Closure of Sheep Experiment Station Proposed
Leadership at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station was informed in late June that USDA’s Agriculture Research Service has submitted a proposal to close the facility by the end of the year.
ASI inquired of U.S. Congressional offices about the move, – in effect a proposal calling for the closure that was signed by the Secretary of Agriculture and ARS Administrator and sent to Congress, which has until July 23 to respond.
“If ARS’s plan to close moves forward, all employees must be relocated and the facility closed by November 2, 2014,” USSES acting research leader Bret Taylor said in an email about the proposal.
ARS indicated to Congress they were keeping the sheep industry informed; however, the national and state leaders were not informed of the proposal until after station personnel were informed.
ASI met with USDA officials in May and followed up with specific correspondence on the station. Even though officials did not notify industry of the proposal to “re-purpose” the funds from the USSES to the meat animal center in Nebraska, they did complain of the harassing lawsuits filed by environmental activists wanting livestock removed from the sheep research station.tion personnel were informed.
An update on Congressional action on the proposal will appear in the August issue of Sheep Industry News.