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USDA seeks input on Sheep Experiment Station

Carol Ryan Dumas

Capital Press

USDA Agricultural Research Station will be taking comment on the research activities at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho, during two teleconferences scheduled for Aug. 6 and 7. Earlier this month USDA sought congressional approval to close the research facility. That request was denied.

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service will conduct two virtual listening sessions on Aug. 6 and 7 on the research activities conducted at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station (USSES) in Dubois, Idaho.

In a surprise move earlier this month, USDA sought congressional approval to reprogram funding for the nearly 100-year-old research facility and close the facility. The House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee denied that request.

The subcommittee directed USDA to gather customer and stakeholder input on research at the station and file a report with Congress, said USDA-ARS Director of Information Sandy Miller Hays.

"It's very important that people participate in this. We want to get as wide a participation in this as possible," she said.

Hays said she hasn’t heard of a deadline for the report and doesn’t know what options USDA might be considering for the research facility.

"I think at this point we have to keep an open mind as to where we’re going with this," she said.

The sessions are set for Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, and Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Preregistration is required.

Once the participant registers, a confirmation page will display dial-in numbers and a unique PIN, and the participant will also receive an email confirmation of the information.

To preregister for the Aug. 6 teleconference, go to

http://emsp.intellor.com/?p=416251&do=register&t=8.

To preregister for the Aug. 7 teleconference go to:

http://emsp.intellor.com/?p=416252&do=register&t=8.

Opportunity for public comment will be offered each day of the virtual listening session. Written comments by attendees or other interested stakeholders will be welcomed for the public record before and up to one week following the virtual listening sessions

ARS plans to consider stakeholder input received from the meeting as well as other written comments and stakeholder input in developing an appropriate course of action for the Sheep Experiment Station.

The listening sessions are open to the public.

All comments not otherwise presented or submitted for the record at the virtual listening sessions must be submitted by close of business Thursday, Aug. 14, to: Agricultural Research Service, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 302A, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, or via email at

USSES@ars.usda.gov .

For more information, contact: Michael Arnold, budget director, or Colette Wood, program analyst, Agricultural Research Service; telephone (202) 720-4421; fax: (202) 720-5427; or email: michael.arnold@ars.usda.gov or colette.wood@ars.usda.gov.



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