is capable of laying thousands of eggs.

State and federal Department of Agriculture employees will be working with the public to determine if the tick has spread and to educate the public about protecting their livestock and pets from the pest.

The nymphs of the ticks are very small, resemble small spiders and are easy to miss, according to the Department of Agriculture. They are dark brown, about the size of a pea when full grown and can be found in tall grasses.

Authorities are asking people to contact the state veterinarian at 609-671-6400 if they see any unusual ticks on their livestock.

Unusual ticks detected in wildlife should be reported to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau or Wildlife Management at 908-637-4173, ext. 120.

Any questions about tick-borne illness in humans should be directed to local health departments or the New Jersey Department of Health at 609-826-5964.

Source: http://www.nj.com/hunterdon/index.ssf/2018/04/a_swarming_exotic_tick_species_now_dwells_in_nj.html#incart_river_index