Click here for the minutes of the March 2018 meeting of the MSPA Board.
Click here for the minutes of the October 18, 2018 meeting of the MSPA Board of Directors which will be presented at the February meeting for corrections and approval.
Aimee Swenson Buckley, a MSU PhD student, is surveying the Michigan sheep industry as part of her research for her dissertation. Click here for more information. She would welcome participants.
“Late summer/early fall is always a busy time on the farm. Harvest is ramping up, livestock sales are imminent, school is starting, the pressure is on to prepare for winter. The MSPA-sponsored Rocky Mountain Sheep Tour offered an opportunity to ‘prepare’ as well – prepare to better understand our fellow sheep producers in the western US and their impact on the industry that affects us all. We know that not everyone could spare the time or find the resources to go on the trip but an attempt was made to record the highlights, share some photos and spread the word that – #1 – you can’t travel with better partners than a group of sheep people. They are flexible, curious and like to laugh!, and #2 – If you want to learn about the sheep business from a new perspective, make connections with folks who are in the same business you are AND look at your own operation with new eyes, then sign up for the next tour when it comes along! In the meantime, check out a blog of the tour at http://misheep.home.blog. (Scroll down to the bottom of the blog to start at the beginning of the tour.)
Please check with any of the following MSPA members who made the trek to get their reactions and experiences: Jim & Claudia Chapman, Isaac Matchett, Maury Kaercher, Dave Meeuwse, Harvey Warrick, Millard Doster, Doug and Kathy Brooks, Richard Ehrhardt, Cam Lauwers, Kirby & Alice Hostetler, Ben & Denise Bartlett
Throughout FY 2018, APHIS provided metal serial or flock ID ear tags to sheep and goat producers free of charge. Due to significant increases in the cost of metal tags, Veterinary Services will only provide metal serial tags in FY 2019 and limit the number of free tags available to producers in order to keep costs within budget.
Producers and other entities may receive up to 100 metal serial tags every 2 years. Markets will continue to get the number of metal serial tags they require.
In response to industry’s request to have the metal tags stand out better on white ears, APHIS will provide orange metal serial tags (versus white) going forward. Slaughter-only metal serial ear tags will continue to be blue.
APHIS remains committed to animal disease traceability and rapid response when scrapie outbreaks occur. These changes allow APHIS to continue equitably distributing metal tags to sheep and goat producers, and the markets, within available funding levels. Limiting the funds spent on ear tags allows APHIS to maintain the surveillance essential to eradicating this fatal degenerative disease.