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

Livestock Conservancy Shave Em to Save Em Campaign

Rules

Although not mentioned in the rules, providers (which must be Livestock Conservancy members) can not sell conservation breed wool that is not from their own animals (per correspondence with the Livestock Conservancy late 2018).

Fiber Artists:

This is a great program to help save rare breeds of sheep and also to learn more about the characteristics of their fiber.  Even if you don’t pursue the program you can search through our member listings to locate those near you who are raising rare breeds on the Livestock Conservancy lists.  By purchasing products from them you are also helping to preserve these rare breeds.  For a list of breeds see the next 2 links below.

Heritage Sheep Brochure – 2 pages, lists breeds included

Heritage Sheep Breeds List by Conservation Priority Status (annually updated web page)

Flyer for Providers Promoting Program to Fiber Artists

 

For full info see the Livestock Conservancy website:  http://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/involved/internal/SE2

 

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/

 

Wool Eases Eczema Symptoms

A new study has confirmed that wearing superfine Merino wool helps ease the symptoms of eczema and improves the wearer’s quality of life.

Professor Joe Fowler at Dermatology Specialists Research in Louisville, Ky., undertook this two-year study assessing the effect of Merino base-layer fabrics on 50 of his patients with mild-to-moderate eczema.

Using a cross-over design, participants were placed in two groups. The first group was dressed in their regular clothing for six weeks and then changed to superfine Merino wool garments. The second group began with the superfine Merino wool for six weeks and then crossed over to their regular clothing for the final six weeks. Each patient undertook an initial visit to establish their baseline condition, followed by regular visits until completion of the study. They were assessed for clinical, physiological and quality of life outcome measures.

Significant decreases in eczema symptoms from Baseline to Week Three were seen in both groups. However, those who switched to Merino wool at Week Six experienced a further significant decrease in symptoms, in contrast to those who switched to regular clothing. Further, “it was only when Merino wool was worn that improved quality of life scores occurred,” Fowler said.

“I still wear the [wool] clothing, even though I’ve finished the study,” one participant said. “I’m super sensitive about clothing and never keep any that are not comfortable.”

Another participant commented, “I could feel it working, my skin got softer and I wear [wool] now when my skin needs help.”

 

Source: ASI Weekly November 9, 2018

Full Article: https://www.iwto.org/news/us-study-confirms-wool-benefits-to-skin

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. 

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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.

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
 

Webinar Addresses Going Live on Social Media

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance will offer a free webinar entitled How and When to Go Live on Social Channels on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. mountain daylight time.

In recent months, the major social channels have all launched live features where users can stream live video straight from their phone, tablet or desktop. In this month’s webinar, USFRA will examine various social channels’ live offerings, and go through when and how to “go live” on each channel.

To register, visit https://events-na2.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/918476373/en/events/event/shared/1010560431/event_landing.html?sco-id=1092837511&_charset_=utf-8.