The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) on Monday released the details of its current lamb purchase. The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) requested the lamb meat purchase earlier this summer to prompt stronger prices for lambs at the farm and ranch gate.
The solicitation asks invites to fill deliveries of lamb leg roasts and shoulder chops resulting in a buy of 1.08 million pounds of lamb, if all bids are filled. The lamb products will be used in the federal food and nutrition assistance programs.
Offers must be received by AMS before 1:00 p.m., Central time, Monday, Aug. 26. Acceptances will be announced by midnight, Aug. 30 with shipments being made between Sept. 16 and Jan. 31, 2014.
"The market has not yet recovered to the cost of production for America's sheep producers and ranchers," said ASI President Clint Krebs. "This purchase will help relieve pressure on American lamb producers and will help mitigate further downward prices, stabilize market conditions and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of USDA's nutrition program. It will also help to provide more movement in the lamb meat system ahead of the traditional large shipments of feeder lambs in the fall."
AMS purchases only 100-percent domestic, high-quality food products each year to support the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. USDA also makes emergency food purchases for distribution to victims of natural disasters.
Additional program information can be accessed by selecting frozen lamb products from the drop-down box at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateJ&page=CPDCommodityPurchaseMeatFish.