American Lamb Board
(Previously published in the ASI Weekly Newsletter – September 6, 2019)
Outcomes from the inaugural American Lamb Summit were clear: all segments of the industry need to further improve lamb quality to keep and attract new customers and become more efficient to recapture market share from imported lamb. Yet, it was just as clear that production technologies and product research put industry success within grasp.
“I have never been so enthusiastic about our industry’s opportunities, but we just can’t allow ourselves to be complacent or accept status quo,” said Dale Thorne, American Lamb Board chairman, a sheep producer and feeder from Michigan. Thorne stressed, “the end-game is profitability for all aspects of our industry.” Continue reading →
In a continually changing society, today’s consumer is much different in the way they make purchasing decisions when compared to their parents, especially when it comes to the meat case. Go ahead, list some examples of the marketing strategies you have seen at your local and chain retail grocery stores. Labels such as organic, pasture raised, and no hormones added are just a few. As an example, I’m sure that many of you are familiar with Certified Angus Beef, but have you heard of their new line – Certified Angus Beef Brand Natural? Natural. A simple word that appeals and resonates with some many people. These beef products follow the same 10 specs that all beef must achieve in order to be marketed as Certified Angus Beef in addition to no antibiotics or added hormones. I understand the concept behind the label, consumers are looking for a wholesome, natural product that is raised in a manner in which we have reduced the use of antibiotics, thus decreasing the potential for the development of antibiotic resistance.
In the same breath, according to a 2017 USDA survey, approximately 12% of American households remain food insecure. This figure increases Continue reading →
Shepherd, mother, wife, and blogger, Sandi Brock holds the attention of thousands across social media with her handle “Sheepishly Me.”
Sheepish? Definitely not. Inspiring? Absolutely.
Sandi and her husband Mark, along with their children, operate Shepherd Creek Farms in Ontario, Canada. Both are influential in advocating for agriculture. While Mark serves in a more traditional role, working with commodity groups and politicians to elicit just representation of agriculture, Sandi caters to the consumers and producers of today through her vlogs. Continue reading →
Fall or out-of-season lambing involves breeding ewes in April and May to produce lambs in September and October. The inability of most breeds of sheep to cycle and breed in the spring to early summer is a major constraint for success in this endeavor. Despite this fact there are producers that are successful in getting a high proportion of their ewes to lamb in the fall. Some of the benefits for attempting to have ewes lamb in the fall include:
Forage availability for ewes in early lactation;
Weather conditions are ideal for pasture lambing; and
Lambs born at this time of the year hit market weights when supplies are low and generally sell for a higher price.
Sheep producers can take advantage of down times between cash crops to provide inexpensive feed options in the form of cover crops. But farmers must decide where these feed options fit in the ewe production cycle. Dr. Richard Ehrhardt will discuss factors farmers should consider, appropriate infrastructure for grazing sheep on cover crops, and the cover crop mixes best suited for sheep. Understanding how to properly use and feed different types of cover crops will be more important than ever before with the continued issues of securing quality stored forages.
Dr. Richard Ehrhardt is the small ruminant extension Specialist at Michigan State University. He has an extensive sheep production background in forages, cover crops and annuals; accelerated production; and nutrition and health. In addition, he and his family operate an accelerated lambing commercial flock.
In this weeks Ag-note, Animal Sciences students Katherine Chen, Randi Goney, Katia Hardman, Hilary Kordecki, and Kaylee Shrock address a sensitive issue regarding man’s most loyal companion, the domestic dog. In terms of livestock injury and kill, the domestic dog ranks as the #1 predator of goats and the #2 predator of sheep, lambs, and kids right behind the dreaded wile e coyote. These numbers are staggering, especially since most don’t see their family pet as a lethal predator. Unfortunately, due to their nature, dogs tend to take the activities of play too far when interacting with livestock and these events can turn lethal if not managed. Continue reading →
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With that, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite pictures from this summers grazing project.
Until we jump back into your inbox, happy shepherding!
Multi-species grazing is the practice of using two or more livestock species together or separately on the same pasture-land in a specific growing season. With an understanding of the different grazing behaviors of each species, various combinations of animals can be used to more efficiently utilize the forages in a pasture. Different species of livestock prefer different forages and graze them to different heights. Cattle tend to be intermediate grazers. They graze grasses and legumes and bite with their mouth and tongue. Sheep and horses graze closer to the ground than cattle. Sheep and goats eat forbs (brushy plants with a fleshy stem) and leaves better than cattle or horses. Many weeds in a grass pasture are forbs. Cattle and horses tend to graze grasses better than small ruminants such as sheep and goats. Continue reading →
Please join us on Monday, September 30th for a most enjoyable evening featuring Dr. Temple Grandin! The evening will include a short introduction to the Center for Human-Animal Interactions Research & Education (CHAIRE), a plated dinner, a silent auction, animals from the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, a presentation by Dr. Peter Neville, and a presentation by Dr. Temple Grandin. This is a fundraising event for CHAIRE and seats are limited!
The event will be held at the Dave Thomas Conference Center, 1 Dave Thomas Blvd., Dublin, OH 43017. Doors will open at 5:00 pm, with zoo animal viewing at 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm, with the program beginning at 6:00 pm.
For more information and registration access, please visit our web page. The deadline for event registration is Sunday, September 22nd. We hope to see you there!