The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on Thursday announced that it will purchase 288,000 pounds of lamb at a cost of approximately $1,017,000. These products will be distributed in federal food and nutrition programs.
"With this announcement, AMS has purchased $1.97 million of the $2 million committed to the sheep industry for this fiscal year," commented Glen Fisher (Texas), American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) president. "We are pleased that the agency was able to obligate nearly all of the funds before the Sept. 30, 2009, deadline to help strengthen lamb prices at the farm/ranch gate."
Two bidders, Mountain States Rosen LLC and Transhumance Inc. (Superior Farms) were awarded contracts from this invitation. The shoulder chops purchased in this buy will be shipped between Nov. 1, 2009, and Jan. 15, 2010.
"The 2009 program will total 576,000 pounds of lamb, 288,000 pounds of roasts and 288,000 pounds of shoulder chops, with an estimated value of $1,965,000," concluded Fisher. "Moving extra lamb this fall through January will shore up lamb prices."
ASI secured approval of the program to spend a minimum of an additional $2 million in section 32 funds through calendar year 2009 to provide the industry with more confidence, something that is needed for a good market in this rough economy.
"We appreciate AMS for completing this bid by the Sept. 30 deadline, using up essentially the entire amount committed," commented Peter Orwick, executive director for ASI. "We also want to recognize the National Meat Association (NMA) for helping with the program. This year's program brought with it additional requirements and NMA assisted the industry by helping to define best practices for lamb processors so they could participate in the lamb purchase invitations."
Additional program information can be accessed at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateR&page=ORMAnnouncementPage2.