National Sheep Improvement Program

Program Director Salary Match

The use of quantitative genetic selection has been outlined has a priority to progress the U.S. sheep industry.  The National Sheep Improvement Program provides the framework for genetic selection technology for the nationís sheep flock. With increased utilization of the program, volunteers are no longer able to devote the time needed to promote and operate the program efficiently.  A full time program director is needed to educate the industry on the benefits of the technology and handle the day-to-day operations of NSIP.  With this leadership, NSIP expects to expand the program to better serve the U.S. lamb and wool industries.

The objectives are to match funds in order to engage a full time program director to promote the wider adoption of quantitative genetic selection industry-wide.  In July 2015, NSIP was awarded a grant titled U.S. Sheep Genetic Improvement Initiative from the ASIís Letís Grow Committee.  Funding was dependent upon hiring a full-time program director to carry out the project.  Activities of the project include conducting informational workshops and field days throughout the country, developing educational literature for purebred and commercial producers and assisting new members in the transition into NSIP.   These activities are designed to increase utilization of NSIP and increase to productivity of the entire U.S. flock.

A fulltime program director carrying out the Genetic Improvement Initiative will increase the industryís understanding of how the technology can lead to productivity improvement and will streamline the efficiency of operations within NSIP.  This will allow the program to better serve the U.S. sheep industry to meet the goals of increasing lamb consumption and production.  Goals for increasing utilization of NSIP are to increase enrolled flocks submitting data by 25% yearly while increasing the number of sheep with estimated breeding values (EBVs) being sold into commercial flocks by 25%.  This will disseminate the genetics for increased productivity into the commercial sector and allow for industry-wide productivity improvement.