Assurance Programs


Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance (SSQA)

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The SSQA program and online module are currently being updated and will be available in late 2021.

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) began development of an industry-wide quality assurance program in 1991. Since then, the ASI, through cooperative agreements with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Colorado State University, University of Minnesota, and Texas A&M University, conducted a quality audit of meat, wool, and milk from U.S. sheep.

This Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance (SSQA) program provides information about objectives and process control procedures for use by sheep producers that will help to generate safe, high-quality products. The mission of the SSQA program is to maximize consumer confidence in, and acceptance of, sheep products by using research and education to improve management during the production of safe and high-quality sheep products.

American Wool Assurance (AWA)

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American wool producers place a high priority on sheep care. The American Wool Assurance (AWA) Standards provide confidence to the global marketplace that American wool is produced using high standards of care and handling. These voluntary standards reflect international standards (e.g. Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare) that account for American-style sheep production practices. Consumers can also be assured that sheep have never been mulesed in the United States.

The American Wool Assurance (AWA) program focuses on year-round animal care related to sheep production with an emphasis on animal welfare connected to wool production. With 3 levels of certification, buyers can be assured that sheep in the AWA program are receiving a high standard of care.