More than 50 American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) producer leaders from 25 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.
Pursuing the continuation of mandatory price reporting was a top priority as producers talked with their respective congressional offices. Lamb meat prices, both domestic and imported, are collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The collection of data will cease in September unless Congress acts to reauthorize mandatory price reporting, which is critical to the continuation of the industry's Livestock Risk Protection-Lamb insurance product.
Other topics of discussion included the continued support of the livestock protection program of Wildlife Services, AgJobs legislation that codifies the H-2A sheepherder provisions and sufficient funding for the continued work to eradicate scrapie.
"This annual visit to the Capitol keeps the issues of the sheep industry in front of our decision makers," commented Bob Benson, co-chair of ASI's Legislative Council. "Having a large number of producers all on the Hill at the same time helps us to accomplish the goal of communicating our key issues."
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.
The group also scheduled Friday morning appointments with the USDA.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33