July 18, 2007

For More Information Contact:
Paul Rodgers (303) 771-3500 or prodgers2@earthlink.net
Peter Orwick (303) 771-3500, ext. 33, or porwick@sheepusa.org


DENVER, Colo. -July 18, 2007 - As the owner of a long-awaited insurance product for the sheep industry, the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) is proud to announce that Livestock Risk Protection-Lamb (LRP-Lamb) became a reality today. This newly designed insurance product will be available for purchase on Sept. 17, 2007.

"ASI has been committed to bringing this product to culmination since October 2004. The LRP-Lamb pilot program will fill a serious void that has existed for sheep producers in this country," comments Burdell Johnson, ASI president. "We are pleased that Sept. 17 has been announced as the first date that producers will be able to purchase this coverage."

On Sept. 28, 2006, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation's (FCIC) board of directors approved the expansion of the LRP insurance to include a lamb pilot program as requested by ASI. The program details have been finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency (RMA), and today's announcement fulfills the required 60-day advance notice informing all parties of the details of this product.

ASI and its development partners, Applied Analytics, the American Sheep and Goat Center, the Livestock Marketing Information Center and Virginia Tech, worked with the FCIC and RMA for nearly three years to bring this much-needed insurance product to producers.

LRP-Lamb is designed to insure against unexpected declines in market prices of slaughter lambs. Sheep producers may select 13-week, 26-week or 39-week insurance periods as well as coverage levels ranging from 80 percent to 95 percent of the expected ending value to correspond with their general feeding, production and marketing practices.

LRP-Lamb may be purchased on Monday each week (as long as rates and coverage prices are available) with sales beginning at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday morning when rates and coverage prices are released and ending on that same day at 7 p.m. Central time. Preliminary rates and coverage prices may be released the Friday evening prior to the day of sales for viewing over the weekend. LRP-Lamb must be purchased through an insurance agent. Producers may access the current rates and coverage prices and all policy materials, including premium calculation instructions, on the RMA Web site at www.rma.usda.gov/livestock/.

LRP-Lamb is available to sheep producers with lambs located in all counties of the following 27 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

ASI is developing an online educational/training course detailing the features of LRP-Lamb that will be available in August. It is designed as a tool for producers and agents to learn more about the product and to offer scenarios to assist with the decision to purchase the insurance. It will be available at www.sheepusa.org.

As an additional service to the sheep industry and to help ensure the success of the pilot program, ASI has also created an insurance agency, Food and Fiber Risk Managers LLC. More information is available on ASI's Web site regarding this agency.

"The success of the LRP-Lamb will be dependent on the support producers and feeders show for this program. The higher the demand for the product, the greater the chance it will have to thrive and become a permanent product," concludes Johnson.

ASI is a national trade organization supported by 44 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 69,000 sheep producers.