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Welcome to NSIP.org!

We’re pleased that you are interested in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP).

NSIP’s business is calculating EBVs for sheep producers and breed associations and helping producers use those EBVs to their best advantage. EBVs are statistically created based on generations of progeny performance for various traits. EBVs are one of the most accurate tools to select for or against genetically superior or inferior sheep based on traits of interest.

In June, 2010 National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) finalized the details of a cooperative agreement between the National Sheep Improvement Program and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). This agreement will transfer the genetic evaluation of sheep in NSIP from Virginia Polytechnic Institute by Dr David Notter to LambPlan, the national sheep performance program of Australia.

Australian sheep producers, academia and the sheep industry have invested in software and database technology that is much more powerful than those previously in use by NSIP. Access to this technology allows the U.S. sheep industry to perform genetic evaluations to generate estimated breeding values (EBVs) every two weeks. Data submission is done online through LambPlan’s Pedigree Wizard (PW). The LambPlan system NSIP will utilize is also set up to perform genetic evaluations for carcass traits and parasite resistance, traits previously only available to one breed each (carcass trait for Suffolk & parasite resistance for Katahdin) in NSIP. Genetic evaluation of U.S. flocks will use breed specific genetic parameters and adjustment factors developed for each of the U.S. breeds. These are just a few of the highlights.

This agreement between MLA & NSIP is a step to the future. This is a win-win for both sheep producers in the USA and Australia. It provides unprecedented cooperation between two countries to offer better service to sheep producers in both the U.S and Australia. The agreement includes a framework for the cooperation of U.S. and Australian sheep geneticists to develop improved analyses for across breed EBVs, crossbred lambs, maternal performance, parasite resistance and other traits. The NSIP Board of Directors is looking forward to implementation of new selection indices that include classic EBV analysis and new genetic markers contributed by sheep genomic research.

The NSIP enrollment form is available here. Additionally, you can go to the NSIP Info tab and click on Enrollment. Also posted under the NSIP Info tab is additional information regarding Pedigree Wizard based on first-time users experiences. We will all be learning this program together. As we acquire more tools of learning, they will be posted.

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