Nominations are now being sought by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for the American Lamb Board (ALB). The 13-member board is charged with directing research, information and promotion programs for American Lamb. Funded through the national American Lamb Checkoff, it invests the industry’s valuable resources to foster profitability and create opportunities for all sectors involved in producing American Lamb.
Nominations are due April 11, 2021, for one producer with 101-500 lambs, one producer with more than 500 lambs, one feeder with 5,000 or more lambs, and one first handler. Members will serve three-year terms beginning February 2022 and ending February 2025. Qualified industry organizations nominate people to serve on the ALB to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Final appointments are made by the US Department of Agriculture Secretary.
If you are interested in serving on the American Lamb Board, these requirements must be met:
- 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 industry organization and submit a completed application. The list of certified organizations, additional nomination information and forms are on the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service website.
All segments of the industry, from producers to feeders, direct marketers and processors, contribute to building the demand for American Lamb through mandatory checkoff payments. Unlike other livestock checkoffs in the US, funding is not collected from imported lamb, only domestic lamb. This allows ALB to focus all its efforts on creating demand for American Lamb, and enhancing opportunities for the entire US lamb industry.
The 13-member board is comprised of representatives from two geographical regions: 1) east of the Mississippi River, and 2) west of the Mississippi River. All board members serve 3-year terms. No member can serve more than 2 consecutive 3-year terms. The board is composed of:
- 6 producer representatives
At least 2 must come from each region, and the other 2 will be appointed at the Secretary of Agriculture’s discretion. Also, on an annual basis, 2 must own 100 or fewer head of lambs, 1 must own between 101 and 500 head of lambs, and 3 must own more than 500 head of lambs.
- 3 feeder representatives
Feeders appointed to the board cannot all come from the same geographic region. Of the 3 feeders, at least 1 must feed fewer than 5,000 head of lambs annually, and at least 1 must feed 5,000 or more head of lambs annually. The third feeder will be appointed at the US Secretary of Agriculture’s discretion.
- 3 first handlers
- 1 seedstock producer
“Serving on the ALB has been the most important contribution I could make to advancing our industry on a national level. Every board member is deeply engaged to make the best decisions we can with one of the smallest national checkoff budgets in the US. If you are looking to contribute nationally, I encourage you to strongly consider the ALB,” says Gwen Kitzan, a South Dakota sheep producer whose family raises purebreds but also is heavily involved in direct marketing. She is serving her second term as chair, and will retire from the board in 2022.
American Lamb Board