Washington State Sheep Producers
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PO Box 2145
Leavenworth, WA 98826
509-888-3003 wssp@gmx.com


     Approximately 80 people attended Washington State Sheep Producers' Annual Convention held in Moses Lake, November 5-6. Many thanks go out to the Columbia Basin Sheep Producers for hosting the convention, the hard work of the convention committee and the staff at the Best Western Lake Front Hotel.
     Mark Martinez, WSSP President, and Mike Garneau, CBSP President, shared the job of welcoming all those who attended as well as introducing speakers throughout the convention. Fred and Timmie Blauert again sponsored the Hospitality Room this year which was the place to be each evening.  
     Friday began with the annual Washington Wool Growers Auxiliary meeting, as well as the WSSP Annual Meeting where officer elections were held. Dr. Dick Battaglia then gave an update from the Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department at University of Idaho and shared an amusing story about retirement and hunting. Dr. Margaret Benson then gave an update on WSU and the Animal Sciences Department. Following Dr. Benson, the group was able to hear from Roger Woodruff, regarding USDA Wildlife Services.
     ASI Representative, Art Swannack, spoke after lunch, filling all in about ASI issues, including Livestock Protection Dogs and the new superwash facility. Following lunch, convention participants were able to hear from Richard Linhard, of Pfizer, regarding sheep CIDRS, and Dr. Derek McLean, of WSU, about reproduction success in ewes. To round out the day, Megan Wortman, of The American Lamb Board gave a short update and Ian Newman, of Pearson Farm & Fence, shared very useful information regarding fencing for sheep.
     Prior to the Legislative & Benefit Auction, Mark awarded the very deserving Sarah Smith with the President's Award, and showed appreciation for WSSP Executive Secretary Marcia Parrish with a generous gift basket. A big thank you to Jerry Ellis  for being our auctioneer, to everyone who donated items for the auction, and to the many generous bidders for raising over $4,000!  
    Jerry Richardson started Saturday off with a great report on the history and current facts of Grant County and The Columbia Basin. Following Jerry, attendees heard from Jill Swannack regarding pregnancy detection in ewes, as well as Dawes Garrett, of Milk Specialties Global, regarding supplementing orphan lambs. Before lunch was served, the group was able to hear from Will Griggs, of Utah Wool Marketing, about wool pools and future strategies, and Randy Hammertstrom, of USDA, regarding the wool market outlook.
     During Saturday's lunch, attendees were able to hear from Steve Appel, Washington Farm Bureau President. Following lunch, Laura White spoke about WSDA feed compliance rules and Steve Houle, a Washington State Patrolman, spoke about and answered many questions regarding what is and isn't legal on the highway. To end the day, Dave Dashiell spoke about lamb pools, Al Schwider spoke on marketing options on the Westside, and Randy Hammerstrom spoke about the sheep and lamb market outlook.
     After another great meal Saturday evening, Sam Hays, the last Sheep Hook Award recipient, announced the 2010 Sheep Hook Award would be given to Milt Russell of Prosser. To end the evening and well organized convention, everyone enjoyed the Make It With Wool contestants modeling their one-of-a-kind creations.


     The state Make It With Wool competition was held on November 6 in Moses Lake, in conjunction with the annual convention of the Washington State Sheep Producers Association. The contest and fashion show involved 21 contestants who modeled garments they had sewn with fabric that was at least 60% wool.
     The Junior winner is again 15-year-old Michaela Nordheim, of Waitsburg. She designed and tailored a 4-piece ensemble including a skirt, shirt, vest, and coat in rust and brown tones. She will proceed to the national level of competition in Reno, in January. Alternate Junior winner is 14-year-old Ashley Drechsel, of Worley, Idaho. For her Western-motif tweed vest and brown pants, Ashley received a Viking sewing machine.
     The Senior winner is 18-year-old Johanna Svensson of Indianola. Her periwinkle coat with detachable hood and gray slim skirt won the trip to the national level. Also receiving a sewing machine was Senior alternate, 19-year-old Galena Anderson of Spangle. Her entry was a dress of gray and black double-sided ribbed knit.
     The Adult winner, and recipient of a serger is Laura Mendoza of Puyallup. She tailored a red and black plaid jacket and black pants. Laura's picture, video, and garment will proceed to National Make It With Wool to be judged. One adult national winner will go to Reno. Alternate adult winner is Darrelle Anderson of Spangle. She machine embroidered a floral design on boiled teal wool jersey and tailored a lined duster coat in brown and black hounds tooth alpaca wool. She received a cash award.
     The Washington Make It With Wool Contest is sponsored by the Washington Wool Growers Auxiliary and the Washington State Sheep Producers. The national contest is sponsored by the American Sheep Industry and the American Sheep Industry Women. All ages are encouraged to make, model, and enter fashionable wool garments. District contests are held throughout the state during October of each year. Qualified district winners proceed to the state contest which will be at Olympia's Phoenix Inn, October 29, 2011.
     For more information, please contact State Director, Susan Parr of Tacoma, WA at (253) 922-5403.


The Washington State Sheep Producers' 2010 Ram and Ewe Show and Sale was held July 17, 2010 in Moses Lake at the Grant County Fairgrounds. A big thank you to the consignors and buyers, with special thanks to all the volunteers who contributed their time and energy to make the sale a success, including the Ram Sale committee and the sifting crew. Sale auctioneer was Jake Fallesen and the show judge was Jan Busboom. The Spokane Area Sheep Producers hosted a lamb luncheon. Straw for pens was provided by Blauert Farms of Washtucna. Pens were cleaned by the 89'ers 4-H Group. Youth Skill-A-Thon winners were Carmen Swannack ($100 credit toward the purchase of an animal), Leah Swannack  ($75), and Kyle Francisco ($50).
     Grand and Reserve Champions are as follows: Grand Champion Dorset Ram: Millers Livestock ram lamb; Reserve Champion Dorset Ram: River Glen Farm ram lamb; Grand Champion Hampshire Ram: Haslem Livestock yearling lamb; Grand Champion Suffolk Ram:  Millers Livestock ram lamb; Reserve Champion Suffolk Ram:  Millers Livestock ram lamb; Grand Champion Dorset Ewe: Miller's Livestock ewe lamb; Grand Champion Suffolk Ewe:  Miller's Livestock ewe lamb; Reserve Champion Suffolk Ewe: Millers Livestock ewe lamb.
High sellers/buyers included:
·     $775 to Orbit Suffolks by Margie Lange for a Crossbred ram lamb;
·     $400 to AZ-WA Suffolks by Blauert Farms for a Suffolk yearling ram;
·     $400 to Orbit Suffolks by Lonnie Dixon for a Crossbred ram lamb;
·     $375 to Sheldon Suffolks by Feustal Farms for a Suffolk yearling ram;
·     $375 to Norris Ranches by Don Burt for a Crossbred Suffolk ram lamb.
     Average prices of sheep sold are as follows: Rams: 1 Registered/Show Yearling Ram brought $300; 2 Registered/Show Ram Lambs averaged $237 per head; 15 Commercial Yearling Rams averaged $323 per head; 22 Commercial Ram Lambs averaged $303 per head. Ewes: 1 Registered/Show Ewe Lamb brought $200; 10 Commercial Ewes averaged $181 per head.
     With the donation of a Hampshire ewe lamb by Todd Barth of 5B Sheep Company and two Anatolian Shepherd puppies donated by Jill Swannack of Feustal Farms, we were able to raise $1,465 for the WSSP Youth Scholarship fund. We are excited about the opportunity to continue this program with the help of so many generous donations.
     The Youth Scholarship Committee will be presenting scholarships at WSSP's convention in November.
     We would like to again thank all the volunteers, consignors and buyers for their attendance and help in making the sale a success.
                                                         Thank you,
                                                        Jim Acuff, Ram Sale Chair  & Marcia Parrish, Executive Secretary.


Washington State University Extension and Department of Animal Sciences and Sumner FFA are excited to announce the first WSU LAMB 100 short-course.  The course will be offered in Western Washington on October 1-2, 2010 at Sumner High School.
WSU LAMB 100 is a two-day, hands-on workshop designed for progressive individuals involved with the sheep industry.  WSU LAMB 100 was developed from WSU LAMB 300 offered at the Department of Animal Sciences on the Pullman Campus.  The course will focus on teaching producers, feeders, and marketers, regardless of the size or type of operation, how to produce and market quality lambs and lamb products.  Participants will learn how nutritional, genetic, and managerial factors contribute to meat quality.  Participants will also learn how meat quality factors influence the price producers receive for lamb and lamb products marketed through various outlets.  This program will increase one's understanding of lamb quality and marketing, enabling participants to make informed decisions to improve profitability, quality, and wholesomeness of the lambs they are producing.  The course will feature nationally recognized speakers in the area of sheep production, feeding, processing, and marketing.    A pre-conference tour of Best Custom Meat,a halal slaughter facility for niche marketing of lamb and goats, will be available to participants on Friday prior to the start of WSU LAMB 100.
The registration fee for WSU LAMB 100 is $85 per participant, which covers meals, materials, and notebook.  Hotel accommodations will be the responsibility of the participants.  The course is limited to 40 participants and will be available on a first-pay, first-serve basis.  Registration deadline is September 10, 2010.
For additional information on WSU LAMB 100, contact:  Jan Busboom, WSU Meat Specialist, (509)335-2880 or busboom@wsu.edu; or Sarah M. Smith, Area Animal Science Educator, (509)754-2011, Ext 413 or smithsm@wsu.edu.  More information and registration forms are available on the WSU Central Animal Agriculture web page at http://animalag.wsu.edu under “Upcoming Events”.
Persons with a disability requiring special accommodations while participating in this event can call (509)754-2011, Ext 413.  If accommodations are not requested by September 15, 2010, we cannot guarantee the availability of accommodations on site.
Cooperating agencies:  Washington State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Washington Counties.   Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination.  Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office.


The March 2010 American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) newsletter stated that the goal of the ASI and the U. S. sheep industry is to eradicate scrapie from our borders.  It stated that Diane Sutton, National Scrapie Eradication Program (NSEP) coordinator pointed out that “cases (of scrapie) have dropped off dramatically in the last few years.  The industry has seen an 81% decrease in percent (scrapie) positive black-face sheep sampled at slaughter since the start of slaughter surveillance in fiscal year (FY) 2003.  There were also 38% fewer newly identified infected and source flocks in FY 2009 compared to FY 2008”.  

To support this eradication effort, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's goal is to collect 44,000 slaughter surveillance samples to be tested for scrapie each year from throughout the United States.

Since April 1, 2003, 249,590 samples have been collected in the US with 431 confirmed positive for scrapie by NVSL (National Veterinary Services Laboratories).

In FY 2010 thus far, 18,321 samples have been collected with 7 NVSL confirmed scrapie positive cases. Significant progress is being made toward the eradication of scrapie from the United States.

In Washington State, USDA APHIS Veterinary Services is actively collecting scrapie slaughter surveillance samples. Here are some ways you can help Washington State meet its surveillance sampling goals:

Make sure your sheep have scrapie ear tags before leaving the farm.
If you are going to be slaughtering cull sheep on your farm, let us know, we may be able to make arrangements to collect samples.
If you have a sheep over 14 months old that dies, contact us, the animal might be eligible for sampling.
Share information about scrapie with your neighbors and friends who have sheep and goats-encourage them to order free scrapie ear tags.

Please call Millie Chopic at 360-864-6320 or Dr Tom Lehman at 509-439-9326 for more information or to order FREE Scrapie ear tags.

Washington State Sheep Shearing School A Success

MOSES LAKE, WASHINGTON, April 19, 2010 ---- The first Washington State Sheep Shearing School was held in 1975 to meet the need for trained shearers in the Pacific Northwest.  The need for skilled sheep shearers to shear commercial, small farms, and hobby flocks is just as critical today as it was when the school was developed over thirty years ago.  The 2010 Washington State Sheep Shearing School was held April 5-10 held at the Chick Hubbard Memorial Shearing Trailer located at the Parker Ranch in Moses Lake.  The Washington State Sheep Shearing School is a collaborative effort of the Washington State Sheep Producers, Washington State University Extension and the Columbia Basin Sheep Producers.  Additional funding support to the schools activities was also provided by the Washington Wool Growers Auxiliary.
New Zealand certified shearing instructor, Mike McWilliam, instructed sixteen students during the week-long beginner's class and eight advance students attending the one-day tune-up class.  McWilliams has successfully instructed the WSSP Shearing School since 1993 with his vast talent, experience, and knowledge in sheep shearing and instruction.  Not only is McWilliams a very talented and accomplished shearer, but he is also a phenomenal instructor when it comes to starting novice shearers.  Students received instruction and educational material pertaining to proper shearing techniques, equipment handling and care, wool production and marketing, sheep husbandry, and quality assurance issues.  Shearing students not only learned the skills necessary to shear fiber animals, but also learned valuable knowledge about sheep husbandry and current issues import to sheep producers.  All students successfully completed the school.  At the completion of the school all students indicated that they were going to either shear their own flock or shear commercially.  
Students successfully completing the one-day Advanced/Tune-Up School were Francisco Jimenez, Yelm; Dina Madson, Bainbridge; Corry McAtee, Prineville, OR; Charles Oueis, Spokane; Michelle Schmidt, Moses Lake; Talissa Sergeant, Freeland; Claire Woofenden, Anacortes; and Zander Woofenden, Anacortes.  Students participating in the five-day Beginner's School were Scott Boucher, Janesville, CA; Vicki Bratton, Ephrata; Shawn Carmody, Monroe; Stephanie Goff, Toutle; Austin Jones, Goldendale; Mary Lake, Waitsfield, VT; Rick Lynn, Bridgeport; David Russell, Brush Prairie; Michelle Schmidt, Moses Lake; Talissa Sergeant, Freeland; Joel Steele, Pomeroy; McKenzie Teel, Seattle; Carla Tresk, Bellevue; Molly Whittemore, Lakebay; Constance Wiseman, Greenbank; and Claire Woofenden, Anacortes.  Students successfully completing the school were certified at their respective levels according to the National Sheep Shearing School Guidelines.  This was a great group of students and they are excellent shearers and will have a positive impact on the sheep and wool industry.  If you are looking for a shearer, a list of individuals successfully completing the school over the past years and who are currently taking new clients is available from Sarah M. Smith.    
The success of the shearing school was dependent on the valuable contribution of over 550 hours of volunteer time and immeasurable expertise and mentoring.  These volunteers added experience, prestige, and personality to the school.  These individuals provided sheep, facilities, transportation of sheep, encouraging words to the shearers, countless hours to set-up and take down the facilities, and the organization of the recognition dinner.  
The planning for the 2011 Washington Sheep Shearing School is already underway.  Mark your calendars for the first full week in April.  We always welcome new shearers, past participants and dedicated volunteers.  Further information about the shearing school is available on the WSU Grant-Adams Extension web site, http://grant-adams.wsu.edu, under “What's New” or by contacting PersonNameSarah M. Smith, Area Animal Science Extension Educator at 509-754-2011, ext. 413.  

Cooperating agencies:  Washington State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Grant and Adams Counties.  Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination.  Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office.

RMA Announces Livestock Risk Protection-Lamb Expansion
into Washington State – Sales to Resume September 14
SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, August 24, 2009 ---- Risk Management Agency (RMA) Spokane Regional Office announces the expansion of the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) Lamb program in all counties in Washington (the program is currently available throughout Idaho and Oregon).
Along with the expansion of availability, RMA also announced:
1) a new pricing procedure that uses a lamb carcass price converted to a calculated live price using USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data;
2) The addition of a 20-week endorsement;
3) A reduction in the maximum size of the Specific Coverage Endorsement (SPE) from 7,000 head to 2,000 head.
Sales of the LRP-Lamb under the new SPE will begin Monday, September 14.
Producers are encouraged to contact a local livestock insurance agent to learn additional details. Federal crop insurance program policies are sold and delivered solely through private crop and livestock insurance companies. A list of livestock crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers throughout the U.S. or at the RMA Web site address: http://www3.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents/companies/

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Denver, Colo. - By an astounding margin of 85.1 percent, the members of the U.S. sheep industry voted to continue the deduction on sheep sales to support the marketing of American lamb. These are the certified results of the nationwide vote that was conducted at U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency offices during February 2009 and announced today by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.
"This is the second referendum since the inception of the program in 2002 and both have recorded overwhelming approval for an industry–funded lamb promotion," remarks Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). "Sheep producer volunteers encouraged a yes vote in the referendum to keep this valuable tool alive in the fight for a piece of the meat market in the United States.
"This promotion effort is designed for American lamb only and is the key to providing additional visibility for domestically grown lamb in the meat cases of the nation's retailers as well as in the restaurant trade," Orwick adds.
ASI President Glen Fisher, a Texas sheep producer, comments that the lamb program is the only livestock checkoff program that has producers, feeders and meat packers all contributing funds to the promotion effort. He relays that the vote had to be approved on both the individual votes as well as the volume of sheep represented. In the volume vote, a record setting 93 percent supported the referendum.
A 13-member volunteer board, known as the American Lamb Board, representing these segments of the industry collects the funds and administers all the programs.
"The promotion board and its programs deliver benefits to the lamb market and it has also been extremely successful in avoiding conflict among industry segments, so much so that the principal concern around the referendum was motivating folks to vote when there was little to no controversy over the issue," Fisher concludes.
 ASI is a national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 82,000 sheep producers.

Malignant Catarrhal Fever in Washington State
Wednesday November 26, 2008
The Washington Department of Agriculture’s office of the state veterinarian is in the middle of an investigation of Malignant Catarrhal Fever in cattle the state. They have identified at least 15 head of cattle ranging in age from 4 months to 6 years that have died as a result of this viral disease. The cattle are from a number of different locations in the state. The most likely source, which the Department is still investigating, is from close contact with young lambs at the Puyallup Fair in September. Confirmatory tests have been done by the WSU diagnostic laboratory, WADDL.
The incubation period for this disease is (on average) about 50 days, which is why there has been some lag period between the date of the fair and the investigation. The number of head of cattle affected is unusual, so more information is being gathered to understand the circumstances of exposure and transmission. Private veterinary practitioners, WADDL, Veterinary Medicine Extension, and others have been working with the state veterinarian on the investigation and providing information to producers.
Here is the Fact Sheet from WSU Veterinary Services on MCF. http://vetextension.wsu.edu/documents/MCFNOV2008.pdf

MCF Relief Fund information:
The Washington State Sheep Producers have helped create a fund to aid the youth who had losses due to the Malignant Catarrhal Fever outbreak at the Puyallup Fair.  The fund will be operated and dispersed by the Washington FFA Foundation. If you have members who wish to help out the youth with their animal losses and vet bills, donations can be mailed to the following address:

Washington FFA Foundation
P.O. Box 14633 (corrected address)
Tumwater, WA 98511

Checks should be made out to the Washington FFA Foundation. Please include a note designating use for the MCF Relief Fund.  Anyone donating will receive a receipt from the WA FFA Foundation. I hope together we can help these youth with their loss of animals and veterinary bills.

Washington State Make It With Wool Competition Report
For Immediate Release
November 5, 2009
CONTACT: Susan Parr, State MIWW Director (253) 922-5403
The Washington State Make It With Wool competition was held on November 1st in placeCityPullman, in conjunction with the annual convention of the Washington State Sheep Producers Association. The contest and fashion show involved 20 contestants who modeled a wide variety of garments they had sewn with wool fabric.

The Junior winner is 13-year-old Michaela Nordheim, of Waitsburg. Her complete ensemble of pants, shirt, vest and hat sewn of autumn brown tone Pendleton wool won for her the privilege of proceeding to the national level of competition in placeCitySan Diego in January. Alternate Junior winner is 13-year-old Abby McInnis, of placeCityTacoma. For her navy striped dress and coordinating red wool crepe jacket, Abby received a sewing machine.
The Senior winner is 17-year-old Katie Jahnsen of Chehalis. Her classic double-breasted coat of navy Cavalry twill will also grant her an expense-paid trip to the placeCitySan Diego finals. Also receiving a sewing machine was Senior alternate, 18-year-old Lacey Coolbaugh of Poulsbo. Her entry was a charcoal winter coat and plum trumpet skirt of wool crepe.

The Adult winner, and recipient of a serger, is Alice Faringer of Naches. She hand knit a patterned cardigan sweater and sewed coordinating olive wool slacks. placeCityAlice's picture, video and garment will proceed to National Make It With Wool to be judged. One adult national winner will go to placeCitySan Diego. Alternate adult winner is Anna He of placePlaceNameMoses PlaceNameLake. Her retro-style black wool dress has white trim and is topped by a window-pane plaid cropped jacket. Anna received a $100 check as her prize.

The Washington Make It With Wool Contest is sponsored by the Washington Wool Growers Auxiliary and the Washington State Sheep Producers. The national contest is sponsored by the American Sheep Industry and the American Sheep Industry Women. All ages are encouraged to make, model, and enter fashionable wool garments. District contests are held throughout the state during October of each year. Qualified district winners proceed to the state contest. For more information

The most current edition of The Washington State Sheep Producer, our bi-monthly newsletter, is available to our members only.

WSSP President Appointed to WA Wolf Working Group - WSSP President, Art Swannack, was appointed to the Washington Dept of Wildlife's Wolf Working Group. The group consists of 16 members and will be meeting to establish a comprehensive plan for wolf management in our state.

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