Targhee Association to Award Starter Flock

Correction: Targhee Starter Flock Program

A news item in last week’s ASI Weekly about the Targhee Starter Flock contained outdated information. We apologize for the error, and offer the correct information on the program as follows.

The U.S. Targhee Sheep Association will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Starter Flock Program by again offering a free registered Targhee Starter flock to a deserving youth at the 2018 USTSA National Show & Sale in Miles City, Mon., on July 12-14. The winner must be present to receive the flock and will be awarded one ewe lamb, one yearling ewe and one brood ewe donated by members of the USTSA. Each animal will be a USTSA registered animal, and at least QR in Scrapie Codon 171 genotype. The winner will also receive a $150 credit for use toward purchase of additional animals at the 2018 sale.

Applications are due April 1, and now available to download at www.ustargheesheep.org or by contacting Mardy Rutledge at the USTSA office (ustargheesheep@gmail.com or 702-292-5715). Any young person, ages 9-17, as of Jan. 1, 2018, whose family does not raise Targhee sheep may apply. Applicants should possess a keen interest in the U.S. sheep industry, commitment to raising Targhee sheep over time, and a firm belief in the abilities of the breed. Applicants must demonstrate proof of care, facilities and transportation. Aside from receiving the flock of sheep, the winning youth will be paired with a Targhee breeder living near them who will act as a mentor.
Source: ASI Weekly March 16, 2018


Below – Original Note from March 8

The U.S. Targhee Sheep Association is offering a free registered Targhee starter flock to be awarded to a deserving youth, ages 9-17, at the USTSA National Show and Sale in Brookings, S.D., on July 15-16.

The winner must be present to receive the flock and will be awarded one ewe lamb, one yearling ewe and one brood ewe donated by members of the USTSA. Each animal will be a USTSA-registered animal and have tested at least a QR in Scrapie Codon 171 genotype. The winner will also receive a $150 credit for use toward the purchase of additional animals at the sale.

Applications are due April 1 and are available to download at ustargsheep.org or by contacting Tracie Roeder at the USTSA office at 406-467-2462. Applicants should possess a keen interest in the U.S. sheep industry, commitment to raising Targhee sheep over time and a firm belief in the abilities of the breed. Aside from receiving the flock of sheep, the winning youth will be paired with a Targhee breeder living near them who will act as a mentor.


Source: ASI Weekly March 9, 2018

Soil Health Enables Climate Beneficial Wool

Rancher Benefits in Multiple Ways from Soil Health

What if, before you purchased a hat or sweater, you knew the wool used to make it came from sheep raised on a ranch managed to improve soil health and increase soil carbon? For nearly a decade, ranch owner Lani Estill has worked with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to improve soil health.

By adding carbon-conscious conservation practices to her ranch, the operation now stores more carbon in the soil than it emits through its operations. As a result, her operation, Bare Ranch, is marketing “climate beneficial” wool to a national clothing manufacturer. Estill and her family raise sheep and cattle on her 40,000-acre ranch, which sits on the border of northern California and northwest Nevada.

With help from her local NRCS offices and supported by Environmental Quality Incentives Program contracts, Estill has also improved wildlife habitat on her ranch. She improved sage grouse habitat by removing thousands of acres of invasive juniper and installed hedgerows for pollinators. She and her co-owners also installed fencing and livestock watering facilities and are following a prescribed grazing management plan.

Read the full story at www.usda.gov/blog.

Source: ASI Weekly March 9, 2018

ASI 2018 Annual Convention Presentations

ASI Annual Convention Presentations Available

Most of the presentations given at the 2018 Annual Convention in San Antonio are now available online in a pdf format. To view the available presentations, go to

2018 ASI Convention Presentations

Wednesday Executive Board Meeting

Why is Now the Ideal Time to Expand On-farm OPPv Eradication 
Dr. Cindy Wolf, ASI Animal Health Committee

Thursday State Executives/Contacts Meeting

Tri-Lamb Young Leader Update 
Karissa Maneotis, Tri-Lamb Young Leader

Thursday Genetic Stakeholders Committee

Genetic Stakeholder Committee Update 
Tomy Boyer and Dr. Ron Lewis

Thursday Animal Health

National Scrapie Eradication Program Update 
Dr. Diane Sutton, USDA/APHIS

Mycoplasma Ovis Research 
Dr. Maggie Highland, USDA/ARS

Research Updates on Malignant Catarrhal Fever 
Dr. Cristina Cunha, USDA/ARS

Footvax Use in the United States 
Erica Sanko, California Wool Growers Association

Innovations in Parasite Research 
Dr. Joan Burke, USDA/ARS

Thursday National Sheep Improvement Program

Update and Panel 
Dr. Ron Lewis, Dr. Jason Osterstock, Ben Pjesar and Micah Wells

Thursday Production, Education, and Research Council

Range and Animal Science Research in Texas 
Dr. John Walker, Texas AgriLife

NWRC – Predator Research Facility Update – Livestock Working Dogs 
Dr. Julie Young, USDA/APHIS/WS

National Wildlife Resource Center Update 
Dr. Larry Clark, USDA/APHIS/WS

Evaluation of Three Maternal Lines Under Pasture Management 
Dr. Brad Freking, USDA/MARC

Thursday Wool Council

Marketing and Technical Services Update 
Roy Kettlewell, ASI Wool Consultant

Update on Marketing Wool Domestically and Internationally 
Goetz Giebel, ASI Wool Consultant

Raw Wool Services Update 
Dr. Lisa Surber, ASI Wool Consultant

Friday Lamb Council

Nourish With Lamb – 2018 Nutrition Education Program 
Megan Wortman and Allison Beadle

Lamb Market Outlook 
David Anderson, Texas AgriLife

Update on Mandatory Price Reporting 
Erica Sanko, California Wool Growers Association

Defining “Lamb” Maturity 
Dr. Travis Hoffman, North Dakota State University

Friday Wool Council and Wool Roundtable

Report on Wool Marketing and Trends 
Goetz Giebel, ASI Wool Consultant

Wool: From Fiber to Fashion 
Roy Kettlewell, ASI Wool Consultant

American Wool in the 2018 Olympics 
Jeanne Carver, Imperial Stock Ranch

Responsibility in Wool Production Update 
Dr. Lisa Surber, ASI Wool Consultant

USDA-AMS Wool Market Update 
Chris Dias, USDA-AMS, LPGMN Reporter

Feast and Famine: The Situation and Prospect of the World Wool Market 
Chris Wilcox, Poimena Analysis

ASI Market News App 
Chris Dias, USDA-AMS, LPGMN Reporter

Friday Let’s Grow

GM1 Sheep Production for Huntington’s Disease
Larry and Sue Holler, Dakota Lamb Producers

Friday Young Entrepreneurs Meeting

Pelt and Byproduct Values 
Erica Sanko, California Wool Growers Association

Friday Board of Directors Informational Session

Retailers Expectations of Lamb 
Brad Graham, Mountain States Rosen

ASI Legislative Update 
Jim Richards, Cornerstone Government Affairs

Feed Your Adventurous Side 
Chairman Jim Percival, American Lamb Board

Cost of Production Comparison and Economic Tools for Sheep 
Bridger Fuez, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Wyoming Extension

Wool: The “New” Performance Fiber 
Roy Kettlewell, ASI Wool Consultant

Saturday Board of Directors Meeting

Let the Good Times Roll? Global Situation and Outlook for Sheep Meat and Wool 
Chris Wilcox, Poimena Analysis

Wool Marketing Worldwide 
Goetz Giebel, ASI Wool Consultant

Untapped Crop Insurance Opportunities for Ranchers 
Brandon Willis and Burdell Johnson

Update on Let’s Grow! Program 
Susan Schultz, Let’s Grow Committee Chair

ASI Wool Council Update 
Ken Wixom, ASI Wool Council Chair

Production, Research and Education Council Update 
Jimmy Parker, PERC Co-Chair

National Sheep Industry Improvement Center 
Steve Lee, Executive Director, NSIIC

Ohio State Extension Rebuilds Sheep Team Blog

Shepherds now have a place to find all the latest information on sheep production, industry research conducted at Ohio State, and daily management tips. The recently rebuilt The Ohio State University Extension Sheep Team blog page can be found at http://u.osu.edu/sheep/.

The site is managed by Sheep Team Program Coordinator Brady Campbell and includes contributions from the more than 25 Ohio State faculty and staff who each have unique interests in sustaining the sheep industry. Once at the site, readers will find current management information, a listing of upcoming events, research summaries and a library of resources.

Women Shearers Featured in Vogue

“I was always acutely aware that there were less women shearers,” photographer Nich Hance McElroy said of photographing women shearers up and down the West Coast for Vogue. But last year, when he began shearing on commercial crews for a shearer and sheep rancher named Robert Irwin, McElroy noticed more and more women working on flocks – many who Irwin actively recruited. Some were already farmers or gardeners themselves, some were tech professionals in the Bay Area with a back-to-the-land mind-set, some were part-time knitters who wondered why it was next to impossible to find local wool. McElroy began photographing them, too.

“I really think, going forward, it’s going to be women doing farm work,” Irwin told me recently by phone from California. “The last five years or so, teaching guys to do this stuff, a lot of them just don’t have the mentality of waking up and thinking to themselves, ‘I’m going to get better at this.’ The women do. They’re more apt to stick with this; they’re more detail-oriented; they’re tougher.”

Read the story at https://www.vogue.com/projects/13535219/women-sheep-shearers-california-oregon-photographs-nich-mcelroy/.

APHIS No Longer Providing Free Plastic Scrapie Tags

To support animal disease traceability and scrapie eradication efforts, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has provided both metal and plastic ear tags and applicators to sheep and goat producers – at no cost – since fiscal year 2002.

After a funding reduction in FY 2012, APHIS used specific, no-year funding (for scrapie and ADT) to continue purchasing the tags and distributing them free of cost to producers. These no-year funds were exhausted in fiscal year 2017. While the Agency remains committed to ADT efforts, beginning Oct. 1 of this year, APHIS is providing only metal tags free of charge to producers and others who handle sheep and goats. Plastic tags and applicators for metal and plastic tags will remain available for purchase directly from approved tag manufactures.

These changes will reduce APHIS tag and applicator costs while still providing sheep and goat producers with a free identification device. APHIS will provide a limited number of plastic tags to producers newly enrolled in the Scrapie Free Flock Certification Program who submit tissues for scrapie surveillance in order to encourage on-farm scrapie surveillance.

The agency will continue to work closely in partnership with states and industry to achieve scrapie eradication.

For more information on how to purchase tags and applicators, visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/scrapie-tags.
Note: The American Sheep Industry Association and other stakeholder groups continue to work with USDA on alternatives to this new policy, including increasing the appropriations designated to the scrapie eradication program.

PA Extension to host farm marketing program Dec. 8

Penn State Extension along with Buy Fresh, Buy Local Greater Lehigh Valley to host session

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Farmers who have been selling direct to consumers via farmers markets and/or CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) have noticed a shift in those market channels. For the last few years, farmers markets and CSAs have been stagnant and in some cases shrinking. Are there other market channel opportunities for farmers? Are there techniques we can use to improve customer retention? What are the current trends in local food we can capitalize on?

Penn State Extension along with Buy Fresh, Buy Local Greater Lehigh Valley will host an “Intensive Marketing” program at the Nurture Nature Center, 518 Northampton Street, Easton, Pa., on Dec. 8.

Nick Burton, State of The Soil, Simon Huntley, Small Farm Central and Marilyn Anthony from Temple University Fox School of Business will help to improve and sharpen our marketing skills for this day-long workshop.

Registration and detailed information to follow soon. For more information contact Brian Moyer at 610-391-9840 or email at bfm3@psu.edu.

— Penn State Extension

Source: https://www.morningagclips.com/extension-to-host-farm-marketing-program-dec-8/

Northeast SARE Invites Farmer Grant Applications

Proposals are due online by Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The call for applications for 2018 Farmer Grants has been released by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program.

Proposals are due online by Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Funded projects will be announced in March 2018 and projects may begin in the spring.

Northeast SARE Farmer Grants are intended for farm business owners and managers who would like to explore new sustainable production and marketing practices—often through an experiment, trial or on-farm demonstration. Reviewers look for innovation, potential for improved sustainability, and results that will be useful to other farmers.

Awards are capped at $15,000 and projects may address the wide range of issues that affect farming in the Northeast. To search topics that SARE has previously funded, please access the national database of projects at: https://projects.sare.org/search-projects/.

Applicants must work with a technical advisor—typically a Cooperative Extension educator, NRCS staff, university research or extension specialist, private crop consultant, veterinarian, or other service provider—who serve the farmer applicant in a consulting capacity.

Application materials, including detailed instructions and supporting documents, are posted on the Northeast SARE website at http://www.northeastsare.org. Questions about the grants program should be directed to northeastsare@uvm.edu.

The Northeast SARE region is made up of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Northeast SARE programs are offered to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

—Northeast SARE

Source:  https://www.morningagclips.com/northeast-sare-invites-farmer-grant-applications/

NJDA Announces Farm to School Mini Grants

$10,000 in grant money available to enhance Jersey Fresh Farm To School programs

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher has announced $10,000 in competitive mini grants is available to schools or school districts for the purpose of developing Farm to School activities in New Jersey schools. The grant money can be used for the purchase of materials to support school gardens that grow fruits or vegetables, the cost to transport and pay for class trips to New Jersey farms, or the purchase of cafeteria salad bars that will increase the offering of fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals.

“The Farm to School program is a wonderful way for students of all ages to become engaged in activities that help them learn and appreciate more about fruits and vegetables and where they come from,” Secretary Fisher said. “Farm to School programs enhance what already takes place in the classroom and educate students about food and farming.”

Funds have been made available through legislation signed into law in 2014, which allows contributions to the New Jersey Farm to School Program through the Farm to School and School Garden Fund tax check-off. Additional legislation signed in 2014 created the Farm to School Donor Fund, making it possible for private donations to supplement Farm to School activities in the state. Mini grant applications will be open until Dec. 15.

More than 100 types of fruits and vegetables are grown in the Garden State. Opportunities exist for New Jersey farmers to provide agricultural products to school food service departments throughout and beyond the growing season. The object of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias is to improve student nutrition and help students make lifelong, healthy choices.

Farm to School Programs also include school garden activities that teach students where food comes from by growing it themselves. Students benefit by learning the science behind farming and the nutritional value of fresh produce to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the environment and supporting local farmers. Educators can use school garden programs to teach any subject — math, science, language arts, health and nutrition, art or social studies. In New Jersey, Farm to School Programs promote and create a sense of community for all involved.

A school or school district may apply for a mini grant on behalf of a school(s) that:

  • Currently participates and administers, in good standing, the USDA National School Lunch Program
  • Provides an explanation of how these funds will be utilized to increase Farm to School activities throughout the intended grant period
  • Submits a Letter of Support from the school Principal Administrator stating support for these efforts

For more information on mini grants click here and for information about the New Jersey Farm to School Program, visit www.farmtoschool.nj.gov.

Source: https://www.morningagclips.com/njda-announces-farm-to-school-mini-grants/


South Jersey’s largest sheep farm isn’t where you think it is

Near luxury homes, a Moorestown site raises stock for breeding, wool, and market lambs.


DAVID MAIALETTI/ Staff Photographer

Charlene Carlisle and her husband, Kenny, pose with their lambs and sheep at Little Hooves Farm, which has a flock of about 300, in Moorestown, N.J.


In the middle of a fast-developing town known for its desirable zip code is a sheep farm believed to be the largest in South Jersey – and you wouldn’t know it’s there.

Little Hooves farm in Moorestown is where a flock of 300 sheep and lambs thrive mostly out of sight, inside three sprawling dairy barns that decades ago held cows. The sheep have been there for more than a dozen years. Sometimes they can be seen on pastures that border a two-lane country road that’s gradually becoming less peaceful.

The farm is among the last in Moorestown.  One reason sheep farms survive is the state’s ethnic diversity, which drives a demand for the meat, state agriculture experts say.  Muslims, Orthodox Greeks, Hispanics, and some Middle East and Asian immigrant communities favor market lamb — especially during the Easter season and other religious holidays.

“Easter is one of our peak times. But it keeps going with Orthodox Easter, Muslim holidays, and even the Fourth of July, when people can roast lamb on a spit or a grill,” said Charlene Carlisle, a part-time intensive-care nurse at Virtua Hospital who operates the Little Hooves farm off Centerton Road.

Nationwide, sheep inventory has been declining for decades, but New Jersey is enjoying a small uptick.  The state had nearly 15,000 sheep in 2012 and was ranked fifth in the nation in the production of market lamb and mutton in 2015, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture figures. Pennsylvania, however, had a decrease in market sheep in 2015.

 DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Sheep gather in one of the fields at Little Hooves in Moorestown.

Little Hooves has carved out a niche in Moorestown while other farms have disappeared. But across the street, workers for Toll Brothers hammer away at a new development of luxury homes, the Mews at Laurel Creek.  The 250-acre farm has an executive office campus on one side and community gardens on the other.

This time of year, the farm contributes to the bustle.

Consumers can buy market lambs and wool products directly from the doorstep of the farm or from the nearby Burlington County Farmers Market.

Carlisle tends to the animals, while her husband, Kenneth, grows mostly hay, soybeans, and corn on the acres they lease from the county under a farmland preservation program, and from several landowners.

“I don’t require much sleep,” she said, laughing. Carlisle also said sheep are “fairly easy” to raise since they only need to be fed twice a day.

Carlisle says the new focus on farm-to-fork and fresh, locally produced meats and vegetables has also helped their business grow.  “There’s definitely an increased interest with people wanting to feel connected, wanting to know where their food comes from,” she said, noting she doesn’t give her sheep any hormones.

She sells market lambs to restaurants and to consumers at the farmers market.

The farm also sells prize-winning sheep for breeding and for so-called gentleman’s farms that use small flocks of sheep to get tax breaks.

 DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
The Carlisles raise sheep for breeding, wool, and market lambs.

The Carlisles have been farming at this Moorestown site for 30 years, including more than a decade when the couple worked for the Winner dairy farm, which once had 400 Holstein cows on the property.  Now, they raise only sheep, which Carlisle described as more pleasing to residential neighbors who have moved into the area.  “There is less smell and manure, since sheep poop is like rabbit poop,” she said.

Carlisle also markets wool, yarn, and pelts online.

“We’re probably the largest sheep farm around except for the one in North Jersey,” she said.  That farm, Valley Shepherd Creamery, in Long Valley, Morris County, has about 500 milking sheep used in a commercial cheese operation.

Nationwide, there were about eight million sheep and lambs in 1997, and only about 5.3 million this year due partly to decreased demand.  In 1997, New Jersey had 12,900 sheep, and 14,900 by 2012, on 819 farms.

The majority of those farms had fewer than 25 sheep and lambs.  Only a dozen had more than 100.

Among the smaller ones is the Square Key Farm in Pedricktown, Salem County, which has about 70 sheep and lambs.  “I focus on meat lambs that look nice on the table,” said Ed Hall Jr., the owner.  He supplies a few Philadelphia and Delaware restaurants and sells directly to customers who then take the animals to a butcher.

“I’m not struggling, because it’s a unique market,” Hall said.  There also are challenges.  Hall won’t be able to capitalize on the Easter market this year because his ram became sterile and his lambs were born too late.  “I’m not rich, but I’m paying my bills and I’m happy and doing well,” he said.

Dan Wunderlich, a New Jersey Department of Agriculture livestock specialist, said the state had the distinction of being fifth in the nation in the number of sheep and lambs that were slaughtered in 2015 in federally inspected facilities and then marketed.  There were 126,000 market sheep in that category, up 5 percent from the previous year.

That number, the latest available, represents sheep raised in the state for meat along with those imported from other states.

New Jersey “has the market, and the population, and ethnic diversity and relies on Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and Maryland for a supply of live animals,” Wunderlich said.

In 2015, Pennsylvania processed only 61,100 sheep for meat, a 15 percent decrease from the previous year, the USDA reported.  Wunderlich said that state likely exports many of its sheep to states like New Jersey that have the diversity and the customers.

Currently, New Jersey has 13 federally inspected sheep and lamb meat processing facilities.  Catelli Brothers in Camden is among them.

Wunderlich said a growing number of farmers also deal directly with consumers, who may take the animals to butchers or a non-regulated facility.  Muslims sometimes purchase the lambs and take them to a special halal butcher.

 As for wool products, Wunderlich said they provide “less of a boon” because consumers often purchase synthetics and washable fabrics.

Carlisle said her wool is sold mostly to consumers interested in warm blankets and others interested “in getting back to natural fibers.”

She said the county farmers market, which opened about 10 years ago, also has helped give her business a financial boost. It is open only on Saturdays, in the summer.

“It gives us a way to educate the public,” she said.

Source: https://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/New-Jersey-Sheep-farmers-Easter-immigrants-lamb-Moorestown.html