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August/September 2009 State Ram Sale Set For 81st Annual Event The 81st Annual Wyoming Wool Growers Association “Wyoming State Ram Sale” is set and ready to go. The sale is scheduled for September 8, 2009. The Sale and associated activities begin on Monday September 7th on the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas, Wyoming. The sale itself is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. on the 8th, but all rams will be available for viewing beginning at noon on the 7th. Some of the regions best ram producers from several intermountain states have pre-entered 316 of the finest rams to be found for this year’s sale. The Wyoming State Ram Sale is one of the longest continuously running ram sales in the nation and is recognized as the oldest “range ram” sale in the country. “Over the past 80+ years, our Wyoming sale has developed and maintained a reputation for offering the highest quality rams bred specifically for the rigors and demands of the range conditions of the intermountain west,” said Dean Von Krosigk, Ram Sale CoChairman and Riverton area seed stock producer. “Rams offered through the Wyoming State Ram Sale are noted for their outstanding characteristics, whether they are bred for wool or meat production. This is exemplified by the fact that the high selling Rambouillet ram at auction in the nation (Continued on page 2) WWGA PRODUCER UPDATE Wyoming Wool Growers Association WWGA Membership Meeting to Feature Discussion of Recent Technology Advances The upcoming WWGA membership meeting will feature a discussion of the latest technology advance with direct benefits to the Wyoming sheep industry that has recently been implemented in Wyoming. The recently completed WWGA/Mountain States Lamb Cooperative/UW Ram Sire Test utilized the revolutionary GrowSafe® system for the first time, and the results from this first years’ run through of the system will be presented and discussed at the meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. in (Continued on page 2) Inside this issue: News & Notes WACPAB’s Set To Meet Calendar of Events WWGA Memorial Garden Special points of interest: 2 3 5 6 • Ram Sale Set to Go! • WWGA Ram Sale Meeting Set • Wolves Continue to Attack Sheep in Idaho & Wyoming • WWGA Memorial Garden to be Developed • THANK YOU Warren Ranch! (Continued from page 1) for two years in a row came out of the Wyoming State Ram Sale. That’s not just range rams, but ALL rams at auction, which indicates that producers across the country have come to recognize and expect the best out of this sale”, said Von Krosigk“ “We have long been noted for the exceptional quality of the rams at the Wyoming State Ram Sale,” said Lee Isenberger, Ram Sale CoChairman and Gillette area rancher. “As the industry has changed it has become even more important for every ram to be of the best and highest quality. Our consignors know that in order for them to be successful at our sale, they have to bring their best, and they have continued to respond to that call,” said Isenberger. (Continued from page 1) Rams from the Rambouillet, Targhee, Columbia and Suffolk breeds will be represented. Some of the best Rambouillet rams will be featured in the “Certified” category. Consignments will be offered as singles, as well as in lots of two, three and five. All rams will origi- “Over the past 80+ years, our Wyoming sale has developed and maintained a reputation for offering the highest quality rams bred specifically for the rigors and demands of the range conditions of the intermountain west,” • Dean Von Krosigk, Ram Sale CoChairman nate from either a Brucella ovis “certified free” herd or will have tested B. ovis negative within thirty days of the sale. B. ovis is the major cause of ram epididymitis which can cause ram infertility and lead to “open” or non-pregnant ewes at the end of the breeding season.Again this year, the “Best of the Best” from the just completed 2009 WWGA/MSLC/UW Ram Sire Test will be offered for sale during the State Ram Sale. The top twentythree indexing rams from this year’s Test have been pre-qualified for inclusion in the Sale, and most of those are expected to be in Douglas and available for purchase.All rams have been carefully screened and scrutinized closely by a shifting committee comprised of noted western sheepmen, sheep extension specialists and veterinarians specializing in sheep herd health. Every effort and precaution is taken to try to insure buyers that only the best, highest quality rams are offered for sale. All rams are sold ready to “go to work”. the 4-H building on the State Fairgrounds in Douglas. The GrowSafe® system utilizes electronic ID and a computerized monitoring system which continuously monitors and records the amount of feed consumed by an animal which is connected to the system. By collecting and gathering this data, an animal’s feed efficiency, as measured by its ability to convert pounds of feed to pounds of gain, can be determined. Feed conversion is a highly heritable trait that can have tremendous impact and influence on a producer’s, and an industries, bottom-line. Prior to the development of the GrowSafe® system, measuring individual animal feed intake on any sort of size scale, was almost impossible. With the development and advent of GrowSafe®, measurement of this attribute has now become feasible and should increase productivity and feed efficiency significantly. “The GrowSafe® system installed at the Sheep Unit at the UW Animal Science Research facility is the first of its kind in the world, as far as we understand,” said Bryce Reece, WWGA Executive Vice President. “Initially, GrowSafe® systems were designed and built to measure cattle feed intake, but thanks to the University of Wyo- News and Notes Scrapie Testing Funds Available: The Wyoming Livestock Board recently announced that limited funds are available to aid producers in testing for scrapie resistant genetics. According to the information released by the Livestock Board, funds are available to genetically test rams for scrapie resistance at codon 171, for testing of imported black-faced sheep in order to meet the State of Wyoming’s black-face import requirements, and for financial help in purchasing scrapie resistant genetics in exchange for sending QQ type sheep to slaughter. For more information, contact the Wyoming Livestock Board at 307-7777515. (Continued on page 3) Page 2 WWGA Producer Update– Aug./Sept. ’09 Wyoming Association of County Predatory Animal Boards Set to Meet in Douglas The annual meeting of the Wyoming Association of County Predatory Animal Boards has been set for September 7th in the 4-H building on the fairgrounds beginning at 1:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the State Predatory Animal Board annual meeting, and is timed to coincide with the annual WWGA Ram Sale activities. (News & Notes: Continued from page 2) The major issue for discussion will be the outlook for continued legislative funding for county predatory animal boards. With the recent downturn in the state’s economy and decreased state revenues, concern has been raised over what the legislature might due in terms of funding for the critically important services that county predatory animal boards provide to the states livestock and wildlife resources. Speakers have been invited to provide insight and opinion as to what the upcoming legislative budget session might hold. Additional topics will be an update on issues directly affecting county boards, an update on the USDA/ APHIS/Wildlife Services program in Wyoming, and a discussion and State Gets No Takers for Idaho Wolves : Idaho is not getting into the wolf export business any time soon. Earlier this year, Director of Idaho Department of Fish and Game Cal Groen sent letters to each state to see if any were interested in taking some of Idaho's wolves. So far, Groen says 20 states have rejected the offer, and no takers are expected. A bill approved by the 2009 legislature required the department to offer Idaho's wolves to other states. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Gary Schroeder, said it was an attempt to protect the state against claims that could be made in lawsuits by environmentalists opposed to the federal government's decision to take wolves off the endangered species list. Reprinted from Associated Press Shrinking Flock Threatens Australian Lamb Strength : Although the Australian lamb industry's high sale-yard prices, resilient supplies and strong export demand in the first half of 2009 are forecast to continue, this performance has been marred by a further substantial fall in the national flock, restraining potential growth in lamb supplies and affecting Australia's ability to capitalize on the growing global demand for mutton and live sheep, according to Meat and Livestock Australia's (MLA) 2009 Sheep Industry Projections-Mid-Year Update. This year's exceptional lamb and sheep prices are the result of strong export and domestic demand, tighter supplies from New Zealand and a lower Australian dollar. Lamb producers have generally enjoyed improvements to their bottom line over the past year with higher sale prices and lower costs, said Kara Jones, MLA sheepmeat analyst. Although strong demand has been welcome, exporters and processors have discovered the escalating lamb and sheep prices, reduced sheep turnoff, weak skin prices and climbing Australian dollar challenging. The decline of the national sheep flock, however, which fell another 7 percent in 2008-2009 to 72 million head, the lowest level since 1916, gives real cause for concern. The flock reduction means Australia may not be able to satisfy the demand for both mutton and live sheep exports, Jones added, and there is a risk lamb production could be reduced in the future. (Reprinted in part from MeatPoultry.com & ASI) Extremists Sue to Stop Domestic Sheep Runs : Every spring, farmers in Chandler and Casa Grande, Ariz., move thousands of sheep out of the heat into northern Arizona for the summer and return them south in the fall. Some sheep are trucked part way, others are herded. Now, an environmental extremist group, the Western Watersheds Project, is suing to block their route, charging that herding the sheep through forests threatens the wild bighorn sheep. The anti-livestock group has filed a federal court lawsuit in Phoenix challenging a decision by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to allow domestic sheep to run across two forests. In the fall, sheep are herded through parts of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and the Tonto National Forest. That is a trip taken by herds owned by Dwayne Dobson's Sheep Springs Sheep Co. in south Chandler and Joe Auza Jr. of the Joe Auza Sheep Co. in Casa Grande. Joe Auza Sr. trucks his herd part way. One of the alleged risks to wild bighorn sheep is the transmission of a lung disease called Pasteurella from domestic sheep through contact. Beside interaction with domestic sheep, there is debate over additional causes for the drop in the bighorn population ranging from attacks by mountain lions and bears to the effects of severe winters and lack of food. There are an estimated 50,000 bighorns in the American West, down from an estimated 1.5 million. Mark Pedersen, a manager at Sheep Springs, said environmentalists are comparing apples and oranges. He said their data comes from intermingling of bighorns and domestic sheep in the same pastures over months at a time. In contrast, he said, “T p (Continued on page 4) WWGA Producer Update– Aug./Sept. ’09 Page 3 (News & Notes: Continued from page 3) his sheep are in a bighorn area only a couple of days, the domestic sheep are vaccinated, are kept in a tight band and bighorns do not venture into the herd. He pays the USFS every year for a permit to trail his sheep through the forest. "The sheep are staying in a tight band with bells on them; there are dogs and a herder riding a horse," Pedersen said. "You can't tell me that wild bighorn sheep are going to run down and run into your (domestic) sheep. It's just highly unlikely." The extremists are not convinced and want the USFS to do an environmental impact study. USFS spokeswoman Paige Rockett said a study has begun. Meanwhile, the anti-livestock group is considering filing a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent the sheep run this fall. Reprinted in part from The Arizona Republic & ASI Coming Down the Road—Spiked Collars for Guard Dogs?? Due apparently to the increasing number of livestock protection dogs being lost to wolves, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently distributed out information on spiked collars that are hand built in Italy out of forged iron, with an inquiry as to whether there might be any interest from U.S. producers on acquiring some of the collars. The cost is between $120-$160, plus shipping to the U.S. The WWGA warned, prior to the introduction of non-native Canadian wolves into Wyoming by the Clinton administration, that wolves would likely take a heavy toll on livestock protection dogs. The irony of the situation is that guard dogs are one of the few effective “non-lethal” predator control tools available to sheep producers and are a “preferred method of choice” by many of the groups who helped foist wolves onto the Wyoming sheep industry. Due however to the ever increasing level of loss to guard dogs, the industry and wildlife control specialists are left with lethal removal as the only viable option to control depredating wolves. A picture of the spiked collar being sug- Wolves kill 120 sheep at ranch near Dillon, MT HELENA - While the debate about how many wolves are enough to ensure a healthy population will again come to a head in a federal courtroom Monday, a Dillon-area ranch is picking up the pieces from the largest known wolf depredation in recent history. The Rebish/Konen Livestock Ranch south of Dillon has suffered confirmed wolf depredations twice in three weeks. In late July, three wolves - two blacks and a gray - killed at least 26 rams. The gray wolf was lethally shot by a federal wildlife manager, and one of the blacks was injured. They thought that would scare off the rest of the pack. Last week, wolves struck again. This time, they took out 120 purebred Rambouillet bucks that ranged in size from about 150 to 200 pounds, and were the result of more than 80 years of breeding. "We went up to the pasture on Thursday (Aug. 20) - we go up there every two or three days - and everything was fine," rancher Jon Konen said. "The bucks were in the pasture; I had about 100 heifers with them on 600 acres." He had some business to attend to in Billings, so Konen told his son to be sure to check on the livestock while he was gone. "He called me, and said it was a mess up there. He said there were dead bucks all up and down the creek. We went up there the next day and tried to count them, but there were too many to count," Konen recalled. "I had tears in my eyes, not only for myself but for what my stock had to go through," he added. "They were running, getting chewed on, bit and piled into a corner. They were bit on the neck, on the back, on the back of the hind leg. They'd cripple them, then rip their sides open." After the dead sheep were found, Graeme McDougal with Wildlife Services flew in a small plane over the sheep pasture, looking for the one or two remaining black wolves to complete the control work requested by Montana FWP. Within a half-mile of the sheep pasture, he spotted the Centennial pack of three adult gray wolves and five pups. McDougal shot and killed the one uncollared adult wolf, but wasn't authorized to remove any more wolves. Konen doesn't want to wade into the debate over the reintroduction of wolves in the Rockies, but said that in his opinion, it's time to stop managing wolves and start controlling them. "My bucks were on private ground, in a pasture where we've been pasturing them for 50 years. The wolves were intruders that were in the wrong place," he said. In Montana, the Legislature has earmarked $150,000 to compensate ranchers for livestock lost to wolves, and U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., co-sponsored a bill that includes $5 million in federal funding over five years for depredation losses. George Edwards, state livestock loss mitigation coordinator, said the Rebish/Konen Ranch probably will receive $350 per dead sheep. But he added that the loss is more than just monetary to ranchers. Page 4 WWGA Producer Update– Aug./Sept. ’09 Wolves kill “Exceptionally Large Numbers of (WY) Sheep” : (from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ‘s “Wyoming Wolf Program Weekly Report– August17 through August 21, 2009 ) “ Wolf depredation patterns this summer in Wyoming have been different compared to previous years. Wolves have killed exceptionally large numbers of sheep but fewer cattle in the first 8 months of 2009, compared to 2008 and 2007. Five wolves have been removed in 2009. Sheep and guard dog depredations: From January through August 2009, 3 packs (Big Horn Mtn., Dog Creek, and Black Butte Packs) have killed >152 sheep and 3 guard dogs, compared to 14 sheep killed from January through August in 2008 and 16 sheep killed from January through August in 2007 (Figure 1). The increase in sheep depredations in 2009 is due mainly to 2 new packs that recently formed in areas heavily grazed by domestic sheep. The Big Horn Mtn. Pack (2 adults probably with pups) killed > 70 sheep in June and July. The Dog Creek Pack (4-6 adults with 6 pups) killed >45 sheep and 3 guard dogs in August. The Black Butte Pack existed for the last 2 years and killed >37 sheep and injured 1 guard dog in 2009. 70 Control is ongo60 ing to remove wolves in all of 50 these areas 2007 where depreda40 2008 tions have con30 2009 tinued.” 20 # of Sheep Killed 10 0 Jan Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec WWGA Calendar of Events . 5-7 Sept. 7-8 Sept. 9-10 Sept. 10-12 Sept. 11-12 Sept. 21-22 Sept. 22-24 October 9-11 Nov. 8-10 Dec. 6-9 Dec. 13-16 Jan 20-23, 2010 Kaycee Sheep Festival WWGA State Ram Sale WY GSeptame & Fish Commission WY Hunting & Fishing Heritage Expo California Wool Growers Annual Meeting WY Legislature Joint Ag. Committee Public Lands Council Annual Meeting Trailing of the Sheep Festival Idaho Wool Growers 117th Annual Conv. WWGA/WSGA Joint Annual Winter Meeting National Conference on Grazing Lands ASI Annual Convention Kaycee Douglas Casper Casper Bakersfield, CA Hulett Sacramento, CA Hailey, ID Sun Valley, ID Casper Reno, NV Nashville, TN WWGA Producer Update– Aug./Sept. ’09 Page 5 THANK YOU!!! Doug and Susan Samuelson, Neil McMurry and your amazing group of employees for hosting the WWGA’s ANNOUNCING the initial development of the WWGA’s “Memorial Garden” to be established on the WWGA property in Casper. The Garden will be designed to feature trees and shrubs native to Wyoming, with individual trees being available for purchase and then dedication in the memory of individuals. This would be a tremendous way to memorialize a loved one or a person of importance to the Wyoming sheep industry and/or the WWGA. The Memorial Garden will be christened with the planting of two trees in honor of Cindy Innes and Anne Boner. For more information, contact Bryce in the WWGA office at 307-265-5250 2009 Kathy Knox Stock Dog Clinic at your beautiful ranch with your tremendous facilities!! It was our best one yet!!! Page 6 WWGA Producer Update– Aug./Sept. ’09 Protecting, preserving and promoting the Wyoming ranching industry since 1905. Wyoming Wool Growers Association Phone: 307-265-5250 Fax: 307-234-9701 E-mail: email@example.com 811 N. Glenn Rd. Casper, WY 82601 www.wyowool.org We’re on the Web!
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