USDA Initiates Lamb Checkoff Assessments July 1
Livestock Update, July 2002
Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, Virginia Tech
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service has announced it will begin collection of lamb checkoff assessments beginning July 1, 2002. Producers, feeders and packers will all contribute to this self-help program. Domestic lamb producers, feeders, seedstock producers and exporters will pay one-half cent ($.005) per pound of live lambs sold. In addition, first handlers (primarily packers), will be assessed $.30 per head of lambs purchased by the first handler for slaughter. Lamb importers will not be assessed. The program is expected to raise approximately $3 million each year to fund promotion, research and information programs. Specific programs will be determined by the program's board of directors, who will be appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The process for industry organizations to nominate representatives to the board began in May. The 13-member board will include: six producer representatives, three feeder representatives; three packers; and one seed stock producer. The collection process will involve first handlers and exporters collecting the assessments from producers, feeders and seedstock producers and remitting the applicable form and assessment due to the Secretary at the following address: Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Program, c/o the Secretary at USDA, 23029 Network Place, Chicago, Ill. 60673-1230. The order calls for a delayed referendum to be conducted no later than three years after assessments begin. During this time period, refunds may be requested. Rules and regulations for the assessment regarding the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Program were published in a Federal Register Notice, Friday, June 7. The interim final rule includes a request for comments, which are due by Aug. 30, 2002. Copies of the interim final rule and additional information are available from Marlene M. Betts, Acting Chief, Marketing Programs Branch, AMS Livestock and Seed Program, USDA Stop 0251, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-0251; telephone number (202) 720-1115. Information and forms also are available on the internet at http://www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/mpb/rp-lamb.htm.