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Denver, Colo. – March 31, 2009 -- The U.S. sheep industry applauds the purchase of up to $2 million of lamb to be donated to federal food and nutrition programs.
This was the announcement made March 31, 2009, by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as part of his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies.
"Today's announcement will help mitigate further downward prices, stabilize market conditions, stimulate the economy and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of our nutrition programs,” said Vilsack.
“The timing of the secretary’s announcement is excellent as the sheep industry addresses the post-Easter/Passover marketing season,” commented Glen Fisher (Texas), president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). “The ASI board of directors decided to seek this authority from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) during discussions with lamb producers, feeders and meat companies at the 2009 sheep industry convention in San Diego, Calif.,” concluded Fisher.
Section 32 is a permanent appropriation the USDA uses to support non-farm program commodities while enhancing nutrition programs.
ASI is a national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of the more than 82,000 sheep producers.