USDA Deputy Under Secretary Congratulates U.S. Sheep Producers
March 31, 2005
March/April 2005 -- Opening the Jan. 28 American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) Board of Directors session was U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary, Jim Butler, Ph.D. He kicked-off his presentation congratulating the industry on its ability to increase sheep numbers for the first time since 1990.
He also announced the payments for the ewe-lamb replacement and retention program had been sent that week to producers who qualified for the program. There were 16,217 applications filed on 824,572 lambs totaling $14.8 million in payments.
In addition to those two announcements, Butler provided the board with an update on other USDA programs affecting U.S. sheep producers such as the Export Promotion Funding Program, the Scrapie Certification Program, the referendum for the Lamb Checkoff Program, the Livestock Risk Protection Plan for sheep and the National Animal Identification System, to name a few.
To close, Butler pointed out some of the major challenges the USDA must face in the future. Those include the impact of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) on world trade and global competition, the fast-paced movement of the World Trade Organization, the congressional budget tightening and user-friendly technology in programs designed for producers.