For producers doing organic livestock:
USDA/AMS Proposing New Organic Livestock Regulations
The United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service proposes to amend the organic livestock and poultry production requirements by adding new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter and avian living conditions; and expanding and clarifying existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions.
AMS will host a virtual listening session on Aug. 19 from noon to approximately 2 p.m. eastern time to hear comments regarding this proposed rule. The deadline to register for oral comment is 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Aug. 15.
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USDA Offers Resources to Expand Meat Processing
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced late last week the launch of the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program to provide technical assistance to meat and poultry grant applicants and grant-funded projects.
Processors and applicants involved with the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant program and the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program can access this technical assistance. USDA also announced it is now accepting applications for $23.6 million in competitive grant funding available through the MPIRG program.
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The following information came from the American Lamb Board.
Changes in Mandatory Lamb Checkoff Collections at Auction Markets Announced
While the American Lamb Checkoff rate is not changing, how the mandatory assessments are collected for animals sold through “market agencies” is changing. The change applies to animals sold through auctions, including sale barns, video/online sales, and sales at shows and fairs.
These auctions will now collect both live weight assessments and per head (first handler) assessments as of January 21, 2022. However, the delayed enforcement date for submitting these assessments is March 22, 2022. This allows time for auctions to adjust their systems without a penalty for late payments. If a producer or feeder sells animals to a first handler and has already paid the checkoff at an auction, a refund will be issued. To receive a refund, documentation will be required from the time of sale.
The national lamb checkoff, directed by the American Lamb Board (ALB), is funded by mandatory assessments (checkoff) paid by all segments of the sheep industry. By federal law, all sheep or lambs of any age, including ewes, rams, feeder and market lambs, breeding stock and cull animals, are subject to the national lamb checkoff assessment at the time of every sale. The mandatory American Lamb Checkoff assessment rates do not change. The live weight assessment is .007 cents per pound and the first handler assessment is 42 cents per head.
“It's important to remember that the sheep industry passed the mandatory American Lamb Checkoff so it would be equitable and beneficial for both those owning the lambs prior to slaughter and those who harvest the meat. That's why there are both live weight and per head assessments. And, these collections are only from U.S. born animals, allowing funds to specifically promote American Lamb. This does not change,” said ALB Chairman Peter Camino, Buffalo, WY.
The changes had to go through a vigorous USDA process. The federal register announcement is here.
To fully understand the value of these changes, a refresher about this particular checkoff helps. When the mandatory American Lamb Checkoff was enacted in 2002, most lambs were marketed through traditional channels. The lamb industry has evolved considerably in the past 20 years, particularly the growth of non-traditional markets. For example, direct sales to consumers, ethnic and farmers markets, and butcher shops now participate to a larger degree in the purchasing and processing of lamb and lamb products.
The 2002 Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order mandates that live weight assessments be collected from producers or feeders and be forwarded to the next purchaser, if applicable. At the end of the process, the first handler (usually the processor) or exporter is responsible for submitting all live weight and per head assessments to the ALB. This is known as a pass-through method, with the bulk of collections made at the end of the process.
ALB listened to industry input, and it became clear that changes to the collection process were necessary. To maintain a fair and efficient mandatory American Lamb Checkoff for the entire industry and to reduce the burden on those collecting it, assessments need to be collected at the time of sale instead of the original pass-through method.
More information on how the mandatory American Lamb Checkoff works and how to pay or request refunds, is at LambResourceCenter.com. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service website on the lamb program is also a good resource.
The American Lamb Board was put into place by the 2002 lamb promotion order. ALB is an industry-funded national research, promotion and information checkoff program that works on behalf of all American producers, feeders, seedstock producers, direct marketers and processors to build awareness and demand for American Lamb. ALB conducts promotion and research programs with the goal of creating greater demand and profitability for the entire industry. ALB does not promote imported lamb. It does not promote wool. ALB is not funded by dues and is forbidden by law to influence legislation. It exists to promote lamb to consumers and provide information to help producers raise lamb more efficiently and effectively.
From time to time I find interesting research that sheds new light on specific topics that are worth sharing. Recently I came across one from researchers at my alma mater, the University of Arizona. The title is Jet Stream Changes Could Amplify Weather Extremes by 2060's. It is written by Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona Communications Science Writer and gives an overview of Postdoctorial Research Associate, Matthew Osman's work.
Here's a link: Jet Stream.
Hope you find it interesting!