The lamb R&P program operates as the American Lamb Board. The program's goal is to develop and expand the markets for sheep and sheep products. Under the program, producers, seedstock producers, and feeders pay an assessment of $.007 per pound, and first handlers pay $0.42 per head. Importers are not assessed.
These assessments, totaling about $2.5 million annually, fund the American Lamb Board, which runs the industry’s research and promotion activities under AMS oversight. USDA-certified organizations nominate and the Secretary of Agriculture approves the13 Board members.
In 2002, AMS issued the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order, which created the program under the authority of the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (pdf). In 2018, the Order was amended to remove obsolete references.
The 13-member Board is comprised of representatives from two geographical regions: One is the area east of the Mississippi River, and the other is the area west of the Mississippi River. The Board is composed of:
- Six producer representatives: At least two must come from each region, and the other two will be appointed at the Secretary of Agriculture’s discretion
- Three feeder representatives (feeders appointed to the Board cannot all come from one geographic region)
- Three first handlers
- One seedstock producer
Of the six producers, two must own annually 100 or fewer head of lambs, one must own between 101 and 500 head of lambs, and three must own more than 500 head of lambs.
Of the three feeders, at least one must feed fewer than 5,000 head of lambs annually, and at least one must feed 5,000 or more head of lambs annually. The third feeder will be appointed at the Secretary’s discretion.
All Board members serve 3-year terms. No Board member will serve more than 2 consecutive 3-year terms.
Nominations & Membership
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: If you are interested in becoming a member of the American Lamb Board, you:
- Must be a producer, feeder, seedstock producer, or first handler who markets or handles lamb or lamb products in the United States and pays the mandatory assessment.
- Must be nominated by a certified producer organization and submit a completed application.
- Certified Feeder Organizations (pdf)
- Certified First Handler Organizations (pdf)
- Certified Seedstock Producer Organizations (pdf)
- Certified Producers Organizations by Region (pdf)
- Form LPS-78 - Certification of Non-Producer Status
- Form LPS-81 - Monthly Remittance Report
- Form LPS-82 - Application for Certification of Organization
- Form LPS-84 - Nomination for Appointment to the Lamb Board
- Form AD-755 - Advisory Committee Membership Background Information
- Nominee's Agreement to Serve Form
- Conflict of Interest Statement
Organic Assessment Exemption
R&P programs allow persons that produce, handle, market, process, manufacture, feed or import “organic” and “100 percent organic” products to be exempt from paying assessments regardless of whether they are a “split” operation.
Mailing Address & Fax Number
USDA, AMS, LP, RPD
1400 Independence Avenue, SW.
STOP 0251 Room 2610-S
Washington, D.C. 20250-0251
USDA Oversight Contact
Kenneth R. Payne (oversees the American Lamb Board)