Breed Display Exhibitors Finalized with 2 New Breeds

This year we will have 2 breeds that haven’t been displayed at our Festival in prior years: Scottish Blackface and Valais Blacknose!

The Valais Blacknose is new to the US and the sheep on display (courtesy of Stone Manor Farm) is the 1st in NJ!  Freddie is an F1 wether (50% Scottish Blackface, 50% Valais Blacknose) born this year and part of the Breed Up program in the US.  Scottish Blackface sheep are first preference for use in the program as they were one of the breeds used originally to develop the Valais Blacknose (Leister Longwool and Lincoln are 2nd and 3rd preference breeds for the program).   Since animals can’t be imported to the US, semen from Blacknose sheep in other countries (Europe) is used on US Scottish Blackface ewes to produce a  hybrid.  After 5 generations the resulting sheep are 97% Valais Blacknose.

F1 (50% Valais)
F2 (75% Valais)
F3 (88% Valais)
F4 (94% Valais)
F5 (97% Valais)

 

Valais Blacknose Sheep Introduced in North America 

 

 

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.

Columbia Association Announces Video Contest

“Youth in the sheep industry can combine current technology with their passion for Columbia sheep,” says Sara Hildebrandt, President of the Columbia Sheep Breeders Association of America. “It is why the CSBA is sponsoring a program for youth to create videos of their Columbia sheep operation. We are in a day and age where it is easy to take video with the phone in their pocket when they go to the barn. Getting them to promote Columbias and combine this with technology is a progressive thing to do for the sheep industry.”

The program – a first for the association – has at its core the purpose to produce video suitable for public viewing on YouTube and Columbiasheep.org related to Columbia sheep.

Divisions and premiums are the following:

  • Promotion of the breed
  • Promotion of lamb and/or wool
  • Promotion of your own operation

Prizes in each category are $100 for first place, $75 for second place, $50 for third place, $40 for fourth place and $30 for fifth place.

To qualify to win, submissions from junior members only are to be in the form of a link to the video on YouTube, in the form of an iMovie, or .mpg file submitted by midnight EST on June 10, 2019, to dkloostra@gmail.com. Multiple submissions are allowed and all video must be original work of the junior member.

To learn more go to www.columbiasheep.org for rules and judging information.

All videos become the property of the Columbia Sheep Breeders’ Association upon submission. Timing of the contest began with the kick-off at the National Junior Columbia Sheep Association Show in Gillette, Wyo., on June 14 and ends with final judging in June 2019, prior to the 2019 National Columbia Sheep Show and Sale.

“This contest provides junior members the opportunity to showcase so many more diverse aspects of their creativity and talents along with their love for Columbia sheep,” says Manda Geerts, coordinator for the Junior Columbia Association. “We hope juniors blow us away with what we will see and hear.”

From: ASI Weekly June 22, 2018

International Heritage Breeds Week 2018 – Giving Rare Breeds their Jobs Back

Pittsboro, NC, USA  [17 May 2018] – Nearly one in five of the world’s farm animal breeds are at risk of extinction1. The reason? They’re underemployed.

For thousands of years, farmers have carefully bred and raised diverse animals perfectly suited to their corners of the world. These animals are well adapted to local environments and are designed to produce products that meet the needs of local communities. But over the past century, farming in many parts of the world has evolved into highly specialized operations designed to produce as much meat, milk, eggs, fiber, or other products as quickly as possible in order to maximize efficiency. For example, in 1927, the average American Holstein milk cow produced less than 4,500 pounds of milk per year. In 2017, she produced just shy of 23,000 pounds of milk² – more than five times that of just 90 years ago!

While numbers like these are impressive, placing too much emphasis on productivity sometimes leads to traits like drought tolerance, parasite resistance, mothering abilities, fertility, foraging instincts, and even flavor being diminished. Meanwhile, the populations of many slower growing but still incredibly valuable “Heritage” breeds have crashed. Livestock like Wiltshire Horn sheep, Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs, and Oberhasli goats can’t keep up and have now found themselves on endangered lists of conservation organizations around the world. Although Heritage livestock and poultry may not be as efficient as mainstream breeds, they are important sources for valuable genetics and traits, protecting them from being lost. In addition to animals known for food and fiber, rare equines have seen sharp declines, particularly over the past decade. But there is still hope!

20-26 May 2018 has been designated by fifteen livestock conservation organizations around the world as International Heritage Breeds Week to raise awareness about the status of rare farm animals, highlight examples of how they are still relevant to family farms, and bring choice to the marketplace. Breeds like Leicester Longwool sheep, Caspian horses, Tamworth pigs, Aylesbury ducks, Silver rabbits, Spanish chickens, and more than 1,400 other breeds worldwide need our help.

What’s the best way to support these breeds? By giving them a job! Many livestock conservation organizations have compiled directories to help consumers locate products from breeds historically used in their local regions. By purchasing eggs from Heritage chickens, pork from Heritage pigs, milk from Heritage cattle, or wool from Heritage sheep, you encourage farmers to raise more animals, and can discover the difference in the kitchen and on the loom for yourself. According to acclaimed French chef and proponent of Heritage breeds Antoine Westermann “An animal who has pure roots, the life, and food he deserves, offers it back to us in his meat.” By establishing their spot in the marketplace, biodiversity for these Heritage breedsis secured.

To learn more about International Heritage Breeds Week, how you can get involved, and where to locate Heritage breed products in your local area, visit HeritageBreedsWeek.org or call +1 (919) 542-5704. 

###

Once a breed goes extinct, its genetics are lost to history – genetics that farmers may need in the future to combat outbreaks of disease, a changing climate, or genetic issues that arise from livestock being too closely related to each other. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one domesticated livestock breed is lost every month.¹

Sources:
¹ FAO. (2015). The Second Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Retrieved from www.fao.org/3/a-i4787e.pdf
² USDA- National Agricultural Statistics Service (2018). Retrieved from https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Todays_Reports/reports/mlkpdi18.pdf

Participating Organizations

 

 


Ryan Walker
Marketing & Communications Manager
The Livestock Conservancy™
​rwalker@LivestockConservancy.org
M: PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312
P: (919) 542-5704 ext. 102

Editor’s Note:

Images of heritage breeds available for download at: https://tinyurl.com/ycjd5mdf
Interviews available upon request.

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

Scrapie Program Update – Samples Needed for State Sampling Quota

At the most recent General Meeting Dr. Linda Detwiler provided an update on the USDA scrapie program and the need for collecting samples from Sheep that are over 18 months old that die in order to meet the state sampling quota. Owners that allow for samples to be collected will be eligible for the free scrapie tags with your farm’s assigned premise ID. The importance of this program can not be overstated. If we are able to collect enough data from the scrapie monitoring program over the next few years, we may be able to declare the U.S. scrapie free which would open up a number of opportunities for U.S. Sheep producers.

From APHIS website:

Since slaughter surveillance stared in FY 2003, the percent of cull sheep found positive at slaughter (once adjusted for face color) has decreased 90 percent. However, in order to declare the U.S. “scrapie free”, we must be able to prove to the world that we have conducted testing in all sheep and goat populations. This is why your submission of samples from sheep/goats over 18 months of age found dead or euthanized on your farm is extremely important. Without your help, we will not be able to declare the US free of scrapie, costing the sheep and goat industries approximately $10 to $20 million, annually.

 

Information below is from the US APHIS website.

Instructions for collecting and submitting samples.

Whole Head Packing Procedures

 

Also see:

National Scrapie Eradication Program

 

Premier 1 Acquires Pipestone Sheep Unit

Premier 1 Supplies, LLC, announced that it has acquired the Sheep Business Unit from Pipestone Veterinary Services, PLC, a Minnesota-based company. The Sheep Business Unit was responsible for providing practical healthcare and nutrition knowledge to sheep producers throughout the United States, including a wide array of small ruminant feeds and supplements. The purchase will better serve the needs of Premier’s sheep and goat customers across the United States and Canada.

The asset purchase of Pipestone’s Sheep Business Unit fits into Premier’s strategy to advance the sheep industry through an education-first approach. Premier will provide its customers with access to Pipestone’s small ruminant veterinarians as well as other on-staff experts including Dr. Dan Morrical, a retired sheep specialist from Iowa State University. Dr. Morrical was responsible for ISU’s educational programs in all areas of sheep production, ranging from nutrition, genetics, marketing and management.

“The acquisition of Pipestone’s Sheep Business Unit complements our existing sheep and goat supply business. We can now provide a wider range of services – from sheep care to nutrition to field-tested products. This investment represents a win-win for customers,” said Ben Rothe, chief executive officer of Premier 1 Supplies. “The acquisition will allow us to provide programs, knowledge and assistance to sheep producers at a time when many university sheep extension programs are downsizing.”

“Pipestone is thrilled to team with a company that shares the same passion for helping sheep producers as we have had for the past 75 years,” said Hannah Walkes, president of Pipestone. “We view this as a tremendous opportunity to bring an even greater level of service and commitment to producers via an expansion of the Shepherd’s Club combined with Premier’s reach in the industry.”

Source: ASI Weekly April 13, 2018

Valais Blacknose Sheep Introduced in North America 

March 23, 2018

The Valais Blacknose Sheep Association of North America announces the successful launch of a “breed up program” for introducing the breed to North America. The first generation of lambs are being born in 2018.

For centuries, the Valais Blacknose sheep were found only in Switzerland on the remote snow-covered peaks of Valais. Although the sheep are believed to have existed since the 15th century, it became a breed recognized by the Swiss Sheep Breeding Association in the mid 1960’s as the Walliser Schwarznasen or Valais Blacknose because of its unique markings. Several hundred were exported to the United Kingdom in 2014. The breed’s wool is considered ideal for carpets, bedding and felting.

The Blacknose Sheep Association of North America was formed in 2017 to support the introduction of the breed to the United States and record the offspring of the breed up programs already in progress.

For more information, on how to purchase the frozen semen of the Valais Blacknose Sheep, as well as general information on the breed, contact the Teton Blacknose Sheep Company at info@tetonvalas.comwww.tetonvalais.com or 561-309-1402.

Source: American Sheep Industry (ASI) https://www.sheepusa.org/Newsmedia_WeeklyNewsletter_2018_March_March232018_ValaisBlacknoseSheepIntroducedInNorthAmerica

 

 

Valais Blacknose Sheep Introduced in North America

http://valaisblacknosesheepsociety.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/image11.jpeg

The Valais Blacknose Sheep Association of North America announces the successful launch of a “breed up program” for introducing the breed to North America. The first generation of lambs are being born in 2018.

For centuries, the Valais Blacknose sheep were found only in Switzerland on the remote snow-covered peaks of Valais. Although the sheep are believed to have existed since the 15th century, it became a breed recognized by the Swiss Sheep Breeding Association in the mid 1960’s as the Walliser Schwarznasen or Valais Blacknose because of its unique markings. Several hundred were exported to the United Kingdom in 2014. The breed’s wool is considered ideal for carpets, bedding and felting.

The Blacknose Sheep Association of North America was formed in 2017 to support the introduction of the breed to the United States and record the offspring of the breed up programs already in progress.

For more information, on how to purchase the frozen semen of the Valais Blacknose Sheep, as well as general information on the breed, contact the Teton Blacknose Sheep Company at info@tetonvalas.com, www.tetonvalais.com or 561-309-1402.

 

Article Source: ASI Weekly March 23, 2018

Photo Source: http://valaisblacknosesheepsociety.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/image11.jpeg