AMS No. 241-11
Sam Jones-Ellard (202) 617-7212
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2011—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced six appointments to the 2012 Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Board. Each appointee will serve three year terms beginning immediately.
"These appointees represent a cross section of the lamb industry and I am confident that the lamb industry will be well served by them," said Vilsack.
According to the 2007 USDA Ag Census, there were approximately 83,000 sheep and lamb farms with an estimated 5.8 million head of sheep and lambs in the United States during 2007. Top producing states included, Texas, California, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota.
The newly appointed board members are: Joanne Nissen, Soledad, California, representing producers; Ben R. Lehfeldt, Lavina, Montana, representing feeders; and Wesley R. Patton, Orland, California, representing seed stock producers. Reappointed to the board are: Leo J. Tammi, Mount Sidney, Virginia, representing producers; and Cody J. Hiemke, Stoughton, Wisconsin, representing first handlers. In addition, Antonio J. Manzanares, Tierra Amarillo, New Mexico, was appointed to the board as a member of the general public.
The board is composed of six producers, three feeders, one seed stock producer, three first-handlers, and a member of the general public. The Secretary of Agriculture appoints approximately one-third of all board members each year.
Established under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 and the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order, the board is financed by a mandatory assessment of one-half cent per pound on ovine animals of any age, including ewes and rams, sold by producers, seedstock producers, feeders and exporters. Also, an assessment of thirty cents per head must be paid by first-handlers. Assessments began on July 1, 2002.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees operations of the board.