Sheep are raised for meat (lamb or mutton) and wool. The U.S. sheep and wool industries have seen significant change since the mid-1970s, marked by smaller inventories, declining production, shrinking revenues, and fewer operations. As wool revenues have declined, producers have turned their attention to lamb and mutton production and the possibility of other byproducts such as sheep leather.

ERS economists, in cooperation with other USDA agencies, provide market analysis and research on the U.S. sheep industry, focusing on domestic supply, demand, and trade.