ASI Offers Listening Session Comments
March 22, 2019

On behalf of the American Sheep Industry Association, Chase Adams spoke in favor of the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station and the Minor Use Animal Drug Program Thursday at a listening session on the 2018 Farm Bill conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research, Education and Economics mission area.

“The USDA, Agricultural Research Service Grand Challenge calls for a transformation in U.S. agriculture that results in 20 percent more quality products, with a 20 percent reduction in environmental resource impacts by 2025,” Adams said. “The ARS Grand Challenge is entirely possible for the American sheep industry. In fact, accomplishing such a challenge is essential for the industry to remain globally competitive. Therefore, the station’s current research program is based on the premise that improvements in sheep production should also benefit forest and rangeland ecosystems; and with the addition of staff allowed by the removal from the closure list, we believe we can accomplish that goal.”

Just last week during ASI’s Spring Trip, Dr. Scott Hutchins – the nominee for USDA deputy under secretary for research, education and economics – informed those on hand that the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station had been removed from the closure list in President Donald J. Trump’s proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

“I also want to express our support for the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture and their role in ensuring access to critical minor use and minor species technology research through the Minor Use Animal Drug Program, formerly NRSP-7. The sheep industry relies on new and developing technologies to address issues with foot rot, parasites and various other animal health challenges. Often, we do not have access to the same technologies as our competitors in other developed countries due to the challenges of drug approval in the United States. The Minor Use Animal Drug Program has been very effective in helping overcome these challenges and ensure access to identify animal technology needs, disseminate data for safe application and facilitate FDA/CVM approvals.”

ASI will continue to work with USDA on implementing the 2018 Farm Bill as it applies to the American sheep industry with emphasis on permanently funding the top priority of the Minor Use Animal Drug Program.