May 4, 2007
May 4, 2007 - Nearly 50 American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) producer leaders from 19 states blanketed the Hill this week to represent the collective interests of the American sheep industry. These leaders visited the offices of their senators and representatives and were given the opportunity to talk about the industry's top issues.
Of interest to producers and congressional representatives was the upcoming Farm Bill. The two most important issues for the sheep industry included the continued inclusion of the Loan Deficiency Program for Wool, with a base rate increase to $1.20 from $1, and the re-authorization of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center.
Other topics of discussion included the development of a predator management program for the Wildlife Services Eastern Region similar to the one functioning in the Western Region, passage of the interstate shipment of state-inspected meat legislation and consideration of disaster assistance for agriculture.
"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. "Getting broad coverage of our topics by multiple states is an effective way for our industry to be heard."
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