The federal government will purchase up to $2 million of lamb product. On Friday, April 30, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the plan by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase $161.4 million in a variety of foods for federal food and nutrition assistance programs.
"These purchases are a 'win-win' because they help provide healthy food to kids and families throughout the country, while benefiting producers by providing a customer for these products," Vilsack said.
"This program provides opportunities to move product during a time when meat supplies can be burdensome and provides another high-quality meat product to new customers," commented Glen Fisher (Texas), president of the American Sheep Industry Association.
The purchases will be for up to $40 million of beef products; $2 million of lamb products; $5 million of catfish; $32 million of fresh and processed apple products; $1.1 million of blackberries; $21 million of red tart cherries; $18 million of cranberry products; $5 million of dried figs; $9.3 million of dried plums; $18 million of potatoes; $7 million of strawberries; and $3 million of fresh and canned pears.
A number of economic factors have led to surpluses, so these purchases will help alleviate the stress caused by higher inventories and low prices that farmers and ranchers are receiving for their commodities.