May 9, 2008
May 9, 2008 - More than 50 American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) producer leaders from 21 states blanketed the Hill this week to represent the collective interests of the American sheep industry. These leaders visited the offices of their U.S. senators and representatives for the opportunity to talk about the industry's top issues.
Of interest to sheep producers and the U.S. Congress was the impending Farm Bill. Important issues for the sheep industry are the continued inclusion of the Loan Deficiency Program for Wool with a base rate increase, a permanent trust for disaster assistance and the re-authorization of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center.
Other topics of discussion included the continued support of the livestock protection program of Wildlife Services, funding for the U.S. sheep genomics research and sufficient support for the continued work to eradicate scrapie.
"Reports from each of the state delegations indicate that the legislative offices were very receptive to the priority issues presented to them by the sheep industry," commented Bill Sparrow, co-chair of the ASI Legislative Action Council and North Carolina sheep producer. "Our timing was very fortunate that we were able to personally ask over 100 U.S. representatives to vote in support of the Farm Bill."
Issues throughout the industry vary depending on location and size; however, many things remain consistent across all operations. This annual event for producer leaders provides a chance to advocate the industry's united efforts to federal policy makers. Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33