May 6, 2011
More than 70 American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) producer leaders from 21 states converged on 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 national issues.
Pursuing the continuation of the livestock protection program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Wildlife Services Agency was a priority as producers talked with their respective congressional offices.
Another topic of discussion included a resolution to the perceived conflict between domestic and bighorn sheep.
During their time with policymakers, producers relayed the facets of the twoPLUS campaign released April 29 to increase sheep numbers and meet rising demand. Another key topic of conversation was maintaining a strong H-2A program for labor.
Continued funding for the eradication of scrapie and the 2012 Farm Bill were also topics of discussion.
"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.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33