The American Sheep Industry Association submitted a letter this week to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service requesting more information on the supply of lamb in cold storage in the United States.
“The monthly frozen stocks data reported for lamb is vital information for the lamb industry,” read the letter from ASI President Mike Corn. “As the impact of imported lamb on the marketplace continues to strengthen, there is a greater need for more transparent information on the current supply of imported lamb product in United States cold storage facilities. In particular, ASI requests NASS consider collecting and reporting additional information for the monthly frozen stock data for lamb.”
ASI requested reporting data for the following categories: domestic lamb, domestic shoulder, domestic rack, domestic loin, domestic leg, domestic ground lamb, imported lamb, imported ground lamb, imported shoulder, imported rack, imported loin and imported leg.
“In providing the information above, the United States sheep industry can better assess the current supply of lamb in the marketplace to determine the potential economic impacts on all stakeholders in the lamb production chain,” the letter continued. “In addition, having the above information will provide the United States sheep industry with much needed information for determining the overall health of the domestic lamb market and sheep industry.”
In the letter, ASI praised the information already provided by NASS as invaluable to the industry.
“The United States sheep industry is appreciative of the agency’s efforts over the years in providing data and information relevant to the sheep industry,” Corn wrote.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture approved a new edition of the Farm Bill on April 18. The farm bill, HR 2, is required to authorize farm and food program support which expires this fall.
The committee wrote strong legislation for sheep producers with new authorization of funding for minor use minor species pharmaceutical development – a top ask of the American Sheep Industry Association. This program for pharmaceuticals development and labeling for American application is critical for minor species, such as sheep. ASI is pleased with this opportunity for annual funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture in cooperation with FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine as the existing program, while successful, has exhausted funding and would not be able to continue.
The committee addresses a key trade issue for wool suit and fabric manufacturers in the United States with establishment of a textile trust. This provision to address a trade loophole under the North American Free Trade Agreement is key to wool manufacturing and an American customer base for United States wool growers. ASI is a key partner of the wool textile business and spurred creation of this successful provision in the years following NAFTA implementation.
This version of the Farm Bill increases funding in reauthorizing a competitive grant program to strengthen infrastructure in the lamb and wool businesses, which is another ask of ASI in formal testimony before the House agriculture leadership.
“Sheep producers appreciate the support of the committee for risk management and disaster assistance programs, as well as export market support, each category of which are used by sheep producers,” stated ASI president Mike Corn. “Including the specific sheep provisions mentioned, this is the strongest Farm Bill in recent memory. We shared our support with Chairman (Michael) Conaway to actively work for approval by the full U.S. House in the coming weeks.”
ASI’s Legislative Action Council met again this month to line up Farm Bill support. This was in addition to March meetings in Washington, D.C., with dozens of volunteer sheep industry leaders carrying the requests for basic risk management and trade support. New provisions for animal health, disease response and a vaccination bank adds to the reasons sheep producers are urged to ask their congressional representatives to vote for HR 2.
To learn more, listen to this week’s SheepCast at http://www.sheepusa.org/Newsmedia_AsiSheepcast.
Premier 1 Supplies, LLC, announced that it has acquired the Sheep Business Unit from Pipestone Veterinary Services, PLC, a Minnesota-based company. The Sheep Business Unit was responsible for providing practical healthcare and nutrition knowledge to sheep producers throughout the United States, including a wide array of small ruminant feeds and supplements. The purchase will better serve the needs of Premier’s sheep and goat customers across the United States and Canada.
The asset purchase of Pipestone’s Sheep Business Unit fits into Premier’s strategy to advance the sheep industry through an education-first approach. Premier will provide its customers with access to Pipestone’s small ruminant veterinarians as well as other on-staff experts including Dr. Dan Morrical, a retired sheep specialist from Iowa State University. Dr. Morrical was responsible for ISU’s educational programs in all areas of sheep production, ranging from nutrition, genetics, marketing and management.
“The acquisition of Pipestone’s Sheep Business Unit complements our existing sheep and goat supply business. We can now provide a wider range of services – from sheep care to nutrition to field-tested products. This investment represents a win-win for customers,” said Ben Rothe, chief executive officer of Premier 1 Supplies. “The acquisition will allow us to provide programs, knowledge and assistance to sheep producers at a time when many university sheep extension programs are downsizing.”
“Pipestone is thrilled to team with a company that shares the same passion for helping sheep producers as we have had for the past 75 years,” said Hannah Walkes, president of Pipestone. “We view this as a tremendous opportunity to bring an even greater level of service and commitment to producers via an expansion of the Shepherd’s Club combined with Premier’s reach in the industry.”
Source: Premier 1