Coalition Supports Budget Priorities
March 4, 2016

The Animal Agriculture Coalition, of which the American Sheep Industry Association is a member, solicited the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to consideration of its views and recommendations for the fiscal year 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration budget. The AAC is comprised of most major animal and animal-related commodity organizations, as well as allied organizations representing veterinary medicine, animal science and various livestock or animal agricultural interests in the United States,

A successful, healthy and strong U.S. agriculture industry is reliant on federal funding that supports the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration's programs. These programs play a vital role in our daily lives by ensuring a safe and plentiful food supply, defending America's animal and plant resources from agricultural pests and diseases, and advancing agriculture research.

The top agencies and programs of interest to the sheep industry that the AAC urges Congress to invest in are as follows:
  • The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria - The AAC strongly supports the Administration's request for an additional $35 million for the USDA and $1 million for the FDA-Center for Veterinary Medicine for research, monitoring, and surveillance. AAC fully supports the Administration's request of $10 million for the USDA/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services for the USDA Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan.
  • Agricultural Research Service - AAC supports the President's request for $1.286 billion for the Agricultural Research Service. AAC is encouraged by the proposed increases to the agency's livestock production and protection research programs in critical areas such as avian influenza, foreign animal diseases and antimicrobial resistance.
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - AAC supports the President's request of $901.196 million in FY17 for APHIS. APHIS' core functions are critical to animal agriculture. APHIS is working to prevent 160 animal diseases from entering our country and to eradicate harmful and economically devastating diseases.
  • National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) - Federal funding for animal science research has been lagging in the last two decades. This disturbing trend was highlighted by the National Academy of Sciences in its report "Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability" that was released in 2015. The report recognizes the historic underfunding of animal sciences and calls for increased investments.