The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the purchase of 1,080,000 pounds of lamb leg roast and lamb shoulder chops at a cost of approximately $4.96 million. This product will be distributed in federal food and nutrition programs.
"American lamb producers will benefit from the purchase of this lamb and the announcement is timely to push the price of lambs above the cost of production," commented Clint Krebs (Ore.), president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). "The requirement of the program is to strengthen lamb prices at the farm and ranch level and we are very appreciative of the department taking this very much needed action."
Both companies that submitted bids -- Mountain States Rosen LLC and Transhumance Inc. -- were awarded contracts from this invitation. The lamb deliveries are scheduled to begin in September.
"With deliveries in September, the winning companies can begin processing to fill the orders promptly," said Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. "Most of the deliveries have to be made prior to the year's end; therefore, putting maximum pressure to buy market lambs and get the orders processed on top of the normal increase for lamb roast orders for Christmas."
ASI made securing this $5 million purchase a top priority since May to help sheep producers through the weak market situation.
Additional program information can be accessed at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateJ&page=CPDCommodityPurchaseMeatFish.