The following is a re-post from ASI Weekly.
The How to Handle Sheep video series released by the American Sheep Industry Association, in collaboration with Temple Grandin, Ph.D., the Livestock Marketing Association and Colorado State University, is approaching 10,000 hits on YouTube. The three-part video details the process of handling sheep through the entire life span of the animal.
The training tool is available in English and Spanish. From producers and auction-facility workers to the transportation industry and harvesting personnel, everyone can follow Dr. Grandin as she discusses the best practices to use in handling sheep.
ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick strongly encourages all sheep operations to ensure their livestock workers, whether full- or part-time employees or neighbors, are educated.
"These videos are a convenient way to accomplish this goal," said Orwick. "Poorly trained or uneducated workers who help with sheep are a business liability that is not necessary with today's access to training."
The videos are available on ASI's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/SheepUSA1
Announcement reprinted from California Wool Growers' Association newsletter. I was part of the team and it reflects input from Mendocino and Lake County ranchers as well as the rest of the state.
California has experienced five large-scale, multiyear droughts since 1960; however, the current event is considered the state's most severe drought in at least 500 years. Each year of the current drought has presented different challenges; for example, much of California received no measurable precipitation December 2013 through late January 2014. In the following year, the Sierra Nevada snowpack was just 5% of normal. As California ranching is largely dependent on rain-fed systems, as opposed to groundwater or stored water, it is very vulnerable to drought. In fact, rangeland livestock ranchers were among the first affected by the abnormally warm, dry winters at the beginning of the current multiyear drought.
In this article, we highlight lessons learned so far from past droughts, as well as California's unprecedented and ongoing multiyear drought. We draw on ranchers' perspectives and experiences, including research results from a statewide mail survey of 507 ranchers and semistructured interviews of 102 ranchers, as well as our own experiences. The mail survey (the California Rangeland Decision-Making Survey) included questions on operator and operation demographics, goals and practices, information resources, and rancher perspectives. Semistructured interviews are part of a larger ongoing project (the California Ranch Stewardship Project) examining rangeland management for multiple ecosystem services.
The publication is available at the following link - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019005281630027X
The following is reprinted from ASI. For the first time some risk management tools are available to sheep producers. Now if predation losses were covered . . .
U.S. Sheep Industry Offers Own Insurance to Producers
Whether it's thru futures or crop insurance, risk management is a very important tool that helps farmers and ranchers guard against natural disasters, low prices and predators, which have the potential to wreck financial havoc on an operation. And for the longest time, the U.S. sheep industry was excluded from risk management tools like these; that is until now.
The Northern Ag Network's Russell Nemetz shares more of the details during the following interview available on ASI's YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/sheepusa1.
Great news! Local shearer, Matt Gilbert has gotten approval for his new woolen mill. He expects to start processing wool in Ukiah by this fall. See the attached Ukiah Daily Journal article.
Please help me by completing the UCCE Livestock & Range Social Media for Program Delivery Survey at: http://t.co/C9koJHUPp5
Social media for UCCE Extension delivery is generally faster and less expensive than traditional methods that included workshops, paper newsletters, radio spots and newspaper and trade journal articles. While those methods will continue, I need to justify using the new methods like Twitter, Blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
It's important to evaluate impacts on clientele such as you who are taking this survey and who read my blog. Measurable impacts are often very hard to come by unless I ask. Your responses will also help guide me in writing future blog articles that will be useful to you.
I hope you will take the short time to complete this survey as it will help me to not only improve my program delivery but help me explain how important these types of delivery methods are for UCCE. Thanks in advance for your time!