ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — While 2020 presented challenges at every turn, changes in the processing sector meant many sheep producers laid awake at night wondering when and where they might get their lambs processed. The addition of two new facilities and the subtraction of the second-largest in the country led to a major shuffling of the deck, but things seem to be back on track for 2021.
The American Sheep Industry Association will take a look at this substantial challenge and where things are headed in 2021 with a lamb panel during the opening session of the ASI Annual Convention on Thursday, Jan. 28, beginning at 9 a.m. mountain standard time. Jeff Hasbrouck of Double J, Spence Rule of Colorado Lamb Processors and Rick Stott of Superior Farms have been invited to provide presentations regarding the status of their operations and how they are working to meet the challenge of processing lambs in 2021. If time allows, there will be a short question-and-answer session following the presentations.
Dozens of great speakers will follow the lamb panel during the course of the two-day convention. Below are just a few of the highlights:
- Angus Gidley-Baird of Rabobank will provide the keynote address on Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m. mountain standard time. He is a senior analyst for animal protein and based in Sydney, Australia. Gidley-Baird provides regular market updates on beef, sheep meat, pork, poultry and seafood markets, and is a regular public speaker at farmer and industry events. He also produces podcasts for the RaboResearch Australia/New Zealand team.
- A group of producers led by ASI Secretary/Treasurer Brad Boner will offer discussion on their Sheep Genetics USA project during the Genetic Stakeholders Committee meeting on Jan. 28 beginning at 10:15 a.m. mountain standard time. Tom Boyer of Utah, Rusty Burgett of the National Sheep Improvement Program, Ben Lehfeldt of Montana and Bill Shultz of Ohio will join the discussion, as well.
- The Wool Council will get two reports on the emerging American Wool Assurance Program, including a look at how the program came to be and more importantly the standards that have been established by the program after a thorough process of input and review by representatives from all aspects of the wool industry.
- Sheep producers Ryan Mahoney of California and Janet Turner of Pennsylvania will take part in a producer panel discussion of electronic identification in sheep. Dr. Cindy Wolf of Minnesota will moderate the panel during the Production, Education and Research Council meeting beginning at 12:15 p.m. mountain standard time on Jan. 28.
- The Animal Health Committee has invited Dr. Sam Mansley to talk about foot and mouth disease and the lessons learned from an outbreak in the United Kingdom. The meeting begins at 11:15 a.m. mountain standard time on Jan. 28.
- In addition to updates on the lamb market and the Eastern ethnic lamb market, the Lamb Council will hear from Megan Wortman of the American Lamb Board on how ALB adjusted to changing markets in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lamb Council will meet beginning at noon mountain standard time on Jan. 29.
- The Resource Management Council will offer a public lands roundtable including representatives from both the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The council’s meeting – which begins at 10:15 a.m. on Jan. 29 – will also include updates from representatives of Wildlife Services.
Click Here to see the full agendas for each council and committee meeting.
It’s not too late to register, but the deadline is approaching. Registration closes Jan. 22, and due to the virtual nature of the convention, ASI will not be able to accommodate late registrations this year. The event will be held Jan. 28-29. To register for the ASI Convention, click here.
— American Sheep Industry Association