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ASI President Burdell talks with Secretary Schafer
17
Apr '08
This morning, Burdell Johnson (N.D.), president of the American Sheep Industry Association, had the opportunity to talk via phone with Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer about some of the priorities of the U.S. sheep industry.

Johnson covered a number of topics including the regionalization of trade with Argentina, the industry's request of a section 32 lamb roast purchase program and the changes proposed to the H-2A worker regulations.

An analysis performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposing regional trade with Argentina included inaccurate assessments of the U.S. sheep industry.

APHIS recognized in its documentation that the industry likely to be most affected by this proposed rule would be the U.S. sheep industry.

Sheep production is the primary livestock production system in the Patagonia region of Argentina with 60 percent of Argentina's flock located here. In 2003, the region had 7.49 million sheep, 265,960 head of cattle, 12,731 pigs and 141,614 goats.

The government of Argentina forecasted that it would export an average of 13.2 million pounds of sheep meat to the United States.

APHIS indicated that the impact of sheep meat imports from Argentina would only cause the U.S. sheep market price to decline by a few percent, and that estimate would be lessened because the agency claimed U.S. producers raise sheep primarily for wool. The analysis is claiming that lamb production is a by product of wool production.

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